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Canyon towhee (Melozone fusca)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passerellidae
Genus: Melozone
Reichenbach, 1850
Type species
Pyrgita biarcuata[1]
Prévost & Des Murs, 1846

Melozone is a genus of mostly Neotropical birds in the family Passerellidae, found mainly in Mexico. Three species reach as far north as the southwestern United States, two species reach as far south as Costa Rica, and two are endemic to Mexico.

It is one of two genera containing birds with the common name towhee.


The following species are in the genus Melozone:[2]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Abert's towhee Melozone aberti Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Sonora in Mexico.
Cabanis's ground sparrow Melozone cabanisi Costa Rica.
California towhee Melozone crissalis western Oregon and California in the United States and Baja California Sur in Mexico.
Canyon towhee Melozone fusca Southern Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico & western Texas, also present in northern & central Mexico.
Prevost's ground sparrow Melozone biarcuata southern Mexico to western Honduras.
Rusty-crowned ground sparrow Melozone kieneri western and southwestern Mexico.
White-eared ground sparrow Melozone leucotis Mexico and Guatemala to northern Costa Rica.
White-throated towhee Melozone albicollis Mexico.


  1. ^ "Passerellidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. ^ "ITIS Report: Melozone". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
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