Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bird Photography Weekly #16

This week for me, it's the Dark-eyed Junco - Oregon's race.

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This picture above was the first time I noticed this cute little bird. I asked my mom what it was after I put it up on the screen. Now, it's super easy to ID them.
The same day, or a few days later, this one - maybe same as before - was hanging out on our fence covered with wisteria vine. We have a feeder hanging nearby and it's a great place for them to perch while waiting their turn at the feeder.
In the spring, they were all over the place. We must have 2-3 adult pairs that live here year-round. I must remember to look for eggs. I was googling earlier about these birds, and found that they nest in ground depressions, often under cover (maybe of a shrub) and often against a vertical surface. I know the perfect place to look next year.
See the wall behind this feeder? This is our "shed" and it's where the vast majority of our juncos can be found. Oh, it doesn't hurt that there are a few feeders within 10 feet of this spot. Above, there's a Junco and HOSP getting along pretty well at the water tray. Anyway, I'm certain, there were juncos nesting behind that under the canna lilies and roses. That's where I spotted the youngster 3 pics down.
Here is a male ( I think ) scarfing up the seed on the patio.
And just a few feet away, scarfing up the seed the sloppy HOSPs kick out of the feeder. The juncos and mourning doves do a decent job of cleaning the mess. Of course those little grassy sprouts in the pic are seedlings from the seeds knocked out of the feeders that they missed.
Above is the youngster I mentioned. It has some noticeable streaking.
This is apparently my only picture of a female. Don't ask me why she's resting on the roof's edge. She was acting quite odd for our backyard juncos. 99% of the time they are on the ground.


Leedra said...

Beautiful photos, and now that you know where to look you will probably be getting lots more.

Lynne said...

Nice photos Red. Our juncos are winter visitors only and are much smokier looking.

Red said...

Thanks Leedra and Lynne!

Lynne, I've noticed on the blogs people are excited over their juncos now, so apparently that's normal across the U.S. I'd say most of our birds are year-round with the occasional fly-by, but I don't know how they'd get to the feeders with all our regular "guests".

Sparverius said...

Nice juncos, with the deep black hood. The ones at my feeder right now are younger, probably 1st year, and so look lighter colored. At first I thought they were pink-sided, but the lores aren't dark enough. So I'm going with 1st year Oregon.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Nice junco shots. We see them (mostly the "Oregon" subspecies but occasionally a :Slate-colored" would show up.

Mary said...

A Junco on the roof is rare here, too. I've only seen them in low bushes or trees and mostly on the ground. Great photos of them, Red.

Ours are lighter in color but probably as sweet.

Red said...

Thanks Sparvarius, Bob and Cynthia, and Mary!

Mary, I'll bet you're right... just as sweet. They are nice birds.

Natural Moments said...

Now that it is cold out, we suddenly have tons of juncos at our feeder too now. When I go hiking in the high backcountry I tend to find juncos next to the trails hidden in longer grass or under bushes like you mentioned. Sometimes you'll just be walking down the trail and the female will flush out suddenly. They are quite fun to watch in the snow now. I got some photos of them today too since it was sunny out.


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