Wild Florida Photo - Pipilo erythrophthalmus

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Pipilo erythrophthalmus




Florida native


A common year-round resident of scrubby areas throughout Florida, Pipilo erythrophthalmus is the only towhee in Florida and most of its range. They are found from Texas and Oklahoma throughout the southeast, north into the Ohio River valley in the winter and north into southern Canada in the summer.
Towhees are the largest of the sparrows, 17-21 cm (7-8 in.) long with a wingspan of 20-28 cm (8-11 in.). The dark head, neck and back are black in males and brown in females. They have a white underside, rufous flanks and a white spot on the wing. The eyes are red throughout much if the range, but in Florida and southern Georgia the eyes are a pale yellow, or straw colored.
Eastern towhees feed on seeds, fruits, spiders, insects and other invertebrates, foraging on the ground with a two-footed backwards hop. The sound of this energetic scratching can often alert birders to the presence of these birds.

Pipilo erythrophthalmus is a member of the Emberizidae - Buntings, American Sparrows, and relatives family.

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For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page for this species

Date record last modified:
Feb 03, 2009