Monday, 8 January 2018

A Junco Study

Our bird feeders are proving popular in this snowy weather with the most numerous species being Dark-eyed Junco.  Up to now all that I had ever seen was the expected slate-coloured subspecies.  Today however, I noticed an interesting junco that warranted further study.  I attempted photos, but only managed one somewhat decent. 
And a highly cropped version of the above photo.

At quick glance it could be taken for a slate-coloured, but some features just don't match.  Most obvious is the head is darker than the back and wings and the back itself is a reddish-brown. 

After doing some research and sending an email to someone more experienced than I, it seems like this bird is most likely some sort of intergrade between Slate-coloured and Oregon subspecies.  This remains a tentative identification as there seems to be a lot of variation within juncos.  Anyone with additional input is welcome to comment.

An interesting find at the home feeders.


  1. I have found many intergrades over the years, even like your bird depicted. They sure can show quite a variation. Been a long time since I have seen a "good" male Oregon!

    1. It sure seems like there can be quite the variety. I'm hoping someday to see a true Oregon.