Eastern Towhee

The Eastern Towhee, also known as the Rufous-sided Towhee, is a large sparrow-like bird found in eastern and central North America. It measures about 7.5-8 inches in length and has a wingspan of approximately 11-12 inches. Adults typically weigh between 1-1.5 ounces.

The Eastern Towhee is easily distinguished by its bold coloration. The male has a black head, back, and tail, with rufous-colored sides and white underparts. It also has bright red eyes. The female has a brown head, back, and tail, with the same rufous-colored sides and white underparts. Both sexes have large white spots on their wings and a distinctive call, which is often described as “drink your tea!”.

Eastern Towhees are non-migratory birds that inhabit brushy areas, woodlands, and forest edges. They can be found in a wide range of habitats, including suburban areas with dense shrubbery. In the northern parts of their range, they may move to lower elevations in the winter, but they do not migrate long distances like some other birds.

During breeding season, Eastern Towhees form monogamous pairs and build their nests on or near the ground, often in dense shrubs or vines. The nest is a cup made of twigs, grasses, and leaves, and is lined with finer materials such as hair or rootlets. Females typically lay 2-6 eggs, which are white with brown spots. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the young.

In terms of diet, Eastern Towhees are primarily ground-foragers and eat insects, seeds, and fruits. They use their strong, conical beaks to scratch through leaf litter and debris to find food. They will also visit feeders that offer seeds or suet. Overall, the Eastern Towhee is a colorful and charismatic bird that is a welcome sight for birdwatchers and backyard enthusiasts alike.

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