Townsend's Solitaire

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Myadestes townsendi

Townsend's Solitaire

The Townsend's Solitaire is a medium- sized songbird with a long tail, a short bill and a small rounded head.

Adults are about 7.9 - 8.7 inches in length, with a wingspan of 13 - 14.6 inches and weight of 30 - 35 grams.

It has a short, thick, blackish bill, a white eye ring, and gray plumage with a buffy wing stripe and edges of the flight feathers. The tail is long, tapered when shut, and edged with white.

Juveniles are dark gray overall and heavily spotted with buff and white, giving them a scaly look.

They have 4 types of calls.
Most commonly heard is a high-pitched clear ringing note that they give about 30 times per minute. They give this "tew" call year-round to defend their territories.
The other 3 types of calls include a harsh note used when defending their territories against other species; a single, low-pitched note given during food exchanges; and a harsh raspy alarm call given by breeding solitaires.



A complex finch-like or thrasher- like song consisting of short, rich warbles that change abruptly in pitch. Each phrase is strung together in bouts lasting about a minute.

Males and females sing throughout the year, but the female’s song is softer.

Primarily feeds on insects in the summer. It also feeds on fruits and berries in the winter, especially juniper berries.

Breeds in open conifer forest, requiring exposed rocky or dirt areas for nesting on the ground. In the winter, found in woodlands and shelter belts, especially around junipers.

Lives in all seasons through most of the higher elevation Western U.S. Extends its range in summer through the Canadian Rockies up into Alaska.

Extends its range in winter by moving to lower elevations in the West, and moving eastward.

The female builds a cup-shaped nest with pine needles, lined with grasses or strips of bark.

She lays 3 - 5 eggs which are variable in color from dull white to pale pink to greenish blue, with dark blotches and spots scattered throughout.

She incubates the eggs for 11 - 13 days.



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