Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis

    Some of you may have read Alvan Buckley's recent musings about the different subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco, (see his blog, This unusual individual was present in our yard today and was quite pale by comparison with the "normal"
hyemalis types we commonly see, and it was feeding in close proximity to both male and female/juveniles, so the contrast was easy to observe. I am not sure which race this bird represents. If anyone would like to hazard a guess feel free to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Comments provided by email from David Beadle:
    Junco identification is always tricky when dealing with females or immature birds. This bird could be a female "Pink-sided", but is perhaps more likely to be of the form cismontanus, aka "Cassiar" Junco that breeds in the northwest as far east as west-central Alberta. This form is the westernmost subspecies of the "Slate-coloured" group and is a constant problem as they are rather variable in appearance. They are regular in Ontario in winter and are often responsible for "Oregon" Junco sightings, especially females and first-winter males. The bottom line is that some birds are simply not identifiable to form, especially in immature plumages.

    I would say that this bird not 100% identifiable, but is "probably" a first-winter female cismontanus. I'll pass it on the Jim Rising for his expert opinion.