18 November 2022
This week’s first snow on 15 November brought in the “snowbirds,” an influx of juncos from the north and higher elevations. Kathy Saunders had fifteen at her feeders while it was snowing on Tuesday afternoon.
Our slate-colored juncos look so crisp and clean: Sparrow-like with dark eyes, pink beak, no stripes, charcoal gray head and back and wings, and a white belly — the “clean little coveralls” described in William Stafford’s poem Juncos.
My bird feeder is filled with juncos today so I thought of this William Stafford poem. pic.twitter.com/c3mBrAX4uu
— Grant Clauser (@UnIambic) January 24, 2022
Even though juncos have color variations all the birds with dark eyes are the same species: dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis).
This vintage blog from 2015 lists some of the subspecies, shows off a yellow-eyed junco (different species!) and describes a subspecies hybrid found in Pittsburgh last February.
(photo by Bob Kroeger)