The small "Green-Tailed Towhee", as one might expect, possesses an olive back and tail. A flash of yellow on the underside of the wings when the "Green-tailed Towhee" is in flight suggests a warbler. White lores and dark "mustache" stripe complete his description and suggest a sparrow. Perhaps he should be called the red-capped sparrow-warbler. This bird is rarely seen because of its secretive behavior and preferred habitat - dense, shrubby vegetation in which he hops and scratches for food under low cover, flicking his tail upright and oddly spread and raising his rufous cap into a crest.
The sexes are similar.
The species breeds throughout much of the western United States, typically in higher-elevations on slopes and hillsides bordering alpine meadows.
Calls or song.
Only the male "Green-Tailed Towhee" produces a series of clear whistled or warbled notes followed by a raspy trill: "wheet, clur cheewee-churr". When alarmed or excited, the bird mews plaintively.
Population and distribution.
The "Green-Tailed Towhee" winters at lower elevations within its range.
"Green-Tailed Towhees" build a nondescript structure, carelessly woven and lined with fine grasses, which they place in protected sites such as chaparral, juniper and yucca. There the female lays four heavily spotted white eggs.