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Bird Bio - Dark-eyed Junco

Common Name:

Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific Name:

Junco hyemalis


The Dark-eyed Junco, measures 5-1/2: - 6-3/4" and has a pale bill, dark eyes and white belly, with conspicuous white feathers on the outside edges of the tail. The male junco has a uniform dark gray back and hood, while the female is brownish-gray.


Juncos make their open cup-shaped nests on the ground, using grass, weeds and leaves. Females lay 3-5 eggs that are bluish white with brown/gray marks. Eggs incubate for 11-13 days after hatching. Juncos may have 1-3 broods per year.


In Summer, Dark-eyed Juncos can be seen in conifer and mixed woods, edges of woodland, bogs and mountains (above tree level) throughout most of North America. In Winter, they take up residence in woodland edges, brush and suburban backyards, primarily in the U.S. Flocks return to the same areas each Winter.

In Summer, Juncos feed primarily on insects. In Winter, they eat mostly seeds such as white proso millet and berries. Flocks have a hierarchy, which is sometimes demonstrated by aggressive behavior at feeders. They have no known predators.

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