The eastern towee looks similar to it's cousin the spotted towhee, except for the white wing spots that give the spotted towhee its name. At one time these were both considered the same species, the rufous-sided towhee. The eastern towhee can be found throughout most of the eastern United States with Minnesota being on the western border of its range. The spotted towhee can be found in the western half of the US and down into Mexico. I photographed these in June at the Necedah NWR in Wisconsin.
Since they spend much of their time foraging on the ground it makes sense that these birds would also nest on the ground. The female builds the nest by herself. The nest is cup shape and usually sunken into a pile of fallen leaves. The nest is typically made up of bark, twigs and leaves with the inside lined with fine grass, feathers and animal hair. Sometimes there is cross breeding between the eastern and spotted towhee in the middle of the US where the the range of their ranges overlap.