Dark-Eyed Junco

Scientific Name:

Junco hyemalis

Type:

Bird

Habitat:

During breeding season, dark-eyed juncos can be found in coniferous and mixed deciduous forests, then migrating into backyards, parks, and fields during the winter

Range:

One of the most common birds in North America

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Dark-eyed juncos are medium-sized sparrows, about 5.5 to 6 inches in length. Their color patterns can vary regionally: dark-eyed juncos living in the east sporting slate gray with white tail feathers while the western juncos are commonly a reddish brown color with a dark head. It was once thought these were two different species, but they are not and you can find color variations throughout North America. Dark-eyed juncos are ground feeders and can often be seen hopping as they forage for food.They may visit backyard bird feeders, but prefer the millet on the ground.

Fast Facts:

  • The diet of dark-eyed juncos includes a variety of seeds with a few insects (including caterpillars, ants, beetles and wasps) added especially during breeding season.

  • Nests can be quite variable in structure, although most of the time the nests are on the ground. Female dark-eyed juncos will spend several days building a nest hidden in the grass or under a log, or in the cities even under a building.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Regina Hockett (research & content)

Alex Shahbaziz (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

June 23, 2021, 11:00:27 PM