Offering a variety of habitat ranging from mature forest to open pasture, the Gettysburg National Military Park is home to many species of animals including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. This post focuses on the park’s Eastern Towhees.
Towhees are a kind of large sparrow. The male is a striking bird with bright rufous sides and white on the belly contrasting with a black back. Eastern Towhees are birds of the undergrowth, where their rummaging makes far more noise than you would expect for their size.
Best Places to See Them: These are very common but tough to actually spot! Towhees like to look for food on the ground in forested areas. I have seen them frequently in the woods near the Wheatfield (this one was photographed next to the 118th Pennsylvania Monument off of the Loop) and in the woods near the Virginia State Monument along West Confederate Avenue. If you hear something rummaging around in the woods, you should keep your eyes open for a glimpse of a Towhee!