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Collared Towhee - BirdForum Opus

Pipilo ocai


20-23 cm

  • Olive-green upperside with yellow edges to flight feathers and rectrices
  • Rufous crown bordered with black below
  • White supercilium may be inconspicuous in subspecies alticola
  • Broad black mask below supercilium
  • White throat reaches to below the auriculars
  • Broad black breast-band below the throat
  • Whitish central belly with greyish breast-sides, becoming gradually more cinnamon on flanks and vent

Similar species

Chestnut-capped Brushfinch


Central America: found only in central Mexico.



This is a polytypic species, consisting of five subspecies[1]

  • P. o. alticola:
  • Mountains of western Mexico (western Jalisco and extreme north-eastern Colima)
  • P. o. nigrescens:
  • Mountains of western Mexico (north-central Michoacán)
  • P. o. guerrerensis:
  • Mountains of south-western Mexico (Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero)
  • P. o. brunnescens:
  • Mountains of southern Mexico (central Oaxaca)
  • P. o. ocai:
  • Mountains of south-eastern Mexico (eastern Puebla and west-central Veracruz)


Mountain foothill forests in pine-oak and other pine containing forests. Elevation range is 1500 - 3500 m asl.


Seeks food on or near the ground, sits a little higher when singing but mostly stays well hidden.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Howell, SNG and S Webb. 1995. A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0198540120
  3. Rising, J. D. (2020). Collared Towhee (Pipilo ocai), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.coltow1.01

Recommended Citation

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