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Merlin Bird ID

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    Dark-eyed Junco

    Silhouette SparrowsSparrows

    Dark-eyed Junco

    Junco hyemalis
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Passerellidae
    Basic Description

    Dark-eyed Juncos are neat, even flashy little sparrows that flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada, then flood the rest of North America for winter. They’re easy to recognize by their crisp (though extremely variable) markings and the bright white tail feathers they habitually flash in flight. One of the most abundant forest birds of North America, you’ll see juncos on woodland walks as well as in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Dark-eyed JuncoRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    You can find Dark-eyed Juncos by walking around open, partially wooded areas with understory for cover. Keep your eyes on the ground and listen for their twittering call or their trilling song. If they are flushed from the ground, look for an overall gray or dark brown bird with obvious, white outer tail feathers.

    Other Names
    • Junco Pizarroso (Spanish)
    • Junco ardoisé (French)

    Backyard Tips

    This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts