Description of the Canyon Towhee


The Canyon Towhee is a chunky, grayish-brown towhee with orange undertail coverts and a buffy throat. Its breast has a necklace of spots that often form a larger central spot.


canyon towhee


Sexes similar.

Seasonal change in appearance

Sexes similar.


Similar to adults.


Desert foothills, canyons, woodlands, and brushy areas.


Primarily seeds and insects.


Canyon Towhees forage on the ground, often scratching with both feet simultaneously in typical towhee fashion. They frequently forage under things, such as bushes or vehicles.


Canyon Towhees are found in the southwestern U.S. and in Mexico. The population has declined in recent decades

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Canyon Towhee.

Fun Facts

The Canyon Towhee used to be lumped with California Towhee as a single species called the Brown Towhee.

Canyon Towhees are very sedentary, and seldom move far from where they hatched.


The song is a slow trill of whistled notes. The call is a loud "chedup".


The nest is an open cup of grasses, twigs, and weed stems, usually placed in a shrub, low tree, or cactus.

Number: Usually lay 3-4 eggs.
Color: White or bluish-white and spotted with brown, black, or purple.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 11 days and leave the nest in another 9-10 days but continue to associate with the adults for some time.