Rufous-sided Towhee — Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae
Genus Pipilo
Species erythrophthalmus

This species is readily recognized by its rufous sides. It is smaller and more slender than a Robin. The male's head and back are black, the sides rufous and the belly white. The eyes are usually red. The outer corners of the tail shows patches of white. The female is similar, but is brown where the male is black. This species is known for its habit of scratching in the leaves on the ground looking for insects. It is found in open woods, undergrowth and brushy areas. The Towhee nests from Canada south to Florida, moving further south in winter into the southern states.


Birds of the Arboretum

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Photo by Marhsall Faintich

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Photo by Greg Moyers

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Photo by Benjamin Shirkey

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Photo by Lynn Whitmore