Canyon Towhee

Melozone fusca




New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light green or blue with black and brown marks

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In tree., 3 - 12 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Stems, grass, and sticks., Lined with leaves, bark pieces, and mammal hair.





Canyon Towhee: Large sparrow with gray upperparts, pale gray underparts, a large central breast spot, and white belly patch. Crown is rust-brown. Tail is long with brown undertail coverts. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Canyon Towhee: Range in Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, Colorado and Mexico. Found in a variety of brushy habitats, from grasslands with scattered shrubs, dry chaparal shrublands, and brushy undergrowth in open woodlands. During the winter months or severe, extended droughts they may move into gardens in the cities.

Breeding and Nesting

Canyon Towhee: Two to six light green or blue eggs with brown and black markings are laid in a cup nest made of stems, grass, and sticks, lined with leaves, bark pieces, and mammal hair, and built in a shrub or tree, usually 3 to 12 feet above the ground. Eggs are incubated for 11 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Canyon Towhee: Eats seeds and insects. Forages by double-scratching on the ground in soil or leaf litter.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Millet, Sunflower


Canyon Towhee: Song is one or two introductory chips followed up by series of accelerating chips, "chili, chili, chili, chili." Call is a nasal slurred "chud-up."

Similar Species

Canyon Towhee: California Towhee has rust-brown crown and grayer upperparts. Abert's Towhee is buff and has black area around bill.


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

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
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