Although Townsend’s solitaires are common summer residents of Washington, the open mid-elevation forests of the Columbia Highlands the bird can be found during the cold winter months.
True to its name, the Townsend’s Solitaire is frequently a loner. These solo songbirds can often be seen perched high up in trees watching over their territory or snacking from shrubs, where they will often hover in place while eating.
According to the Seattle Audubon Society, “the Townsend’s Solitaire requires a combination of steep banks for nest sites, open forests where it catches aerial prey, and tall trees to perch on.” The steep-walled canyons of the San Poil River valley provide prime habitat for the bird. Try catching a glimpse of one of these solo songbirds at the Thirteenmile Campground south of Republic.