California Towhee is a bird of southern Oregon, California, and Baja Mexico.
It and the Canyon Towhee were once
considered a single species, the Brown Towhee, but their geographic ranges
do not overlap, and there are plumage, voice, and genetic differences, They
are very plain in plumage overall, except for a brighter rufous patch on the
undertail. Both males and females are essential identical in
Habitat: Found in a variety of brushy habitats,
including coastal scrublands, riparian thickets, dry chaparral, brushy
forest forest edges, and urban parks. They have adapted fairly well to
a human presence and have learned to utilize brushy habitats in and around
Diet: Feeds on seeds and insects. Insects
make up a large portion of the diet in the summer months, particularly when
young are being fed. However, seeds make up the majority of the diet
in most seasons. They will also sometimes feed on fruits and berries.
Behavior: Does the majority of its foraging ont he
ground, searching for seeds and insects, scratching on the ground and in the
Nesting: The nest is a cup of sticks, grasses, and
strips of bark, lined with fine grasses, animal hair, and plant down.
The female alone incubates the eggs, but both the male and female will feed
and tend to the young.
Song: The song of a California Towhee is a series
of notes that accelerate in pace throughout the song.
Migration: Considered a permanent resident
throughout its range. Individual birds rarely move far from where they
Feeders: Will readily attend feeders for
millet and various other seeds
Conservation Status: Populations have undoubtedly
declined along the West Coast as urban development has destroyed some of
their former habitat. However, they are still widespread and common in
much of their range, and
the IUCN lists the California Towhee as a species of "Least Concern".
Photo Information: December 18th, 2008 - San
Francisco, California - Terry Sohl