Green-tailed Towhee

Pipilo chlorurus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida)

Code 4

GTTO

Code 6

PIPCHL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Green-tailed Towhee has a large range, estimated globally at 1,700,000 square kilometers. Native to North America and Cuba, this bird prefers forest and shrubland ecosystems. The population is estimated to be 4,100,000 individuals globally and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of this the evaluation status of the Green-tailed Towhee is Least Concern.

VOTE: ILLUSTRATION

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SUMMARY

Overview

Green-tailed Towhee: Large sparrow, olive-green upperparts and pale gray underparts. Crown is rufous, throat is white with black stripes, and bill is gray. Wings and tail are edged with olive-yellow. Rapid bouncy flight, alternates several quick wing beats with wings pulled to sides.


Range and Habitat North America

Green-tailed Towhee: Breeds from central Oregon and southeastern Washington south through mountains to southern California and Great Basin to southeastern New Mexico. Winters at lower elevations and south to southern Arizona and central and southern Texas; also migrates to Mexico. Prefers dry scrublands, primarily scrub oak, mountain mahogany, sagebrush, saltbrush, serviceberry, and pinyon-juniper.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Green-tailed Towhee is the only entirely migratory towhee. It is also the smallest towhee.
  • Their scientific name roughly translates to “colorful chirper,” and their common name attests to the bright yellow-green of their tail.
  • A group of towhees are collectively known as a "tangle" and a "teapot" of towhees.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Green-tailed Towhee A1

  • Title: Green-tailed Towhee A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Rapid "tick" and tseeee" calls from a pair.
  • Location: CO
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Green-tailed Towhee B1

  • Title: Green-tailed Towhee B1
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Typical call is an ascending, cat-like "mew".
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Green-tailed Towhee B2

  • Title: Green-tailed Towhee B2
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: High-pitched, squeaky calls from a winter bird.
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Green-tailed Towhee B3

  • Title: Green-tailed Towhee B3
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Song variation.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Green-tailed Towhee B4

  • Title: Green-tailed Towhee B4
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Song consists of whistled notes and buzzy trills.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Fox Sparrow B1

  • Title: Fox Sparrow B1
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Song is a series of clear musical notes and whistles. (Slate-colored)
  • Location: BC
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Lang

Fox Sparrow 1

  • Title: Fox Sparrow 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Song is a series of clear musical notes and sliding whistles.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: QC

Voice Text

"swee-too weet chur cheee-churr"

Vocalization

Green-tailed Towhee: Song is a series of raspy trills "swee-too weet chur cheee-churr." Call is a nasal "meew" or "chink."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X