Abert's Towhee Life History


Habitat DesertsCottonwood and willow woodlands, with dense shrubs, along desert streams and rivers.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

A large open cup of leaves, bark, and weed stems, located in trees or shrubs.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-4 eggs
Egg Description:Pale blue with brown markings concentrated on the large end.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerScratches on the ground; sometimes probes bark on low trunks like a nuthatch.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernHabitat loss has evidently led to widespread reduction in Abert's Towhee populations in most of its historical range, however since 1966 populations of Abert Towhee appear to be stable , according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 800,000 birds, with 98% occurring in the U.S., and 2% in Mexico. They rate an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, although they are a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species.Back to top


Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Tweit, Robert C. and D. M. Finch. 1994. Abert's Towhee (Melozone aberti), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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