- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Passerellidae
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. Dark-eyed Juncos are among the most abundant forest birds of North America. Look for them on woodland walks as well as in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them.More ID Info
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.
- Junco Ojioscuro (Spanish)
- Junco ardoisé (French)
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
- Juncos are the "snowbirds" of the middle latitudes. Over most of the eastern United States, they appear as winter sets in, and then retreat northward each spring. Other juncos are year-round residents, retreating into woodlands during the breeding season, or, like those of the Appalachian Mountains, moving to higher elevations during the warmer months.
- The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York. A recent estimate set the junco’s total population at approximately 630 million individuals.
- The oldest recorded Dark-eyed Junco was at least 11 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in West Virginia in 2001. It had been banded in the same state in 1991.