Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Emberizidae or Bunting Family
(Formerly considered one species with the western Spotted Towhee and called Rufous-Sided Towhee.)

Adult male

A large sparrow, 6 to 9 inches long. Male is deep black above, with wings and tail rimmed with white. Below he has a white belly and warm red-brown (rufous) sides. The eye is dark red. The female is similar, but rich brown where the male is black. The thick, triangular, seed-smashing bill is a good identification mark. They spend most of their time foraging on the ground, but occasionally fly into trees, especially to sing. Their song is likened to their name, "towhee," or to "drink your tea." They also make a "chewink" call. They nest on or near the ground.

A common native bird, found in almost any habitat, but they prefer under powerlines and in abandoned fields. In Wildwood they can be seen in the forest and in more open areas and have nested under the powerline near the cell tower.

The thick bill and rich color pattern is distinctive and leads to easy identification, providing you can get a good look at the bird dashing about in the brush!

Adult female



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