Yellow-eyed Junco

Junco phaeonotus





Code 4


Code 6



Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester

Egg Color:

Pale gray to blue with red brown markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In cavity, sheltered by grassy tussock, bush, or log, occasionally low in tree.

Nest Material:

Dried grass., Lined with fine grass and mammal hair.





Yellow-eyed Junco: Medium-sized sparrow with rufous back and upperwings, pale gray rump and head, and pale gray underparts; belly is white; tail is dark gray with white outer tail feathers; bright yellow eyes contrast with faint mask; bill has black upper mandible and pink lower mandible. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is heavily-streaked overall with rufous upperparts, gray head and underparts, and brown eye. Subspecies vary in plumage tones across range. Flight is short and straight with rapid wing beats. Employs multiple foraging techniques to capture insects, harvest seeds, and drink sap.

Range and Habitat

Yellow-eyed Junco: Range is primarily in Mexico, extending into some of the mountains of the southern tips of the United States of Arizona and New Mexico. Not generally migratory, but sometimes moves to nearby lower elevations during winter. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests and pine-oak woods.

Breeding and Nesting

Yellow-eyed Junco: Three to five pale gray to blue eggs marked with red brown are laid in a nest made of dried grass with a lining of fine grass and mammal hair. Female incubates eggs for 15 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Yellow-eyed Junco: Eats insects, seeds, berries, fruits, and flowers; forages on the ground, often by scratching.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Nut Meats


Yellow-eyed Junco: Song is a series of chips, trills, and buzzes, "weedle-weedle-weedle", "che-che-che-che-wee", often up-slurred at the end. Has a smacking call of "tseek."

Similar Species

Yellow-eyed Junco: Other juncos have dark eyes.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X