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Green-tailed Towhee

ID Info
Silhouette TowheesTowhees
Green-tailed TowheePipilo chlorurus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae

Basic Description

There’s nothing quite like the color that gives the Green-tailed Towhee its name—a deep olive lightening to yellow-green on the edges of the wings and tail. Set off by a gray chest, white throat, and rufous crown, this large sparrow is a colorful resident of the West’s shrubby mountainsides and sagebrush expanses—if you can see one. They spend their time scratching at leaf litter under dense cover, occasionally popping into view to whistle a song or give a querulous mewing call.

More ID Info
image of range map for Green-tailed Towhee
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Green-tailed Towhees can be secretive and hard to see. They live among low shrubs, so one of the best ways to find them is to visit a shrubby mountainside or sage flat during spring or early summer. Males will spend long periods perched at the tops of shrubs and singing. Their bright reddish-brown crowns (often peaked up into a short crest) are conspicuous, and the yellow-green wings and tail are distinctive. Listen, too, for their thin, ascending mew calls.

Other Names

  • Toquí Coliverde (Spanish)
  • Tohi à queue verte (French)
  • Cool Facts