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Archive for April 10, 2013

Migrating Dark-eyed Juncos Passing Through New England

4-10-13 dark-eyed junco2 IMG_9530This week those of us in the Northeast have been inundated with dark-eyed juncos, often referred to as “snow birds” due to their presence in much of the U.S. only during the winter months.  Although this member of the sparrow family breeds here and is found year-round in New England, over most of the eastern U.S. juncos appear as winter sets in and then retreat northward each spring.  Many of the juncos that we are seeing now are transitory migrants on their way to Canada and the Arctic to their breeding grounds.  They will remain there until next fall, when we will experience a similar influx.  Research has found that males migrate earlier than females, and that females tend to migrate further south than males. The timing of this migration is regulated primarily by the lengthening spring days.