Eastern Towhee

(Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

Conservation Status
Eastern Towhee
Photo by Kirk Nelson
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

7 to 8½ in length

10½ wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
 

The song is a high note quickly followed by a low note, then a high trill.

 
     
   
 

The call is a single, upturned note lasting just one second, repeated in 4 to 6 seconds.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woodland edges and shrubby fields

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon migrant and breeder southeat, central, north-central, and northwest; rare to casual elsewhere

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Passeriformes (perching birds)  
 

Family

Passerellidae (New World sparrows)  
 

Genus

Pipilo (typical towhees)  
       
 

New World sparrows were traditionally combined with buntings into the family Emberizidae. Recent phylogenetic analysis (Barker et al. 2013) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis (Klicka et al. 2014) found that the Old World buntings should be separated as a sister to New World sparrows. New World sparrows have been separated into a new family, Passerellidae.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Alabama Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus canaster)

Red-eyed Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus erythrophthalmus)

Riley’s Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus rileyi)

White-eyed Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus alleni)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Gregory Gilman
       

Chawow ! Elusive, tough shot. On alert for more...

  Eastern Towhee    
       
Kirk Nelson
       

The song is unmistakable – “drink your tea-e-e-e”

  Eastern Towhee   Eastern Towhee
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
       
       
       

 

Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Eastern Towhee
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Eastern Towhee  
     
  Eastern Towhee
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Eastern Towhee  
     
  Eastern Towhee
jt893x
 
  Eastern Towhee  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
Share your video of this bird.
       
Kirk Nelson
       
  Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Aug 12, 2015
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 12, 2015

I first knew this bird as the Rufous-sided towhee, but learned it was later reclassified. Whatever its name, the song is unmistakable – “drink your tea-e-e-e.”

   
       
       
Other Videos
 
  Male Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Bob C
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 31, 2012

Size & Shape
Towhees are a kind of large sparrow. Look for their thick, triangular, seed-cracking bill as a tip-off they're in the sparrow family. Also notice the chunky body and long, rounded tail.

Color Pattern
Males are striking: bold sooty black above and on the breast, with warm rufous sides and white on the belly. Females have the same pattern, but are rich brown where the males are black.

Behavior
Eastern Towhees spend most of their time on the ground, scratching at leaves using both feet at the same time, in a kind of backwards hop. They spend lots of time concealed beneath thick underbrush. You may see this bird more often when it climbs into shrubs and low trees to sing.

Habitat
Look for Eastern Towhees in brush, tangles, thickets, and along forest edges where there's plenty of leaf litter for the birds to forage in.

Credit, http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Towhee/id

Found at Blacklick Woods Metro Park, March 29, 2012

   
       
  Eastern Towhee Song - Pennsylvania
Clive Bramham
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 30, 2011

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus; Rødsidetovi) singing. The unmistakably loud and emphatic "drink your tea" song. Typical bird of woodland edges. Westmoreland County, July. Playlists: Birds of Pennsylania and North America. MP4

   
       
  Rufous-sided Towhee at Rockefeller State Park Preserve
VideoBirder
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 22, 2010

Rufous-sided Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) at Rockerfeller State Park, Sleepy Hollow, New York

   
       
  Eastern Towhee Singing (Nature Sounds) Michigan - June 22, 2011 - Open Window Videos
Connie Myres
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 9, 2012

This Eastern Towhee came out after a thunderstorm swept through and knocked out the power. To me, it looks like it has an executioner's hood on. Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus).

--- Open Window Videos are videos of a scene that appear and sound as if you are looking out an open window into a landscape. These nature sound videos are meant to played in the background on a screen as if you had an open window. They are best viewed on a flat screen TV on the wall or computer monitor.

--- Visit: ConnieMyres.com

   
       
  Eastern Towhee
The Music of Nature
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 19, 2010

The Music of Nature proudly presents "Eastern Towhee," a video portrait that features exquisite footage and great sound. The video includes scenes depicting several individuals; note the considerable variation in song. The "classic" song sounds like "drink your teeeee." The call sounds like "tchweee" or "tow-weee".

© 2010 Lang Elliott
musicofnature.org

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Gregory Gilman
10/4/2020

Location: Rochester, MN

Chawow !

Elusive, tough shot.

On alert for more...

Eastern Towhee


Mary Foster
6/25/2020

Location: Arden Hills, MN.

We've had, what I think are, a pair of Towhees in our yard in Arden Hills, MN.

Appear to be all brown with a flat, fanned shaped tail. Never have seen them before.


Kirk Nelson
7/8/2018

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

The song is unmistakable – “drink your tea-e-e-e”

Eastern Towhee


Brent Glowa
5/12/2018

Location: Mantorville, MN

first time I have seen one.


Mary
6/24/2017

Location: 5 miles south west of Marine on St. Croix

the Towhees have been here for about 2 weeks


         
         
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         
         

 

 

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