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Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Flight call description No known flight call. A long, wavering, buzzy "szeeuee" is given by perched birds during the day (see Discussion).


Fig.1 Maryland September 19, 1994 (MO).

"Szeeuee" call from perched bird.



Diurnal calling sequences:

1. Florida April 29, 1989 (WRE). Bird foraging on the ground. Laughing Gull calling in the background.

2. New Jersey October 31, 2001 (MO). "Chewink" and "szeeuee" calls from perched bird. Carolina Wren and Carolina Chickadee calling in the background.

3. New Jersey November 4, 2001 (MO). "Szeeuee" call from perched bird with American Goldfinch calling in the background.


Similar species "Szeeuee" call not known to be distinguishable from Spotted Towhee. Shorter variations may be similar to Lincoln's and Swamp Sparrow flight calls.


Behavior Nocturnal migrant. "Szeeuee" call given regularly by perched birds during the day, particularly around dawn and dusk. Not known to call in nocturnal migration.


Discussion Based on the behavior of other sparrows, it seems plausible that this call or some variation of this call may sometimes be used as a flight call by nocturnal migrants.