Abert's Towhee

1/80s at f10.0, ISO:800, Canon EOS-1D Mark IV/800mm, x1.4 converter

The Abert's towhee is native to a small range in southwestern North America, generally the lower Colorado River and Gila River watersheds, nearly endemic to Arizona, but also present in small parts of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Sonora in Mexico. This bird is common in brushy riparian habitats in the Lower Sonoran desert zone but may require some effort to see as it prefers to stay well hidden under bushes. Though threatened by cowbird nest parasitism and habitat loss, it has successfully colonized suburban environments in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area and may be fairly easily seen on the campus of Arizona State University. These birds are often seen foraging among dense brush for seeds. Like other towhees, they scratch at the ground in a manner similar to quail, and will sometimes dig up and eat grubs.
Gilbert Water Ranch, AZ