Hector and I saw a bunch of dark-eyed juncos flitting around on the ground yesterday. I don’t know what startled them, but they suddenly moved as a group and flew up into the branches of a nearby eastern hemlock.
Here in the east, we have slate-colored dark-eyed juncos, but these common-in-winter sparrows come in a wide variety of colors. One might not realize that, for example, the brown dark-eyed juncos in Oregon are the same species as the pink-sided dark-eyed juncos of the southwest – they look like totally different birds. That said, dark-eyed juncos do have a few things in common when it comes to their appearance: they all have dark eyes, pale beaks and white outer-tail feathers.
Have you seen any dark-eyed juncos this winter? What do they look like in your neck of the woods?