Canyon Towhee (Brown Towhee)

The Canyon Towhee or Brown Towhee, Pipilo fuscus, is a bird of the family Emberizidae. It is native to low-lying areas from Arizona, southern Colorado, and western Texas south to Oaxaca, Mexico. The Canyon Towhee’s natural habitat is brush or chaparral. This bird avoids coastal areas. It has been debated that the towhee is actually a member of the bird family Fringillidae, although genetics seems to conclude otherwise.

The Canyon towhee is 8 to 10 inches in length and plump. It is earthy brown in color, with somewhat lighter under parts and a somewhat darker head with reddish-brown cap. The tail is noticeably long and has a slightly reddish area beneath. Sexes are similar.

The Canyon Towhee feeds on the ground or in low scrub rather than in the tree canopy. Near human habitation, it is often seen in parking lots, where it feeds on insects on the cars’ grills and takes cover under the cars when disturbed.