- 7.9–8.7 in
- 1.1–1.2 oz
- Solitaire de Townsend (French)
- Clarín Norteño (Spanish)
- The Townsend's Solitaire usually puts its nest on the ground, but may nest above the ground in a decaying stub or a live tree. It is especially fond of nesting along cut banks. All of the sites used are nooks or hollows beneath some sort of overhanging object that shelters the nest from above.
- During the winter, the male and female are both strongly territorial, defending patches of juniper trees against other solitaires and other birds. They feed largely or even exclusively on the juniper's ripe, fleshy berries for the entire nonbreeding season.
- The Townsend's Solitaire sings throughout the fall and winter to set up and hold its winter territory. Violent fights may break out in defense of the winter territory, because owners of large, berry-rich territories survive the winter at higher rates than solitaires on small territories with few berries.
- The oldest recorded Townsend's Solitaire was at least 5 years old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California.
Breeds in mountainous areas, especially in open coniferous forests. Winters from coastal areas to mountain valleys where juniper is present.
Insects, spiders, some berries. In winter eats primarily fleshy female cones ("berries") of junipers.
- Clutch Size
- 1–6 eggs
- Egg Description
- Variable in color from dull white to pink, to greenish blue; marked with numerous blotches or spots.
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless and naked or with some patches of down.
Cup of pine needles lined with grass stems or strips of bark, placed on platform of twigs on ground or cliff under an overhang; especially often along cut banks.
Flycatches for flying insects, picks insects off trees and ground.
Townsend's Solitaire populations were stable overall between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1 million, with 80% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 39% in Canada, and 13% in Mexico. The species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Townsend's Solitaire is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.
- Bowen, R. V. 1997. Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi). In The Birds of North America, No. 269 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
- Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2014. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2014 Analysis.