Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)


French: Solitaire de Townsend German: Townsendklarino Spanish: Solitario norteño

Ptiliogonys [sic] Townsendi


, 1838,

Columbia River = near Astoria, Oregon, USA


Genetic data#R suggest that this species and M. obscurus are sisters, and are together basal to all other members of genus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. t. townsendi (Audubon, 1838) – EC & S Alaska and NW & SW Canada S to SW USA; winters from SW & SC Canada S to N Mexico.
  • M. t. calophonus R. T. Moore, 1937 – N & C Mexico (from E Sonora and W Chihuahua S to Nayarit).
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–21·5 cm; 30–35 g. Nominate race is grey-brown above, slightly paler and greyer below; white eyering, greyish-white edges of wing-coverts and... read more


    Song, typically in open from treetop (sometimes, in summer, in display-flight from treetop), a... read more


    Breeds in variety of montane coniferous forest types, to beyond tree-line, typically in tracts with... read more

    Food and feeding

    When breeding, mainly insects and spiders supplemented by berries in late summer; in winter, various berries and small fruits, but... read more


    May–Aug; double-brooding relatively infrequent, e.g. seven attempts at second brood in 36 cases where first brood successful.... read more


    Most populations apparently make only short-distance altitudinal movements to lower areas in winter... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Reasonably common in North America. Population stable or possibly slightly increasing. Deforestation in breeding and winter ranges destroys key... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).