A New Bird at the Feeder: Eastern Towhee

My husband spotted a new bird at our feeders on this morning. I got up to look, and grabbed my camera for a few shots out the window. The bird was medium-sized (about the size of a robin), with a belly about the same color as an American robin, sort of rusty-maroon. But it had much more darkness to the top of it, and white stripes on its wings. It foraged in the leaves. What could this new bird be?

So I looked it up, and my best guess was orchard oriole, but when I posted the photos on Facebook and invited my bird experts to comment, I learned that it is an Eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus. (Link to more info here.) It is sometimes called a chewink, based on its call. The scientific name actually means "red-eyed chirper," and you can't really see it in detail in this photo, but it does have reddish-orange eyes! The black head means this one is an adult male.

Welcome, new bird with pretty, flame-colored eyes!

The soundtrack song is this one, by John Mellencamp and Carlene Carter (yes, of THAT Carter family), with Early Bird Cafe.

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