Sorting Sparrows: Dark-eyed Junco

Photo of Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos sport dark-above, light-below plumage and a light-pink bill, and, even when seen fleetingly as they flush, their flashing white outer tail feathers serve as useful field marks. They breed in forested parts of western and northern New England and during the white season spread throughout our area where they feed in weedy, seed-rich habitats including roadsides, thickets, and fields. Their countershading can make them challenging to spot on dark ground, but a fresh blanket of snow can bring a flock into view.

To learn more about these seed-loving sparrows who'd rather hop than walk, visit All About Birds. To view the following images in full-size, click here.

2 thoughts on “Sorting Sparrows: Dark-eyed Junco”

  1. Hi Josh- we’ve been watching these juncos for about a week. They like our feeder and we like them. We call them slate colored juncos. My mom says they “pass through”. Hope they stay awhile…

    1. Hi Debbie: Excellent! Yes, prior to being lumped together with a few other junco groups, “our” juncos were officially called Slate-colored Juncos. Now they (along with Oregon Junco, White-winged Junco, etc.) are considered a subspecies of the Dark-eyed Junco. You are, of course, welcome to call them by whatever name you prefer. I hope some stick around to enjoy the white season in your neighborhood.

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