Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Townsend's Solitaire - Myadestes townsendi
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General Comments There are two accepted records for this Western species, both from the higher mountains (mountaintops!). One bird was seen and photographed at Grandfather Mountain (Avery) from 13-18 Aug 2015, seemingly disappeared for several weeks, and then re-appeared from 8-14 Sep 2015* [Chat 80:14 link], [Chat 80:44-45 link]. Photographs are on the Carolina Bird Club website photo gallery. One was seen just downslope of Black Balsam Knob (Haywood) on 22 Oct 2020. [Chat 85:85 link] However, the NC BRC has not yet received additional details needed to conduct a vote on this report. Lastly, one was photographed at Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains NP (Swain) on 10 Oct 2021* [Chat 86:25 link], [Chat 86:40 link]; photos are on an eBird report. This species does stray far east of its usual range, though oddly most such records are in the northeastern states and not in the Southeast.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain No records.
Piedmont No records.
Mountains Three records, though only two have been accepted (see above).
Finding Tips Note that all three reports have been in fall from the mountains, and even there in the spruce-fir zone, with birds often perching on the tops of these trees.
Attribution LeGrand[2022-02-08], LeGrand[2021-03-06], LeGrand[2018-02-01]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.