Photography

Dark-eyed juncos: Original Winter Snowbird

Little junco sitting on my garden fence.

Dark-eyed junco, also known as the Snowbird. There are several types of winter birds that many call snowbirds, but the junco is the original snowbird.

Little junco turned around on my garden fence.

You know when winter is on its way when these little white and grey song birds show up in your yard.

The junco is a favorite of mine because they are a happy, cheerful little bird. Always singing their song when everyone else is quiet, in the dead of winter.

Junco sitting on my metal arbor. With vines wrapped around.

The junco prefers to forage for his food on the ground. Moving and turning over leaves and sticks for seeds.  Occasionally they will visit a bird feeder, if the feeder is big enough for them to sit on.

When I go out to refill my feeders. I usually throw some seed on the ground for them, as well as the Blue Jays and anyone else who happens to be around.

Little junco sleeping .

Today was the first day, I noticed my feathered little snowbirds had shown up.

We’ve had well over a week of rain with the temps steadily dropping. So I was keeping my eyes out for them, knowing it would be any day now.

They usually migrate in my area in October through March. It’s always sad to see them go, but it’s also the sign that spring is coming.

They do prefer the cooler temps, so they fly off to the northern areas of Wisconsin, when things start warming up.

There, they will build their nests on the ground and raise the next generation.

I often wonder if any of these little snowbirds happen to be the ones who visited last year.

The male junco is darker than the female. He can be a very dark grey blue. While the female is a light grey, often with some brown on her wings.

They are the size of a sparrow and a little more rounder.

One of the first spotted juncos of the year.

I love to photograph these little birds because of their color and their big eyes.

They just don’t like to sit still in one place for very long, and they are very shy.

Little junco yawning.

So I like to sprinkle lots of bird seed around the ground to bring them in. After a good half hour they get used to seeing me and start eating their treat.

Junco sitting peacefully after eating his treat.

So if you happen to notice these little fluff balls show up at your home.

Be assured, that winter is indeed right around the corner!

 

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