Birdcam:  Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco Male

One of my favorite birds is the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).  It is a member of the Emberezid family along with Sparrows, Towhees and Buntings.  Like the Swallows to Capistrano, they return to South Fidalgo Island every fall.  They are gentle, polite and unassuming little souls, not flashy or brightly colored.  Instead, they are tastefully attired in shades of black, charcoal, rust, beige and gray.  Nevertheless, take a Junco and add a bit of holly and you have a perfect Christmas card image.  I don’t know where they go in the summer, perhaps further north or more inland to deeper forests.  They are ground nesters, so they probably seek territories free of raccoons and other predators.  Based on their numbers, this strategy appears to be working.  This is the "Oregon" race where the female's colors are a bit paler:

Dark-eyed Junco Female

There are also "pink-sided" races with gray heads which are not supposed to be here, but guess what:

Pink-sided Junco?