October 31, 2013

Dark-eyed junco

These small, arctic-breeding sparrows have arrived in New England for the winter. Juncos are like a slate grey Easter egg half dipped in white and sprigged with a longish tail that's grey in the center and framed by white. Watch for these winter charmers picking seeds from under the evergreens and beneath the bird feeder. Juncos forage in loose, mixed flocks with other sparrows. As ground feeders, they scurry from the fields on short, quick flights into the cover of tall weeds or brush, giving a short, trill series of metallic sounding "chips". When the juncos arrive, winter is near.

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: alexanderjosephdunn@gmail.com

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