Townsends solitaire

Myadestes townsendi

TAXONOMY

Ptiliogonys townsendi Audubon, 1838, Oregon. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Solitaire de Townsend; German: Bergklarino; Spanish: Clarín Norteño.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm); 1.1-1.2 oz (30-35 g). Adults are gray overall; black tails with white outer feathers that show during flight; buff wing patches near the base of blackish flight feathers; white eye rings. Juveniles are brownish gray overall marked with buff and white scalloping on upperparts and un-derparts.

DISTRIBUTION

North America from Alaska south to Mexico, east to southeast Wyoming, central Arizona, western South Dakota, and Montana.

HABITAT

Open stands of conifers, edges of extensive conifer forest, often near streams and with little or no undergrowth; also high mountain slopes, cliffs, and ravines up to and above the tree line.

BEHAVIOR

Often conspicuous; solitary or in loose parties, typically perched upright on exposed perch on tree or post, flying up to catch prey or dropping to the ground to forage.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Insects, including moths, beetles, caterpillars, ants, bees, and wasps; also eats a wide range of berries.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds May-July, nest of bark, grass, and roots built by female in bush or shrub or on the ground, often near a stream; three to four eggs incubated for 11-14 days, chicks fledge after 10-12 days; two broods.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, though uncommon in much of range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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