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EMBERIZIDAE

The Emberizidae family includes brush-finches, buntings, juncos, New World sparrows, and towhees. The majority of these birds live in the New World where the family probably originated. They are small seed-eaters with a finch-like bill. In addition to seeds they also eat insects, especially when feeding their young. They build cup-shaped nests.


Towhees

Order Passeriformes   Family Emberizidae

Towhees are found only in North America. They have longer tails than most other members of the Emberizidae family.


Gemus Melozone
The Towhees in this genus were previously consider to be part of Pipilo. The genus also contains species termed sparrows.

Sparrow,_Prevost's_Ground-  Melozone biarcuata  Found: Mexico, Central America
The Prevost's Ground-Sparrow has olive-brown upperparts; rufous crown; white face, neck; black patches on head vary by subspecies; mainly white underparts.
Image by: 1) Tom Benson - Costa Rica  2) Nick Athanas - Mexico  3) MauricioCR


Sparrow,_Rusty-crowned_Ground-  Melozone kieneri  Found: Mexico
The Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow has rusty head; white cresent eye-ring; gray face; whitish to gray underparts; dark central breast patch.
Image by: 1, 2) Alejando Mercado  3) Ron_Knight


Sparrow, White-eared Ground-  Melozone leucotis  Found: Mexico, Central America
The White-eared Ground-Sparrow has olive-brown upperparts; mainly black head; white patch in front and behind eye; broken white eye-ring; black throat, breast patch; rest of underparts white with gray on flanks.
Image by: 1) Dominic Sherony - Costa Rica  2) Jorge Montejo - Mexico  3) David_Rodriguez_Arias


Towhee, Abert's Melozone aberti Found: North America
The Abert's Towhee Abert's has a relatively long tail, dark face, and overall brown plumage.
Similar to: California Towhee. The dark face of Abert Towhee contrasts with the plane face of California Towhee. Their ranges overlap only slightly.
Image by: 1) Alan D Wilson - Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, California    2) Alan - Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge    3) Dick Daniels - the North Carolina Zoo


Towhee,_California  Melozone crissalis Found: North America
The California Towhee has dull brown plumage;  light rust rump;  buff or rust colored streaks at throat. Found coastal regions of western Oregon and California in the United States and Baja California Sur in Mexico.
Similar to: Abert's Towhee. The dark face of Abert's Towhee contrasts with the plane face of California Towhee. Their ranges overlap only slightly.
Similar to: Canyon Towhee. Little overlap of range. The California Towhee found near coast of southeast California, the Canyon Towhee in Arizona, New Mexico, continuing into Mexico. Canyon Towhee has a more prominent eye-ring and streaks on the throat.
Image by: 1) New Jersy Birds 2) Mathesont  3, 4) Dick Daniels - San Diego, CA 


Towhee, Canyon   Melozone fusca  Found: North America
The Canyon Towhee has brown uppperparts; lighter brown underparts; rufous cap on head except central Mexico birds; sight reddish beneath tail.
Similar to: California Towhee. Little overlap of range. The California Towhee found near coast of southeast California, the Canyon Towhee in Arizona, New Mexico, continuing into Mexico. Canyon Towhee has a more prominent eye-ring and streaks on the throat.
Image by: 1) Alan D Wilson  - Arizona   2) Pablo Leautaud   3)  Ken Schneider - New Mexico  4) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico


Towhee_ White-throated  Melozone albicollis  Found: Mexico
The White-thoated Towhee has brown upperparts; lighter underparts; white throat.
Image by: 1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel  3) Nick Athanas



Genus Pipilo

Towhee,_Collared  Pipilo ocai   Found: Mexico
The Collared Towhee has yellowish-green upperparts; chestnut cap; black cheeks, breast-band;  white chin, underparts.
Image by: 1) Jorge Montejo  2) Ryan Shaw  3) Nick Athanas  4) Francesco_Veronesi


Towhee,_Eastern Pipilo erythrophthalmus Found: eastern North America
The Eastern Towhee has black (male) or brown (female) upperparts, head, neck, tail; rufous flanks; white belly; long dark tail.
Similar to: Spotted Towhee.  The Eastern Towhee is found in eastern North America while the Spotted is in the west. The Eastern Towhee may have some white spots, but not as many as the Spotted Towhee. Hybrids occur where the range overlaps. At one time the Eastern Tohwee and Spotted Towhee were considered to be one species, the Rufous-sided Towhee.
Image by: 1) Dick - Biltmore Estate, North Carolina  2) Suzanne_Cadwell  3, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - Kennebuck, Maine  4) New Jersy Birds  Bill_Thompson Massachusetts
1) Juvenile identified by Charlie Westerinen  2, 3) Female  4 - 7) Male



Towhee, Green-tailed   Pipilo chlorurus Found: North America
The Green-tailed Towhee has bright green stripes on the edge of its wings, a distinct white throat, and a rufous cap.
Image by: 1) Jamie Chavez - California  2, 3) Alan D. Wilson - Oregon   4) Charlie Westerinen- Truckee, CA airport


Towhee, Spotted  Pipilo maculatus Found: North America
The Spotted Towhee has dark (male) or brown/gray (female) upperparts, head, neck, tail; white spots on back, wings; rufous flanks; white belly; long dark tail with white edges; red eyes; pink legs.
Similar to: Eastern Towhee.  The Eastern Towhee is found in eastern North America while the Spotted is in the west. The Eastern Towhee may have some white spots, but not as many as the Spotted Towhee. Hybrids occur where the range overlaps.
Image by:  1) Elaine R Wilson - Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Ladner, British Columbia  2) Walter Siegmund    3, 5)  Alan D Wilson  - British Columbia     4)  Alan D Wilson  - British Columbia  6) Dick Daniels - Arizona 
1, 2) Female   3 - 6) Male







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