Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

New-World-Sparrows-andTowhees-(Passerellidae)

Code 4

DEJU

Code 6

JUNHYE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Dark-eyed Junco has a large range, spanning across Mexico, the United States and many island nations to which the bird is native, as well as many parts of Europe. This bird prefers forest and shrubland ecosystems, though it has been known to reside in rural gardens. The global population of this bird has not been determined or quantified, but it does not appear to meet population size or decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Dark-eyed Junco is Least Concern.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Dark-eyed Junco: Medium-sized sparrow with considerable geographic color variation, although all exhibit a pink bill, dark eyes, white belly, and dark-centered tail with white outer feathers. Gray-headed form has gray head, rump, breast, and sides, and rust-brown back. Slate-colored form is slate-gray overall with darker head. Oregon form has black hood, chestnut-brown back and buff-brown flanks. White-winged form is blue-gray overall and shows two white wing bars. Pink-sided form is blue-gray with darker wings and pink-gray flanks. Female of each form resembles male but is usually paler. Juveniles of all forms are heavily streaked brown with darker heads, white bellies, and white outer tail feathers. Short flights with white outer tail feathers flashing conspicuously; alternates several rapid wing beats with wings drawn to sides. Forages primarily on the ground for seeds and arthropods; readily visits backyard bird feeders.


Range and Habitat North America

Dark-eyed Junco: Breeds from Alaska east across Canada to Newfoundland, and south to the mountains in Mexico and Georgia. Winters south to the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. Preferred habitats include openings and edges of coniferous and mixed woods. In the winter, frequents fields, roadsides, parks, and suburban gardens.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • A flash of white tail feathers serves as an alarm to other members of the flock.
  • The Dark-eyed Junco was the most common feeder bird in North America during the 1996-1997 Project FeederWatch season.
  • They mainly eat insects and seeds. However, they will sometimes eat their own droppings.
  • A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Dark-eyed Junco A1

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Typical song ("Gray-headed" group).
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Dark-eyed Junco A2

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco A2
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Begging calls from a juvenile ("White-winged" group).
  • Location: SD
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Dark-eyed Junco E1

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco E1
  • Recordist: Frank Lambert
  • Description: Alarm call is a series of "kek" notes ("Oregon" group).
  • Location: WA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Dark-eyed Junco E2

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco E2
  • Recordist: Frank Lambert
  • Description: Song is a musical trill, all on one pitch ("Oregon" group).
  • Location: WA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Lang Elliott Sound

Dark-eyed Junco 1

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Two males countersinging.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Dark-eyed Junco 2

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 2
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Single pitched trill.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CA

Dark-eyed Junco 3

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 3
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Rattling mechanical song.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: AK

Dark-eyed Junco 4

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 4
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Two-parted songs and "chip" calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Dark-eyed Junco 7

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 7
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Spring warbling song.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Dark-eyed Junco 9

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 9
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Alarm "chip" calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Dark-eyed Junco 10

  • Title: Dark-eyed Junco 10
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: "Tew-tew-tew" calls and various other calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: MB

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Chipping Sparrow B1

  • Title: Chipping Sparrow B1
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Song is a thin musical trill, all on one pitch.
  • Location: AB

Orange-crowned Warbler A1

  • Title: Orange-crowned Warbler A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Typical song is a high-pitched trill, usually ending on a falling or rising note.
  • Location: WA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Worm-eating Warbler A1

  • Title: Worm-eating Warbler A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Song is a high-pitched trill.
  • Location: AR
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Lang

Chipping Sparrow 1

  • Title: Chipping Sparrow 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Song is a thin musical trill, all on one note like a sewing machine.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Orange-crowned Warbler 1

  • Title: Orange-crowned Warbler 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Typical song that is a high pitched trill, becoming weaker and falling towards the end.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: MB

Swamp Sparrow 1

  • Title: Swamp Sparrow 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Fast pulse-rate song.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Worm-eating Warbler 1

  • Title: Worm-eating Warbler 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Primary song is a simple, sweet trill.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Voice Text

"dit", "tsick", "tchet"

Vocalization

Dark-eyed Junco: Song is a ringing metallic trill on the same pitch. Members of a flock, which may spread out widely, keep in contact by constantly calling "tsick" or "tchet."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Chris Vest

.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Outer tail feathersX
The tail feathers farthest from the center.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X