Birds of Ocracoke: The Eastern Towhee

A male Eastern Towhee on Ocracoke. Photo: P. Vankevich

Text and photo by Peter Vankevich

The Eastern Towhee, a strikingly handsome bird that — good looks notwithstanding — is perhaps more noted for its many vocalizations.

Towhee is an onomatopoeic description of one of its most common calls, coined in 1731 by the naturalist and bird artist, Mark Catesby.

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