8 Cool Facts About Dark-Eyed Juncos
Discover fun facts about one of winter's favorite snowbirds: the dark-eyed junco! Learn how long juncos live and what kind of birdseed juncos like best.
Juncos Have a Cool Nickname
Dark-eyed juncos are nicknamed snowbirds, as they seem to bring snowy winter weather on their wings. In the colder months they travel in flocks of 15 to 25 from the evergreen forests to backyards all over the U.S.
Their Namesake is Endangered
Named for its natural habitat of Guadalupe Island, the Guadalupe junco is now endangered. Unique to Mexico, there may be fewer than 100 left in the world.
One Bird Species Has Many Variations
The subspecies of dark-eyed juncos fall into five major groups: gray-headed, Oregon, pink-sided, slate-colored and white-winged.
Juncos Have a Long Lifespan
Banding records show that dark-eyed juncos can live to be 11 years old.
Next, can you guess how long hummingbirds live?
Look for Juncos on the Ground
Juncos make their home in woodland areas. Sure, they’ve got wings, but juncos prefer to hop around the forest floor, spending as much as 65% of their time on the ground. Discover the best way to attract birds that don’t visit bird feeders.
Cold Weather Doesn’t Influence Migration
Beginning in 1924, biologist William Rowan’s research on dark-eyed juncos revealed that these migratory birds respond more to changes in daylight than temperature.
Check out the top 5 birding hotspots for fall migration.
Juncos Puff Up in Winter
When it’s cold outside, juncos grow down jackets. Their coat of feathers is 30% heavier in winter than in summer.
Juncos Have a Favorite Birdseed
Attract juncos to your backyard ground feeders with millet. This small seed comes in two types, red and white.