Green-tailed Towhee

Pipilo chlorurus




Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White flecked with brown

Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

11 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., In low shrub.

Nest Material:

Sticks, bark chips, and grass., Line with fine plant materials.





Green-tailed Towhee: Large sparrow with 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. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is streaked overall with pale gray underparts, brown upperparts, and pale, black-streaked throat.

Range and Habitat

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Green-tailed Towhee: Two to five white eggs flecked with brown are laid in a deep, bulky, thick-walled cup nest made of sticks, bark chips, and grass, and lined with hair and fine plant material. Incubation ranges from 11 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Green-tailed Towhee: Feeds primarily on insects; also eats seeds and berries. Forages on the ground by double-scratching under foliage; drinks morning dew from leaves.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Nut Meats


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

Similar Species

Green-tailed Towhee: Olive Sparrow is smaller and has a brown-striped crown.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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