Canyon Towhee and the California Towhee
were considered a single species,
the "Brown Towhee", until recently. The ranges of the two species do
not overlap, and there are distinct plumage, voice, and genetic differences.
Canyon Towhees are found in a variety of brushy habitats throughout their
range, where they are most often seen scratching on the ground as they
forage for food.
Habitat: Found in a variety of brushy habitats,
from grasslands with scattered shrubs, dry chapparal shrublands, and brushy
undergrowth in open woodlands. They avoid dense forest, as well as
grasslands, deserts, or other habitats without some form of shrubby cover.
Diet: Diet mostly consists of seeds and insects.
Insects are more heavily consumed during the summer breeding season,
particularly when young are being raised. The winter diet typically
includes a greater proprtion of seeds. They will also feed on fruits
and berries on occasion.
Behavior: Nearly all of the foraging of a Canyon
Towhee is done on the ground.
Nesting: The nest of a Canyon Towhee is a large
open cup of sticks, twigs, and grasses, lined with leaves, plant down, and
other softer plant material. The female alone incubates the eggs in
the nest, but both parents feed and tend to the young upon hatching.
Song: Song of a Canyon Towhee is a short call note
followed by a mellow trilling.
Migration: Considered a permanent resident
throughout its normal range. Nesting pairs rarely move very far from
their summer breeding area.
Feeders: Will attend feeders for various seeds
Photo Information: May 5th, 2008 - Near Tucson,
Arizona - Terry Sohl