Townsend's Solitaire

Myadestes townsendi




Thrushes (Turdidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue sometimes flecked with red brown

Number of Eggs:

3 - 8

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with fine materials., Grass, moss and roots.





Townsend's Solitaire: Small thrush, gray overall and slightly darker above. Eye-ring is thin and white. Wings have pale rust-brown patches. Outer tail feathers are white. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has heavy white spotting on upperparts and underparts.

Range and Habitat

Townsend's Solitaire: Breeds in mountains from Alaska to the Northwest Territories, from British Columbia to South Dakota, California, and central Mexico. Winters from southern Canada southward. In summer, frequents montane coniferous forests around 3,000 feet below the timberline; in winter, descends to canyons with open juniper forests on lower slopes.

Breeding and Nesting

Townsend's Solitaire: Three to eight pale blue eggs, occasionally flecked with red brown, are laid in a nest made of grass, roots, and moss, lined with fine materials, and built on the ground sheltered by overhanging branches, rocks, or other natural overhangs. Eggs are incubated for 14 days mostly by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Townsend's Solitaire: Feeds on various insects and worms in summer; winter diet consists principally of juniper berries; forages on the ground.


Townsend's Solitaire: Song is a long and complex series of clear warbling notes. Call is a high-pitched, ringing "tew", squeaking "eek", or a melancholic, whistled "whee."

Similar Species

Townsend's Solitaire: Northern Mockingbird is paler gray overall, has two white wing-bars, white wing patch, faint eyestripe and longer bill. Female Mountain Bluebird has shorter tail, blue on wings and tail, and lacks buff in wings.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Outer tail feathersX
The tail feathers farthest from the center.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X