Family: (Emberizidae) New World Sparrows
Preferred Habitat: Woodlands.
Seasonal Occurrence: Uncommon in winter.
Notes: Towhees are super-sized members of the sparrow family. Eastern Towhees are almost as large as robins, and their coloring is reminiscent of a robin. They are most likely seen on the ground scratching for insects among dead leaves. Females are similar to males, but the male's black upperparts are replaced with a soft brown. The Eastern Towhee is most likely seen in winter in our area, but is difficult to locate within Houston's city limits. In 2011 Eastern Towhee sightings were much more numerous in the spring at High Island. Although there have been no recent reports of Eastern Towhees breeding on the peninsula, suitable nesting habitat is now plentiful at High Island, and it is hoped that they may start breeding there.
- Susan Billetdeaux