First Year? Female, October 2013
Yesterday I had a chance to visit Econ River WA for about an hour. As usual, Eastern Towhees were calling all over the park. But I also had some good up-close looks at a male and a female associating with each other. The male was a typical Florida "white-eyed" bird (the eyes actually look straw-yellow to me), but the female had eyes so dark that they seemed to blend into the bird's head. I thought this might be migrant--the northern "red-eyed" sub-species. I took a few shots of the bird and then asked my non-colorblind family members to tell me the eye-color. Apparently, the eyes are neither yellow nor red, but brown. After inquiring about this I learned that younger birds have darker eyes, so this female may well be a first-year "white-eyed" bird. I went back and checked some of my photos of a juvenile that I took back in June of 2012; sure enough, the eyes are dark.
Juvenile, June 2012
Here are a few photographs of adult Eastern Towhees for comparison. I suppose I prefer the straw-yellow eyes because they stand out so much easier against that dark head--much easier for photographs.
Adult Male, December 2012
Adult Male, July 2012
Adult Female, June 2012
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