Townsend's Solitaire at State Gamelands 30, McKean County, PA
Discovered on January 15, this Townsend's Solitaire is still present on SGL 30 in McKean County. Despite
the absolutely frigid temperature at daybreak (-15 F) the bird appeared as usual around 10:20 AM and allowed prolonged views
until about 11:15.
Built to live in the high Rocky Mountains, this bird is very happy and healthy in the cold and snowy McKean Co. winter.
We were pleased to discover that the bird is in immaculately fresh plumage, which indicates that the bird is eating well,
even in the extreme cold. More interestingly, the fresh plumage is entirely free of blemishes. This suggests that
this bird did not just show up in McKean County recently after a substantial amount of wandering, which would wear down its
new feathers, but more likely has been present since the fall and has molted into its current plumage right there in
SGL 30 or somewhere close by.
This next photo shows an interesting characteristic well... note how the crown of the bird flares out above the
eyes, creating an "pinched" look as if the head were compressed in at the eyes.