The Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus,
is a large sparrow. The taxonomy of the towhees
has been under debate in recent decades, and
formerly this bird and the Spotted Towhee were
considered a single species, the Rufous-sided
Towhee, sometimes called a chewink.
Adults have rufous sides, a white
belly and a long dark tail with white edges.
The eyes are red, white for birds in the southeast.
Males have a dark head, upper body and tail;
these parts are brown in the female.
Their breeding habitat is brushy
areas across eastern North America. They nest
either low in bushes or on the ground under
Northern birds migrate to the
southern United States.
There has been one record of this
species as a vagrant to western Europe; a single
bird in Great Britain in 1966.
These birds forage on the ground
or in low vegetation. They mainly eat insects,
acorns, seeds and berries.
The call is Drink your teeeee;
the word "towhee" imitates this call.
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