Dark-eyed Junco - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Dark-eyed Junco - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Dark-eyed Junco - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Dark-eyed Junco - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis

Sparrows, Grosbeaks and Buntings
Sparrows, Finches & Grosbeaks (Emberizidae)

Size: Length: 12.5-16.5 cm Wingspan: 24-25 cm

Description: This exceedingly common bird is found throughout the Rockies, in coniferous and mixed forests from the montane to the subalpine. The dark-eyed junco represents a collection of several formerly distinct species now grouped together--in particular the slate-colored, Oregon and gray-headed juncos. Although they vary dramatically in appearance, they freely interbreed, and as a result have been grouped together. The Canadian Rockies variety was originally known as the slate-coloured junco. They have a very dark upper surface with a slate-gray head, neck, throat, back and wings. The tail is black, with the white outer feathers. The belly and underside of the tail are white, and the beak pink. When they take to the air, the white outer tail feathers create a bright flash unique to juncos.

Hopping along the ground, they pick through the leaf litter for seeds and insects. They nest on the ground, hiding their nest within the forest cover, or within a natural cavity or crack under a steep embankment. They are often double brooded. The call is almost identical to that of the chipping sparrow, but somewhat more musical. Listen for a rapid series: "tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic".

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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