Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Rufous Aside

I've had several folks question if possibly I got the identification of my towhee photo wrong when I identified it as an Eastern Towhee instead of a Rufous-sided Towhee. Maybe...maybe not. According to my usually trusty National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (© 1994) there is only one towhee with similar markings and coloring to the one in my photo and that's the Rufous-sided Towhee. 
However, upon further investigation I found several sites that attest the Towhee is now considered to have two species (click on the names to see photos of each):

"Rufous-sided Towhee" - old name, is now split into two species:
Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus and
Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus

(I've pulled this info from Wikipedia, (mainly because I love this site so much), 
but if you google either of the above birds, you'll find much information on both.) 

Hmm...maybe we should do what my 2 year old niece does 
and just call all our feathered friends: "Ooo...Pretty Birdie!".


expect new knowledge just about any time!


  1. My Sibley calls it Eastern Towhee and my Peterson calls it the Rufous-sided Towhee. Neither guide had both names, so I would say call it what you want! The Spotted Towhee is called the Western Towhee in my books. Mostly call it beautiful :-)

  2. Hey its a nice shot .. and I'm with you .. its a pretty birdie!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a thought. It's appreciated! xoabb