Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
23 October 2011
Each fall we eagerly look forward to the arrival of Dark-eyed Juncos to our backyard, despite the fact that they are heralds of impending winter. This year we have been especially blessed to have at least a dozen of them regularly scratching through the leaves and mulch to find food, including bird seed which we strew everywhere. The birds are adept at finding it no matter how well concealed and it seems to minimize the competition from the ever-present squirrels.
This individual, whom we have named Stubby, has lost his tail in some earlier misadventure. Perhaps a predator was only able to seize the tail and was left with nothing more than a mouthful of feathers. In any event it seems not to present any serious impediment and Stubby is a welcome daily visitor.