BIRD OF THE WEEK — DARK-EYED JUNCO — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

DARK-EYED JUNCO

ABC

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Junco hyemalis

POPULATION: Estimates vary widely, from 190 to 260 million

TREND: Decreasing

HABITAT: Breeds in high-elevation conifer and mixed woods. Winters in fields, parks, and yard.

All Dark-eyed Juncos have some features in common: white outer tail feathers that are especially conspicuous when the bird takes flight; darker upperparts contrasting a lighter belly; and a pale bill. But this bird can vary drastically in appearance depending on where one sees it. Some juncos have more reddish-brown on the back and sides, some sport a contrasting dark hood over the head and neck, and others show a gray-tinged belly or white bars on the wings.

"ark-eyed

Although initially lumped with the rest of the Dark-eyed group, the endemic Guadalupe Junco was again split into a distinct species in 2016. Another closely related species, the Yellow-eyed Junco, is resident in pine-oak highlands from southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico south through Mexican highlands to Guatemala.

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