This handsome first time visitor was eating at the bird feeder on
this snow covered morning. He looked beautiful in the snowy
landscape with his black head, bill, tail and back.
It had a beautiful burnt orange belly with a white chest
and white markings on the wings. The pictures are not very good
because they were taken threw a window and it was very cloudy
outside. His black eye can hardly be seen in his black feathered head.
I thought it might have been an Oriole, but he had a white chest so
the Oriole was ruled out. So then a visit to the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources and a search through the birds listed
gave me the identity of my bird. An Eastern Towee.
The site also gave me information about the Eastern Towee.
The name "towhee," comes from an imitation of this bird's call note,
which sounds very much like it is saying "drink your teeeaaa!"
The name was given to this species in 1731 by the naturalist and
bird artist Mark Catesby, who encountered it in the Carolinas
Male Eastern towhees have a black hood, back, wings and tail.
The breast and belly are white and the sides are roufus.
The female is similar, except she is brown where the male is black.
Habitat and Habits
Towhees inhabit brushy fields, woodland openings and edges,
cedar groves, and thickets. They feed primarily on the ground,
and will scratch loudly amongst the leaf litter, like small chickens.
This large, showy sparrow has a very distinctive, clear ringing song.
Their call, which has the same clear tone, resembles chewink!
Reproduction and Care of the Young
A loose nest in the shape of a cup is laid in a dense bush near
the ground. The eggs are reddish-brown in color, with lilac spots.
Eats nuts, fruits, seeds and occasionally insects.