Fun Townsend's Solitaire Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Townsend's Solitaire Facts For Kids

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The Townsend's Solitaire or the Myadestes townsendi is a North American bird species. Individuals of the species are most commonly spotted near conifer forests and woodlands, where they can feed on plenty of insects, fruits and berries. They have a special liking for juniper berries. They are found in high elevations most of the year, but move to lower elevations during the winter.

For birds of this species, the breeding season goes on from May to July, during which the female bird makes a nest on the ground. Pine needles play an integral role in the making of this nest. These birds are characterized by two things: their gray plumage and their territorial nature. Keep reading to know more facts about these beautiful birds!

Fun Townsend's Solitaire Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Feed on fruits and juniper berries, and prey on small insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-4 eggs

How much do they weigh?

1.2 oz (34 g)

How long are they?

7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, rust brown, and black plumage with white eye ring

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Deforestation And Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Rocky Areas, Woodlands, Conifer Forests, Shelterbelts, And Juniper Trees


North America, Mexico, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, Northern Zacatecas









Townsend's Solitaire Interesting Facts

What type of animal is the Townsend's Solitaire?

The Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) is a type of bird that has a rather small range map. This bird is dull-colored and a common sight in some parts of North America.

What class of animal does the Townsend's Solitaire belong to?

The scientific name of the class to which the Townsend's Solitaire belongs to is Aves. However, the species can just as easily be classified as birds.

How many Townsend's Solitaires are there in the world?

According to recent studies, there are over a million mature Townsend's Solitaire birds in the world. Understandably, the species has a very stable population and is likely to be around for a long time.

Where does the Townsend's Solitaire live?

The Townsend's Solitaire and other similar species of birds tend to move around as and when needed. While they spend most of their time in conifer forests, they can also move towards lower elevations when there is a shortage of insects in the winter season. This North American bird species is therefore quite flexible in terms of its range of habitat. The Townsend's Solitaire range also encompasses many woodlands and even desert areas.

What is a Townsend's Solitaire's habitat?

The Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) lives in different places in summer and winter months. During the summer and in the breeding season, their range usually remains within places such as Alaska, Alberta, Mexico, and British Columbia. These North American birds then move towards lower elevations such as the Great Plains during the winter, where they feed on juniper berries and other vegetation. These birds have a particular fondness for juniper trees.

Who do Townsend's Solitaires live with?

While there is not much conclusive evidence to tell us whether or not the Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) is a sociable species, we do know that these birds are very territorial. They build their nests close to the ground and defend them. Both males and females are territorial and feed on insects that are readily available on the ground. Interestingly, these birds are also capable of catching insects in flight.

How long does the Townsend's Solitaire live?

There are no records to confirm the life expectancy of Townsend's Solitaire birds.

How do they reproduce?

The Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) is an oviparous bird species. This essentially means that female birds of this species lay eggs instead of giving birth to young ones like mammals do. They lay around three to four eggs in each clutch. A nest is built on the ground, for which the female bird takes all responsibility. A typical Townsend's Solitaire nest is made of pine needles and other natural material.

Once eggs are laid in the nest, the female bird incubates them until they hatch. After incubation, both parents feed their children until they leave the nest.

What is their conservation status?

 The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List states that the conservation status of the Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) is that of Least Concern. This means that throughout their range of habitat, these birds have a stable population and are likely to be around for several decades to come.

Townsend's Solitaire Fun Facts

What do Townsend's Solitaires look like?

Townsend's Solitaire birds are characterized by gray overall plumage. They have rusty brown or buffy wing patches and a white eye ring. The underparts are dark in color and tail feathers have white linings. These birds have a fairly large tail and a medium wingspan. The details on the tail feathers become more evident when these birds are in flight.

Townsend's Solitaires are very fond of berries, particularly in the winter season.

How cute are they?

With its long tail, pale colors and beautifully lined feathers, the Townsend's Solitaire bird does stand out as a rather striking species. Similar species would include the northern mockingbird.

How do they communicate?

Like other birds of the Turdidae family, Townsend's Solitaire birds communicate through a vast array of vocalizations. The flute-like sounds that Townsend's Solitaire birds create is quite soothing.

How big is the Townsend's Solitaire?

As is confirmed by many a bird guide in the world, the Townsend's Solitaire is a small bird. The average size of a bird of this species remains in the range of 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm).

How fast can a Townsend's Solitaire fly?

Even though these birds have such a large global population, there are no records to show their average flight speed. However, we can imagine from the fact that they are territorial that these birds must be very fast when needed. They can also catch insects in flight, which is a sign of a terrific flyer.

How much does a Townsend's Solitaire weigh?

The average weight of a Townsend's Solitaire is of around 1.2 oz (34 g).

What are male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for male and female Townsend's Solitaire birds. Hence, we will have to refer to them as a male Townsend's Solitaire and a female Townsend's Solitaire.

What would you call a baby Townsend's Solitaire?

A baby Townsend's Solitaire has the same name as all other juveniles of the class of Aves, which is a nestling. This name is applicable for the period after birth, during which these tiny birds are incapable of flight and are taken care of by their parents. In the case of Townsend's Solitaire nestlings, this period lasts for about 14 days. After this, young ones leave the nest and start their own lives.

What do they eat?

The diet of Townsends Solitaire birds consists of insects, fruits, and berries. These birds predominantly feed on insects in summer months. This is also when the breeding season sets in, which is why these birds need some intense nutrition. They can catch insects in flight but they also forage for them on the ground.

In winter, they mainly feed on juniper berries, which become available in abundance.

Are they dangerous?

Even though Townsend's Solitaire birds are quite territorial, it is unlikely that they will cause any trouble for you or your family. Since they build their nests on the ground, it can be useful to keep an eye out for any signs of a nest nearby.

Would they make a good pet?

Townsend's Solitaires are not commonly kept as pets. This is because these birds are territorial in nature and can harm other bird species that you may have in the same cage. It is thus best to watch these birds from a safe distance.

Did you know...

Townsend's Solitaires build their nests on the ground. They mainly eat juniper berries during the winter months. Even though they do not migrate, they do tend to move to places of lower elevations in the winter.

Why are they called Townsend's Solitaires?

Townsend's Solitaires are named after a very famous ornithologist. The common name as well as the binomial name comes from the name of John Kirk Townsend, whose contribution in the field of ornithology remains credible.

What does a Townsend's Solitaire sound like?

A Townsend's Solitaire family living nearby can be quite a noisy affair. These birds have a flute-like quality to their voice, but can just as easily start sounding mechanical and screechy. The intentions behind this range of vocalizations and the emotions that they convey are yet to be known.

Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

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