Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow birds not always white or in the snow

These northern juncos (also called a "slate colored" junco or the dark-eyed junco) have been flitting all over the backyard lately. They are listed in Peterson's Eastern Bird Guide under snowbirds and close examination of their range map shows that they winter in Delaware and to the south. It is interesting to think of Delaware in the winter as the south that more northerly dwelling birds fly to, even as our summer birds fly farther south.

This one looks like a male with its slate colored top and white belly. You can also see the characteristic white tail feathers on the outside of the tail. The tail is a flashes white when they fly around.

This more dun version is a female. The boys tend get to wear the more fancy clothes in the bird kingdom. It does have dark eyes and a seed breaking beak.

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