Abert's Towhee

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pipilo aberti

Abert's Towhee

The Abert's Towhee is a large sparrow with a short, conical bill, an elongated body for a sparrow, and a rather long tail.

Its overall shape is similar to the Northern Cardinal (but with a smaller bill and without the crest).

Abert's Towhee measures about 8.3 - 9.1 inches, with a wingspan of 10.4 - 11.6 inches and weight of 42.5 - 54.9 grams.

Both sexes are similar. They have a black face. Upperparts are cinnamon-brown. Underparts are paler gray-brown, with rusty-brown vent.

Tail is long and dark, with cinnamon undertail coverts. Bill is conical and pale gray. Eyes are black. Legs and feet are pinkish brown.

Juveniles are similar to the adults, slightly streaked on chest.

CALL: A sharp “peek”.

SONG: A rapid series of “peek” notes.

Feeds mainly on seeds and insects.

Lives in desert woodlands, streamside thickets, at low altitude. It is also found in suburban yards and orchards.

Resident in its range all year round.

It breeds in Arizona and northern Mexico.

Nest is an open cup made with bits of bark, leaves and vines. It is lined with grasses and hair.

The female lays 2 - 5 pale blue eggs and incubates for about 14 days.


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