Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Towhee (Melozone albicollis)


French: Tohi à gorge blanche German: Weißkehl-Grundammer Spanish: Toquí oaxaqueño

Pipilo albicollis

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

San Miguel de las Peras, Oaxaca, Mexico


Molecular analysis indicates that present species and M. fusca are sister-taxa. Proposed race parvirostris (described from NC Oaxaca) was based on seasonal differences in plumage and bill length; synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. marshalli (Parkes, 1974) – S Puebla (possibly also E Guerrero), in S Mexico.
  • M. a. albicollis (P. L. Sclater, 1858) – E Guerrero E to C Oaxaca, in S Mexico.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–22·5 cm; 42–50 g. Large, long-tailed sparrow. Has crown, nape, upperparts and tail brown; upperwing brown, two narrow pale wingbars, that of... read more


    Song a series of chipping notes with one or more introductory notes, “chik chik tchu-chu-chu-... read more


    Broken semi-arid montane shrubland, also pine–oak (PinusQuercus)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet probably seeds, augmented with insects and fruit when available. Forages principally on ground or low in vegetation. Often scratches... read more


    Season Feb–May. Nest a bulky cup of dry grasses, lined with finer grasses, rootlets and hair, placed on or near ground, sometimes... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Balsas region and interior Oaxaca EBA. Little information available; common within its limited range.

    Recommended citation

    Rising, J. (2020). White-throated Towhee (Melozone albicollis). 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 23 February 2020).