Eastern Towhee are over-sized sparrows that live primarily in the Eastern United States. These unique birds have jet black feathers on their backs and orangish bellies. You’re likely to hear an Eastern Towhee before you see one. They love the underbrush and can often be found rummaging there. Learn how to attract these often evasive birds:
Provide bird nesting materials
Females of the Eastern Towhee species make their nests on the ground. The nests are cup-shaped and often built into a pile of leaves at the edge of a wooded area. Although these birds do not use birdhouses, you can still help with nest building materials. These swallows make their nests using plant materials, string and cardboard. Leave a Woodlink Nesting Materials Cage near their habitat and fill it with cardboard pieces and other small nesting materials.
Supplemental feeding of Towhees
Eastern Towhees are fairly easy to attract to the right type of bird feeder. They will eat mealworm, fruit, oats and suet. They even sometimes eat small snakes! Keep a tray feeder filled with fruit, suet blocks or sunflower seed.
Add a bird bath
Eastern Towhee are in constant need of fresh water to drink and clean themselves in. Adding a bird bath near your feeders will help these sometimes secretive little birds come out into full view for a few minutes.
Other ways to attract Eastern Towhees
Besides providing nesting materials and bird feeders, Eastern Towhees need the right environment to build their nests. Follow these guidelines to help provide an ideal environment:
- Plant native brush and shrub that grows close to the ground. Good choices are mulberries, blueberries and wild grapes.
- Stop removing leaves under bushes. The underbrush is critical for nesting Towhees.
- Keep cats and squirrels at bay as much as possible. Since these birds nest on the ground, their eggs and nestlings are more vulnerable to predators like cats.
- Use screening or protective film on your windows to protect them from flying into glass.
- Skip pesticide on the ground and on shrubs. These could harm little ground dwelling birds.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be hearing the tow-hee sound where they found their name this spring.