Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)


Socorro Towhee (Pipilo socorroensis)


French: Tohi de Socorro German: Socorrogrundammer Spanish: Toquí de Socorro

Pipilo socorroensis


, 1867,

Isla Socorro, Islas Revillagigedo, Mexico


Usually treated as conspecific with P. maculatus, but differs in its much smaller size (wing and tail 70·2 and 71·6 mm vs mean of one of each subspecies of P. maculatus 89·4 and 95·8; at least 3); dark brown vs blackish head, breast and back (2); greatly reduced white spotting on wings (1); smaller white tips to tail (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Socorro I, off W Mexico.

Descriptive notes

15–17·5 cm; male 29–30 g (n = 3), female 29·5–35 g (n = 4). Largish sparrow with small white spots on upperwing-coverts and... read more


Most songs and calls resemble those of some races of P. maculatus, but the... read more


Dense, brushy thickets, cactus scrub and wooded clumps, seldom venturing into open habitats.... read more

Food and feeding

No quantitative data. Feeds on insects and other invertebrates, and presumably also on seeds and fruits. Like other members of its genus,... read more


Few data. Season apparently variable. Nest found in shrub near sea-level in Aug 1946, with indistinctly marked bluish-grey eggs typical of... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species present in Socorro Island EBA. Global population estimated at 2500–10,000 individuals. Reports from 19th-century expeditions... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Socorro Towhee (Pipilo socorroensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 29 February 2020).