Green-tailed Towhee

General description.

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.

Female appearance.

The sexes are similar.

Breeding habits.

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.

Nesting habits.

"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.

Similar birds:

Brown Towhee Photo Brown Towhee
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