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Bruce Cole | all galleries >> Birds of Tennessee > Eastern Towhee (formerly Rufous-sided Towhee)
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Eastern Towhee (formerly Rufous-sided Towhee)

Eastern Towhee (formerly Rufous-sided Towhee)

Originally the Eastern Towhee and the Spotted Towhee were considered distinct species. Biologists later decided that these were simply two forms, or subspecies, of a single species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. More recently, though, opinion has swung back, and current field guides again recognize the Eastern Towhee in the East and the Spotted Towhee in the West.

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Guest 10-Jul-2017 13:45
First time to see this bird in our backyard in Monterey TN. There were two of them. Did not know what kind they were. Thank you for your awesome site and helping me to I'd them.
Nancy 11-Apr-2017 19:24
Just saw my first one in our backyard in Springfield, IL
Valerie 31-May-2016 02:16
Recently saw one on the ground of our feeder in Fort Mill, SC. I had never seen one before
Mary Lily 17-Apr-2016 19:56
I saw my first one at a bird feeder today.
Mary, Chattanooga,Tn.
David 27-Mar-2016 18:59
Saw my first one at my feeder in Ottawa Ontario canada
Bruce Bibby 16-Mar-2016 12:36
Backyard feeder in McMinnville, TN.
Guest 12-Mar-2016 13:47
Brentwood TN. One in backyard feeder.
Rita 24-Feb-2016 18:57
Just had one under my feeder eating for 30 min. In Crossville, TN
Janet 09-Feb-2016 17:44
Just saw one for the first time at our bird feeder in Harrison, TN. Beautiful.
Jim 09-Feb-2016 15:56
Just saw first one in years of feeding near bristol raceway
Guest 12-Jan-2016 22:15
We saw a male in our backyard (wooded lot in Murfreesboro, TN) at about 8am today.
Guest 19-Jul-2015 14:31
I saw this striking bird this morning @ my feeder about 7:30 a.m. in Johnson City,Tn
Chuck 24-Feb-2015 17:28
For two years, a pair have been regulars on the ground under our sunflower oil seed feeder and in the surrounding shrubs. Striking colors, particularly against the occasional snow.
14-Jul-2014 12:36
We had a male on our deck post peering in at us in the house for quite a while yesterday morning. Even sat still long enough for a picture. Striking bird! From Franklin, TN.
Rob 10-Jun-2014 01:35
We live in Cleveland, TN and this bird is one we see everyday in our yard. Beautiful animal.
Guest 08-Jun-2014 22:32
Would one sit on the window sill, seems to be looking in, day after day?
Pam 13-Apr-2014 14:06
I saw one in my back yard today in Nashville for the first time so pretty .
Kippi Adams 13-Apr-2014 00:07
Just had a pair scratching around in my bird garden! Only the 2nd time I've ever seen them. ;)
Susanna Wyatt 07-Mar-2014 01:50
I saw one of these birds this evening in Clarksville, TN.
Guest 19-Feb-2014 23:43
I saw a pair of these today in Henderson, TN. (West) I have never seen them before. Thank you for having the picture so I could find it.
Twyla 17-Feb-2014 16:19
Paused a hike in SE TN yesterday at the interesting song of this beautiful bird answering the call of another at a distance. It was not afraid of us, only moving away one tree at a time as we approached, calling all the while. Thank you for the great picture and the ID. 13-Feb-2014 22:47
cool page. ive never seen one of these. was on my window ledge in johnson city tn on 2/13/2014 with lots of snow. handsome fella.
Jim and Amy 31-Jan-2014 21:26
We saw one Thursday, January 30, 2014, at Harding Place in Searcy, Arkansas. Absolutely beautiful, thanks for this page, so we could verify the identity. A lady that lives here told us the name. She knows everything.
Guest 30-Jan-2014 15:44
I heard the chirping of this bird so I just had to go and look out of the window, beautiful bird, I've never seen one before. I'm in Nashville, TN. Thanks to this page I was able to identify him :)
Michele 07-Oct-2013 12:32
I just saw one in my backyard at a feeder in Knoxville, TN
Guest 10-Aug-2013 19:58
I saw one of the males in my backyard in Ooltewah, TN today.
