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Posts Tagged ‘dark-eyed junco’

Snowbird (Dark-eyed junco).

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Some birds came out to dine in the chill.

Like this red-bellied woodpecker and chickadee, which is either a Carolina chickadee or hybrid chickadee with mostly Carolina ancestry. I live in the hybrid zone between Carolina and black-capped chickadees.

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chickadee

A northern cardinal and a tufted titmouse:

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A dark-eyed junco or two.

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And a tufted titmouse again:

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And a downy woodpecker:

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A white-breasted nuthatch and a Carolina wren:

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Snowbird in the bleakness

Snowbird, the local name for the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). These birds actual breed here, but they are most obvious in winter after a good snowfall. This form is usually called the slate-colored junco.

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Snowbird

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The technical name for this bird is the “dark-eyed junco,” but we always called them “snowbirds.”

They usually spend most of their time deep in the conifer woods, but when it snows, they come out  in the open and are regulars at just about every bird feeder.

I believe this is the same species Anne Murray wrote about:

Source.

My grandpa used to poach them as bait for his fox traps, and when he was a boy, they used to catch them in spruce trees at night, kill them and then roast them over an open fire. He claimed the birds tasted very well, but you had to catch a bunch of them to have a decent meal.

 

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Snowbirds

Dark-eyed juncos, the notorious "snowbirds."

I took this photo of these dark-eyed juncos yesterday.

These birds tend to show up in large flocks whenever it snows. They tend to be more common at higher elevations and farther north.

However, at least a pair or two of these birds are residents, and I’ve seen them at the feeders even during the warm days of Indian summer.

Because they tend to be very common at feeders when it snows, they have been named “snowbirds.” In fact, if I said the words “dark-eyed junco” around these parts, no one would know what I’m talking about.  These are snowbirds.

These birds are standing on about 14 inches of snow. Most this snow fell Friday night and early Saturday morning, but it was still coming down at 4 o’clock yesterday evening. (In December, 4 o’clock is evening, not afternoon.)

And how could I conclude that post without this song?

Source.

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