Dark-Eyed Junco

Fast Facts:

  • Common Name:
    Dark-Eyed Junco
  • Scientific Name:
    Junco hyemalis
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Size: 4.9-6.5 inches long
  • Weight: .5-1 ounces


Coloration of dark-eyed juncos depend on the area they call home. Birds living east of the plains are gray, with white underparts. Those in the west have been seen with several different colorings, ranging from reddish-brown to dark gray.

Habitat and Migration

Dark-eyed juncos can be found throughout the contiguous United States, much of Canada, and into the northern tips of Mexico. Breeding largely takes place in Canada and Alaska, whereas they can be found wintering in the US and Mexico.

Social Behavior

Skilled foragers, dark-eyed juncos are known for their ticking sounds as they flit up into shrubbery. When nesting, both the male and female will engage in a “dance” that consists of drooping their wings and showing off their tail feathers. Sometimes, the mail will impress the female with a gentle song. Their nests are usually on the ground, but hidden under brush, tall grass, large rocks, etc. Both parents tend to their nestlings, who leave the nest typically within two weeks of hatching. If they visit your feeder, they will likely feast on food that’s fallen to the ground.

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