Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis

Four forms of the Dark-eyed Junco occur principally in the West. Once considered separate species, they are all conspicuous ground-feeding sparrows with pink bills and white outer tail feathers. By far the most common and widespread is the Oregon Junco, shown here. The White-winged is gray with two white wing bars; it is found mainly in the Black Hills. The Pink-sided has broad pink sides and flanks, and occurs in the eastern Rockies. The Gray-headed has a reddish-brown back and light gray head; it is most common in the Southwest.

Identification Male Oregon Junco has black hood, brown back, and dark wings with white edges; belly whitish; flanks buff. Female similar but with paler hood. Pink bill and white outer tail feathers in all forms.

Voice A trill with only occasional changes in pitch.

Habitat Forests, woodlands, brushy areas, and lawns.

Range Oregon Junco breeds from British Columbia to NW. Montana and south. Winters mainly along coast. Other forms have more restricted ranges. Also in the East.

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