The collared towhee (Pipilo ocai) is a species of bird in the Emberizidae family that is endemic to Mexico. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist pine-oak montane forests and heavily degraded former forest. It occupies mountainous terrain from about 1,500 to 3,500 m (4,900 to 11,500 ft).
This species, at 21 cm (8.3 in), is a fairly large species. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 7.9 to 9.2 cm (3.1 to 3.6 in), the relatively short tail is 8.9 to 10.6 cm (3.5 to 4.2 in), the bill is 1.5 to 1.8 cm (0.59 to 0.71 in) and the tarsus is 2.8 to 3.4 cm (1.1 to 1.3 in). Males weigh from 61 to 68 g (2.2 to 2.4 oz) and females from 54.5 to 62.5 g (1.92 to 2.20 oz). In terms of weight, and standard bill and tarsal measurements, this is the largest species of emberizid overall, although related species, including Abert's, canyon and California towhees, outrank the collared towhee in overall length, as well as tail and wing length. In the collared towhee, the chestnut cap, yellowish green upperparts, black cheek and breast band, gray flanks, and white chin are curiously similar to that of the chestnut-capped brush finch, but note the latter’s thinner breast band and more golden (not whitish) supercilium. The towhee’s trilling song interspersed with chips is also very different from the brush-finche’s very high-pitched hissing song.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Pipilo ocai". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Sparrows and Buntings: A Guide to the Sparrows and Buntings of North America and the World by Clive Byers & Urban Olsson. Houghton Mifflin (1995). ISBN 978-0395738733.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
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