California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)

California Towhee
California Towhee - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson
California Towhee
California Towhee - CSU San Bernardino
© Tom Benson

The California Towhee is a common year-round resident on campus. It is a common year-round breeding resident in southern California except on the deserts. On campus it is found primarily in the CSUSB Preserve, although it is occasionally seen in dense vegetation on the main campus.

High Count: 20, Average Count: 4-8

California Towhees can be identified by their relatively large size (for a sparrow) and plain brown plumage with rust-colored undertail coverts and pale orange suffusion to the face. Their call is a loud 'chink' that is often confused with the alarm calls of California Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi).


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