California Towhee Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    California Towhees are essentially large sparrows, with a sparrow’s short, rounded wings, long tail, and thick, seed-cracking beak – but towhees are larger and bulkier. The long tail and short wings can give this bird an ungainly look in flight.

    Relative Size

    Slightly larger than a Spotted Towhee; slightly smaller than a robin.

    Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm)
      • Weight: 1.3-2.4 oz (37-67 g)
      • Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)