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Townsend's Solitaire - BirdForum Opus

Myadestes townsendi
Photo by Steve Messick
Crow Valley Camp Ground, North-east Colorado, USA
Photo of Juvenile by Stanley Jones
Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, July, 1983


20-22 cm

  • Dull grey plumage
  • White eyering
  • White outer tail feathers
  • Short, wide, black bill
  • Wings
  • Dark grey
  • Wide band of buff at the base
  • Tertials edged white
  • Black legs

Sexes similar
Juvenile: black, white, and buff spots


Canada, western United States and Mexico.



Two subspecies are recognized:

  • M. t. townsendi:
  • M. t. calophonus:
  • Northern Mexico (Chihuahua to Durango, Jalisco and Zacatecas)


Coniferous and open forests and woodlands up to 9000 ft. Mixed undergrowth, thickets, brush, juniper-sage savana and meadows. Rocky cliffs and sea shores.



Includes insects, spiders, some berries. In winter mainly eats junipers berries.


A platform of twigs supports the cup-shaped nest which is formed from pine needles lined with grass and bark. It is placed on the ground or cliff overhang. The clutch consists of 1-6, heavily blotched, white, pink or greenish-blue eggs.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. All About Birds
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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