Townsend’s Solitaire Wing Patches

Townsend’s solitaires (Myadestes townsendi) are long, slender members of the thrush family that are usually seen on the highest available perches. Although these dull grey birds are conspicuous and often sit immobile for long periods, I find them difficult to photograph because their perches are often too far away for my old 200 mm lens.

One cold October morning I was sitting next to Ash Creek (Lassen County CA) watching an area where birds often come to drink in the morning. Even though the ground was still frosty and the sun was barely peeking over the ridge behind my back, the solitaires came to “bathe” and drink in the icy water. I was close enough to finally get pictures that showed the solitaires’ white eye rings and buffy-orange wing patches clearly. When wandering around outdoors I love the fact that I never know what might appear – be it flora or fauna.

Additional information about Townsend’s solitaires can be found in two of my previous posts: “Townsend’s Solitaire” and “Finally, a Solitaire“.

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2 Responses to Townsend’s Solitaire Wing Patches

  1. These birds became a sort of celebrity during our field season this year – it was a big deal whenever we saw one, and much discussed. From the others’ reports I expected a nondescript, dull grey bird, and when I finally saw one I was stunned at how pretty they are.

    • gingkochris says:

      At a distance they are dull grey birds – but up close their true “colors” are visible. Townsend’s solitaires are our constant winter companions, much more conspicuous once all the summer migrants have departed.

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