Large, striking, long-tailed sparrow of the eastern U.S. and Canada. Black above with bright rufous sides and a white belly. Eye color varies from white (in the southeastern U.S) to dark red (further north). In flight, note white corners on tail. Also note females are browner than jet-black males. Most similar to Spotted Towhee, but Eastern is mostly black above, only showing single white patch on folded wing. Hybridizes with Spotted Towhee in central U.S. and south-central Canada; hybrids usually show intermediate wing pattern. Inhabits scrubby areas and forest edges with thickets. Forages primarily by hopping along ground, scraping away leaf litter. Males sing from atop shrubs and low trees. Visits feeders.
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