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Pacific Northwest (southwest here in Canada) chocolate brown towhee-like bird

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I live in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada (west coast, south...2-3 hours north of Seattle).  For the last 3 or 4 years (summer) I have seen a chocolate brown bird that I cannot identify in any of my bird books or online bird identifiers.  It is very elusive, so I have not yet managed to get a picture of it.  It is about the size and similar structure (ie beak, wings, head, etc) as a towhee, but is chocolate brown all over.  When it flies away you can see its tail has a thin white edging at the tip.  It doesn't seem to come to the feeders, but hops through the shrubs and on the ground.  Any help would be appreciated, it's driving me nuts, lol.

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Thanks for responses, but no to sooty fox sparrow...and no to female spotted towhee.  The bird is totally chocolate brown except for the white on tip of tail.  Mysterious, sigh.  I've tried each of the 3 years to get a picture but it's just too skittish.

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