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Abert's Towhee Pipilo aberti


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Abert's Towhee
credit: Alan D. Wilson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Emberizidae, New World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mostly sandy brown plumage with warm, pinkish flush to underparts and pinkish orange undertail coverts. JUVENILE Similar, but has subtle streaks on underparts and faint pinkish wing bars.

Dimensions Length: 8-9" (20-23 cm)

Habitat Common resident of dense cover in desert woodlands, particularly those that fringe rivers, but range is extremely restricted, hence vulnerable to habitat loss and destruction.

Observation Tips Listen for feeding birds.

Range California, Southwest

Voice Song is an accelerating series of squeaky pik notes, ending in a chattering trill; call is a thin, but grating peek.

Discussion Rather secretive, arid-country towhee. Usually feeds in dense cover by scratching ground for insects and seeds. Plumage is unremarkable and plain overall, except for striking dark face and contrasting pale bill. Sexes are similar.