Abert's Towhee has one of the smallest home ranges of any bird found in
North America. They are mostly found in southern and western Arizona,
with a range that barely overlaps into adjacent states. They are
relatively common within this range and often are not that difficult to
observe, but given the small geographic location where their found, coupled
with their lack of wandering outside of this range, they are a highly sought
after bird for many birders. They are very similar in overall
structure to the California Towhee
and Canyon Towhee. Their range
does overlap some withthe Canyon Towhee, but there are plumage differences
between the two, and the Abert's Towhee is more likely to be found near
Habitat: Found in brushy thickets, particularly
those near sources of water such as riparian thickets or the edges of ponds
and lakes. They will also use the understory of riparian forests, and
have adapted fairly well to urban development in some locations, utilizing
the brushy parts of parks and other bits of undeveloped habitat.
Diet: Feeds heavily on insects in the summer
months. Also feeds heavily on seeds, with a higher proportion of seeds
consumed in the winter months.
Behavior: Most foraging is done on the ground,
although they will sometimes forage close to the ground in bushes and
Nesting: The nest of an Abert's Towhee is a cup of
grasses, herbaceous weeds, strips of bark, and stringy vine material, lined
with fine grasses and softer vegetative material. The female alone
incubates the eggs, but both the male and female feed and tend to the young
after hatching. Pairs of Abert's Towhees may mate for life, rarely
straying more than a few hundred yards away from a central home breeding
Song: The song of an Abert's Towhee is a series of
high-pitched notes, followed by a series of harsher, staccato, chattering
Migration: Considered a permanent resident
throughout its range. They are not known to wander outside their
already established range.
Feeders: Will sometimes attend feeders for
millet and various other seeds
Conservation Status: Abert's Towhees have one of
the smallest home ranges of any species found in the United States, but
within their range they remain relatively common, and some indications are
that populations have increased in recent decades.
The IUCN lists the Abert's Towhee as a species of "Least Concern".
Photo Information: December 7th, 2010 - Gilbert
Water Ranch, Gilbert, Arizona - Terry Sohl