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Bird of the Week: Dark-Eyed Junco

Look on the ground under any bird feeder this time of year and you are apt to spot a Dark-Eyed Junco. These members of the sparrow family are ground feeding seed eaters in the winter but eat insects during the breeding season. Juncos are “snowbirds” in our area, appearing as winter sets in and heading northward to nesting habitat in the spring. Typically, there is a hierarchy or pecking order within a flock of juncos, with the earlier migrants ranking higher in the group than the later arrivals. The Dark-Eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found from Alaska to Mexico and California to Maine. The junco’s total population is approximately 630 million, according to a recent estimate. You can learn more about how to attract juncos to your bird feeder and other common feeder birds at Project FeederWatch:

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