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    Green-tailed Towhee

    ID Info
    Silhouette TowheesTowhees

    Green-tailed Towhee

    Pipilo 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 TowheeRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    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
    • Rascador Cola Verde (Spanish)
    • Tohi à queue verte (French)
    • Cool Facts