Towhee Facts

Towhee Facts
Towhee is a type of large sparrow that belongs to the family of buntings. There are nine subspecies of towhees that can be found in the western parts of the USA. Towhee inhabits edges of the forests, riparian habitats, bushy areas with dense leaf litter on the ground and shrubby parks. Number of towhees in the wild is large and stable. These birds are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Towhee Facts:
Towhee can reach 6.7 to 8.3 inches in length and 1.2 to 1.7 ounces of weight.
Upper part of the male's body is covered with black plumage. Wings have white stripes and spots. Underside of the body is white and flanks are red-orange-brown colored. Females have grey head and dark brown body.
Towhee has red eyes, chunky body, thick beak, pink legs and fan-shaped, long tail.
Towhee has a wingspan of 11 inches. During the flight, it alternately moves the wings and pulls them close to the body.
Towhee hops forward and backward on the ground. It hops in reverse to scratch the leaf litter and find food hidden beneath. Towhee can apply this technique by using only one leg in the case that other leg is injured.
Towhee eats various insects (beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, moths and wasps) during the breeding season. Fruit and various types of seed, acorn and berries are major source of food during the winter.
Towhee spreads its feathers and rests on the grass during the sunny days.
Towhee uses morning dew from the leafy vegetation to wash itself.
Some towhees are migratory. They travel and live in groups composed of up to 12 birds during the winter. Group of towhees is known as "tangle" or "teapot".
Towhee produces rattling song that consists of repeating phrases.
During the mating season, males sing 70% to 90% of time in the morning to attract females (they sing only 5% of their time when they are in pairs). Males also spread their wings and tail to display their beautiful white markings.
Female builds nest on the ground or in the low shrubs. Nest is cup-shaped, made of twigs, bark strips and leaves and lined with pine needles, hairs and roots. Construction of the nest lasts 5 days.
Female lays 3 to 4 eggs. They can be creamy white or greenish colored and covered with red or brown spots. Female produces 2 or 3 broods per season. Male provides food for female during the incubation that lasts 12 to 13 days.
Hatchlings are almost completely naked and helpless at birth. Both parents participate in rearing of chicks. Young birds leave the nest 10 to 12 days after hatching, but stay with their parents until the end of summer.
Towhee can survive more than 10 years in the wild.

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