Myadestes townsendi
(Townsend's Solitaire)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Turdidae
Family Description: Thrushes, Solitaires and Bluebirds

Physical Description:
8-9 1/2" (20-24 cm). A slender gray bird with a long, darker tail with thin, white edges. Dark edging on wings, dark eye encircled by white, and dark bill. Juveniles have dark scalloping below and pale spots above.

Similar Species- Northern Mockingbird, female bluebirds

Song:
Call is a short, high-pitched pwip. Song is a loud, melodious rising and falling of phrases with some trills.

Distribution:
Breeds from portions of Alaska and western Canada, south in mountains in western U.S. to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and central Mexico, and east to Montana, norhteastern Wyoming, and portions of Great Plains. Winters from southwestern Canada, Montana, and South Dakota, east to central Texas, and south to northern Baja California and central Mexico.

Habitat:
Breeds in open montane coniferousClick word for definition forests. Idaho study found species responded positively in number to diameter- cut logging. When not breeding, found in open or riparianClick word for definition woodlands, pinyon/juniper associations, chaparral, and deserts.

Diet:
Feeds on insects (e.g., caterpillars, beetles, wasps, ants, and bugs). Also eats pine seeds and fruits (e.g., juniper berries, and berries of rose, cedar, mistletoe, and madrona).

Ecology:
Nests in sheltered area on ground. Flies out from perch and catches insects in air. Usually seen singly, in pairs, or in small family groups.

Reproduction:
clutchClick word for definition size varies from 3-5 eggs, but is usually 4. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition. Breeding biology is poorly known.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPBJ16010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
Medin, D.E. 1985. Breeding bird responses to diameter-cut logging in west-central Idaho. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Res. Paper INT-355, Boise. 12pp.


Photo by Jim Stasz
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.