Guest 04-Jun-2013 02:02
I was dropping of/ picking up some books from the Huntington library and i saw one of these birds digging for some worms. It was pretty cool.
Guest 03-Jun-2013 23:10
Davy. You are correct. The female is more brown than black.
Guest 03-Jun-2013 23:06
I've seen one everyday for the last week in back yard. Bellevue Tennessee.
Davy 02-Jun-2013 20:38
I just seen one of these birds in my back yard in Springville, Tn. but I believe she is a female because she is brown where the male is black am I wrong?
Suzanne 27-May-2013 13:45
I see a Towhee frequently feeding in my backyard. He is quite a singer when perched in the dogwood.
Guest 29-Apr-2013 18:34
I have one on my porch it is very prertty but keeps flying at my window.What do i do? judy in Maryville TN
Guest 15-Apr-2013 22:14
Hi, this is my first time ever to see one of these beautiful birds,and in my back yard. I live in west tn. Dan
myra 13-Apr-2013 23:38
I have a pair in my yard I live in east Tenn.They are beautiful !!!!!
Carol 19-Mar-2013 11:49
Yes, thank you for this great site. I am new to East TN and enjoying watching all the different birds in the area. I saw this bird once, but it didn't stay long to get a good look. It cam back yesterday and I was able to video him and now know what type of bird it is.
Jayne 22-Feb-2013 14:24
Thank you for such a wonderful site for easily identifying birds in our area! (Knoxville) Like many others have posted, it was our first time noticing this beautiful bird on our back deck....and now we know what it is! :)
Judy 02-Feb-2013 19:47
Hello. I saw this bird for the 1st time today feeding with all my other favorites here in my back yard in Oak Ridge Tennessee. I really appreciate being able to identify it using your site. It is a ver beautiful and striking bird.
Jessica 19-May-2012 15:37
we have lived in Clarksville for over 8 yrs now and this is the first time this type of bird has been at our feeder. Beautiful and didn't know what it was, your website is great for helping!
Brandon 03-May-2012 17:56
We have these, robins, and cardinals all the time in our front yard feeding from our feeder. Clarksville.
christie 21-Apr-2012 16:13
I live in hendersonville and I just saw one for the first time
wxwookie 13-Apr-2012 19:07
I just saw a few of these in Clarksville, TN. I had never seen one before at my feeders, so I had to look it up via my favorite Tennessee bird webpage. This page is great.
Noah 19-Feb-2012 16:58
My name is Noah. I am at my grandmothers house in Hixson. The bird is pecking at the window. I did not know what kind of bird it is and I had to look it up online.
Cheryl 19-Feb-2012 16:53
I live in Chattanooga and we have seen on all week. It has been sitting in our window and pecking at the glass all week. I had to look it up,
Guest 16-Feb-2012 13:46
Just saw one in East TN...had to look it up. At first thought it was a Baltimore Oriele...a wonderful addition to our Cardinals, Titmouse, Sparrows, and Robins...Yeah!
Larry Blythe 09-Feb-2012 17:53
I have a flock of them that cme to my Holly trees every Feb. and eat all the berries.
Ruth 24-May-2011 00:49
I just heard one in my garden in Crieve Hall -
Ruth 15-May-2011 18:42
I just saw one in the back garden in Belle Meade - very distinctive call. Gorgeous - wish it would come to my back garden in Crieve Hall.
Guest 09-Mar-2011 15:00
I have one at our window that keeps trying to fly in and is also enjoying teasing our cat!
SMitchell 24-Feb-2011 20:34
I've had a pair at my feeder this week.
Guest 04-Feb-2011 19:31
Visiting my friend from New York in Lewisburg, Tennessee. She has two pairs at her feeder
Julie Brown 18-Jan-2011 02:00
I live in Chattanooga and have had this bird all week. We had a bad winter storm and very cold temps all week.
Reba 12-Jan-2011 19:30
Rufous-sided Towhee I have had one of these at my feeder for over a week. I had to look it up, I don't think they are native to this area (Crossville, TN, middle TN), probably migrating through. I have only seen a male so far been looking for a female. Thanks for the pictures.