Thursday, 29 October 2015

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco ardoisé) in our Yard

29 October 2015

     Fall is well advanced now and as the following pictures from our backyard show most of the leaves are off the trees. Yesterday we had driving rain and today the wind is quite fierce so the combination of the two might just denude them completely.

     Dark-eyed Juncos Junco hyemalis returned to the area a couple of weeks ago and have been constantly in our yard ever since.

     Juncos seem to have a charm all of their own and we always look forward to sharing our space with them. At times when they are feeding on the ground, seemingly undisturbed by anything, they suddenly burst into flight and zoom off revealing the flash of white outer tail feathers so characteristic of this bird.
     For the most part they seem quite content to forage on the ground, kicking up the leaves to garner whatever morsels are hidden below.

     There are various subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco and females are quite distinct, so it is always fun to scan and see what can be found. Some individuals can be easily identified. One year we had a bird whose white outer tail feathers were much more prominent than others, and we called him Flash. He stayed with us right through the winter until the birds moved out the following spring.
    Although this species feeds mainly on the ground some of the birds become very adept at utilizing the feeders, but they are in the minority. This individual is a striking male.

     This morning a boldly coloured male Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis was feeding with the juncos, but in their sombre greys they did not seem to suffer by comparison. It's a great addition to any backyad.


  1. I like the Juncos, they are sweet birds. Great photos and post, David! Enjoy your day!

  2. I love the colors of Autumn! Great pics :)

  3. great Junco pictures..Beautiful time of year..

  4. Sweetest little birds. They have arrived in our yard too. Great shots of them!

  5. Hello David, what a pretty little bird these Juncos are. Hope they will brighten your wintertime that is not far off now. To bad the weather is not that good and leaves are falling down because of rain and wind. Here we will have some pretty days with Sunshine and some warm spells.
    Take care,

  6. Love these,great to see.
    Smashing captures.

  7. Bonitas fotos otoñales, me han gustado mucho. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

  8. Juncos are smart looking birds for sure. Perhaps a little nondescript species to anyone who doesn't appreciate their subtleties as you do David.

    Your trees seem to be at a similar stage to our own, less your more vibrant colours. Just waiting with some trepidation for autumn winds to bring the final drops before plain sailing us into winter.

  9. The Dark-eyed Junco scuffing about in the leaf litter, fantastic pictures David.

  10. This Junco is very cute. beautiful species absent from home

  11. Very handsome birds, indeed, David. I can imagine your delight in their presence. They have very appealing faces too! I love your images of the leaves and can imagine Miriam working with those colors with wonderful results!

    Our best wishes to you both - - - Richard and Lindsay

  12. A great looking bird, they remind me (slightly) of Grey Buntings over here in NE Asia................

  13. All those wonderful colors of autumn, when the feeding of the birds start to come here again.
    Enjoy your weekend, Tinie greetings

  14. Dearest David,
    We too enjoy the Dark-eyed Junco in our yard! So they do nest in the Boreal forest and than come down south for winter. Birds in general are smart and know where and how to forage.
    Your fall leaves look so beautiful, still at this stage, even when on the ground.
    Here it stil is too warm for all leaves to come down but one little night frost can change that in a hurry. We hope that will be a couple of weeks from now and no sooner.
    The bad thing about our area is that the Centipede grass turns brown in winter; such a dreary looking sight. You don't have that problem.
    Enjoy the season of colors.
    Happy weekend to you and yours.

  15. Cute birds and lovely autumn colours. I was out raking leaves yesterday. Now we're ready for winter.

  16. What a nice little bird! Curious neme for me junco = rush

  17. The autumn leaves are always beautiful to see these beautiful colors.
    You vogeks you also have wonderful and very pretty clearly photographed.
    I'm enjoying this :-)