Posted by: columbiahighlands | January 25, 2012

Watchable wildlife: Townsend’s solitaire

Townsend's solitaires subsist on berries, such as blue elderberry, in the winter. Photo: Aaron Theisen.

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.



  1. That’s a great photo of the pretty little guy!

    • He was being very cooperative; I think he was too distracted by those elderberries!

  2. I love birds. Looks cute. Love the way you capture him. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks! He has definitely not missed many meals this winter, that’s for certain!

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