TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE

TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Townsend’s Solitaire is a thrush with a mostly grey plumage. Wings and long tail are brown with beige or white patches or bands. Eyes are black with a white eye ring. Bill, legs and feet are dark grey. Sexes are similar. Juveniles are grey and heavily spotted with beige on their under parts. Bird length is around 24 cm (9 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Myadestes-townsendi
NAME: ‘Solitaire’ is a French word for ‘alone’, given to this species for its elusive habits. ‘Townsend’s’ name (also Latin species name ‘townsendi’) was given to honor American ornithologist John Kirk Townsend, who found the first specimen. Latin genus name ‘Myadestes’ means ‘ant eater’.
HABITAT: Mountain coniferous forests.
DIET: Perches high on a branch and catches insects on the fly. Also forages in trees and on the ground. Feeds on berries, especially junipers in the winter.
NESTING: Nest is a bowl-shaped structure built in a tree or shrub close to the ground. Around three or four whitish eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska. Year-round resident in southern British Columbia and parts of USA Rockies. Winters in western half of the USA and northern Mexico.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townsend%27s_solitaire#/media/File:Myadestes_townsendi_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings occasional in the fall or winter.
CONSERVATION: Population widespread and appears stable, not at risk.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Northern Mockingbird, Olive-sided Flycatcher
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/townsends-solitaire
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBJ16010 (Montana Field Guide)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townsend%27s_solitaire
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Townsends_Solitaire
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/townsends-solitaire
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/749/_/Townsends_Solitaire.aspx
https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/townsends_solitaire.htm (Rocky Mountain National Park, CO)

Townsend's Solitaire - Ashland, OR - June 2014 - photo by Don Henise
Townsend’s Solitaire – Ashland, OR – June 2014 – photo by Don Henise
Townsend's Solitaire feeding on juniper berries - Lake Vadnais, MN - Nov. 2010 - photo by Jonathon Jongsma
Townsend’s Solitaire feeding on juniper berries – Lake Vadnais, MN – Nov. 2010 – photo by Jonathon Jongsma

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