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Dark-eyed Junco Numbers Increasing

9-26-18 junco IMG_0308

Although Dark-eyed Juncos can be found year-round in New England, their numbers increase dramatically at this time of year, and they become much more noticeable. In addition to our year-round residents, many individuals that have bred further north migrate to the Northeast and even further south to overwinter. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as “Snowbirds.” From late September through October their numbers build and remain high until next May, when many return to their Canadian breeding grounds.

During the winter Dark-eyed Juncos can often be found in flocks, hopping and scratching on the ground as they forage for the seeds that make up 75 percent of their diet. Their two-toned white and gray plumage, and their white outer tail feathers are distinctive.

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5 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    Always a good amount of them, here…because there is always birdseed available year-round.

    September 26, 2018 at 8:52 am

  2. Kathie Fiveash

    Here on the island, the children call them “snow buttons!” And yes, their numbers are increasing dramatically here this past few weeks.

    September 26, 2018 at 9:07 am

  3. Bill on the hill

    Lovely photograph Mary… I have always enjoyed their presence as they commingle with the other small birds.

    September 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

  4. I noticed a few the other day – a sure sign of fall.

    September 26, 2018 at 9:03 pm

  5. What a lovely picture! Juncos are one of my favorite birds ~ it’s always a thrill when they visit my feeder.

    September 28, 2018 at 8:26 am

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