Prefers contiguous mature and old-growth forests with large (>150 year old) conifers (Mannan and Meslow 1984, Kessler and Kogut 1985, Wetmore et al. 1985, Hejl et al. 1995). Nests almost exclusively in conifers (Mannan et al. 1983, Matsuoka et al. 1997a). Selection of breeding territories more closely associated with selection of nest sites. Near Anchorage, territories are also selected in areas with low densities of alder and steep-sided slopes, the former potentially lowering the risk of nestling infestation by bird blow flies (Matsuoka et al. 1997b). In the Tanana Valley, restricted to mature white spruce forests where breeding density is positively associated with density of white spruce (Spindler and Kessel 1980). In Southeast Alaska, occurs in coniferous forests and muskegs (Andres, personal communication in Andres 1999b).
Andres, B.A. 1999b. Landbird conservation plan for Alaska biogeographic regions. Version 1.0. Boreal Partners in Flight Working Group. October 1999. USFWS, Anchorage, Alaska.
Hejl, S. J., R. L. Hutto, C. R. Preston, and D. M. Finch. 1995. Effects of silvicultural treatments in the Rocky Mountains. Pages 220-244 in T.E. Martin and D.M. Finch, editors. Ecology and management of neotropical migratory birds. Oxford University Press, New York.
Kessler, W. B. and T. E. Kogut. 1985. Habitat orientations of forest birds in southeastern Alaska. Northwest Science 59:58-65.
Mannan, R. W. and E. C. Meslow. 1984. Bird populations and vegetation characteristics in managed and old-growth forests, northeastern Oregon. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:1219-1238.
Mannan, R. W., B.S. Hale, and M. L. Morrison. 1983. Observations of nesting Townsends Warblers in northeastern Oregon. Murrelet 64:23-25.
Matsuoka, S., C. Handel, and D. Roby. 1997a. Nesting ecology of Townsends warblers in relation to habitat characteristics in a mature boreal forest. Condor 99:271-281.
Matsuoka, S.M., C.M. Handel, D.D. Roby, and D.L. Thomas. 1997b. The relative importance of nest sites and foraging sites in selection of breeding territories by Townsends Warblers. Auk 114:657-667.
Spindler, M. A. and B. A. Kessel. 1980. Avian populations and habitat use in interior Alaska taiga. Syesis 13:61-104.
Wetmore, S. P, R. A. Keller, and G. E. John Smith. 1985. Effects of logging on bird populations in British Columbia as determined by a modified point-count method. Can. Field Nat. 99: 224-233.