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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Abert's Towhee -- Pipilo aberti


RANGE: Resident from southeastern California, extreme southeastern Nevada, southwestern Utah, central and southeastern Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico south to northeastern Baja California and northwestern Sonora.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Lives yearlong in shrubby vegetation such as willow, cottonwood, mesquite, and arrowweed, usually near water courses. Less commonly inhabits baccharis and tamarisk, citrus groves, farms, and urban areas.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Riparian shrubs.

NEST: Builds a bulky nest, usually near the ground in low shrubs such as mesquite, elder, ash, umbrella trees, or arrowweed; occasionally in trees up to 30 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Apparently scratches in leaves on the ground, searching for seeds and insects. (No comprehensive study of food habits has been published.)

REFERENCES: Bent 1968b, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980.


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