Dark-eyed Junco
 Photo  Photo Dark-eyed Junco Photo
 Photo Dark-eyed Junco Photo Dark-eyed Junco Photo

General description.

Gray skies and a snow-covered earth are the Junco colors, and when he flashes them along the hedgerows and wood borders we know that although it is only late September, winter will soon be with us. From that time until April the Junco is of our commonest birds. He visits our food-shelf and roosts in our evergreens, becoming almost as domestic as the Chipping Sparrow. The Junco's call-notes are a sharp tsip, a contented chew-chew-chew, and a sharp kissing call. Its modest, musical little trill we shall not hear until spring. The nest is built on the ground, and the 4-5 white, speckled, or spotted, eggs are laid late in May. White beak, white belly and white edges on the tail.

Female appearance.

The plumage of the female is tinged with brownish, but the prevailing tone is slate-gray, unlike that of any of our other Sparrows. The white outer-tail feathers are conspicuously flashed in flight.

Juvenile appearance.

Less gray and more brownish.

Population and distribution.

Nests from northern New England and northern New York to Canada and southward in the mountains to Pennsylvania; winters in all the Eastern States. The Carolina Junco (J. h. carolinensis), a slightly larger race without a brownish tinge, nests in the higher parts of the Alleghanies from Maryland to northern Georgia, descending to the adjacent lowlands in winter.
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