Townsend’s Solitaire

Myadestes townsendi
L 8 1/2″ (22 cm).

Song or calls:
High-pitched “eek.” Song is loud, complex, melodious warbling.

Description: Sexes similar. Large and slender. Gray overall, and slightly darker above; unstreaked; bold white eye-ring; white outer tail feathers; and a pale rusty wing patch. Juveniles are mottled gray and white.

Behavior: Often seen sitting upright, usually high on a branch, from which it sometimes fly-catches.

Bird Map

Habitat: Breeds in rather dense coniferous forests in mountainous areas. Found during migration in wooded slopes with plenty of juniper berries. Uncommon to locally common spring and fall migrant in west.

Where in Nebraska: Locally common winter resident in western and central Nebraska. Vagrants seen east to Missouri River in winter.

Fun Facts: Both male and female are very territorial during winter to keep other birds from eating berries off their juniper trees.

Townsend's Solitaire - photo by Phil Swanson Townsend's Solitaire - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)