Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Green-tailed Towhee
 
 

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Passeroidea)
         Nine-primaried Oscines
            Family Emberizidae - New World Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Passeroids include the Nine-primaried Oscines, pipits, Old World sparrows, and weavers.
Nine-primaried Oscines include New World warblers, icterids (New World blackbirds), emberizines (buntings), tanagers, cardinalines (cardinals), and fringillines (finches).
Emberizines are primarily New World seed-eaters with a conical bill and dull, streaked plumage. They belong to our nine-primaried assemblage of families. When they forage on the ground, they are able to scratch using both legs at once ("hopping" to clear leaves or debris to reach food). They have loud songs that aid in their location and identification.
Towhees (Pipilo) (Wiki). There are 9 species of towhee, but only one commonly occurs in the East. They are large, chunky sparrows with long rounded tails. They are found in dense brush and feed on the ground, scratching with both feet at once ("kicking"). They fly low to the ground and have loud, distinctive songs and calls. Unlike many emberizines, they are sexually dichromic.
     
     
  Green-tailed Towhee, Pipilo chlorurus
 
USGS     Wiki     EoL
        OCCURRENCE? - Accidental
            SAGEBRUSH
 
 
   The Green-tailed Towhee is an emberizine of the Rockies and Great Basin. It usually breeds in mountain areas in chaparral, on brushy hillsides, or in riparian scrub. It is somewhat smaller than the Eastern Towhee and has greenish flight feathers and a rufous crown. The throat is white and the breast a dark grey. There is no white in the tail feathers. Their song is a series of short introductory notes followed by to or more trills. They also have a flight song.
Green-tailed Towhee
     
Green-tailed Towhee.
Gregory Canyon, Boulder, CO.
Photo by Ed Konrad
       
  NOTES:
   P&G: Accidental. 18 January 1921, Charleston Co.
   Avendex: 1 record (above).
   Potter: Rare accidental. Two records, one in Charleston Co. in January 1921.
  ●  Accidental.
   
       
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