Dark-Eyed Junco

There are more than a dozen recognized “races” of the dark-eyed junco, from the most basic slate-gray with a white breast to those with a swoosh of pink along the flanks, plus lots of variations in between.


Dark-Eyed Junco
Roland Jordahl
Dark-Eyed Junco
Patricia Foss
Dark-Eyed Junco


Dark Eyed JuncoPatricia Foss
Patricia Foss Dark-Eyed Junco

Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis.
Family: Sparrow.
Length: 6 inches.
Wingspan:  9 inches.
Markings: Coloration varies regionally. Common characteristics are dark eyes, white-edged tails and black, brown or gray hoods.
Nest: Constructs a cup-shaped nest on the ground using natural materials; then, lays four to six pale, speckled eggs inside.
Voice: Trills vary in pitch and tempo, from dry notes to tinkling sounds.
Habitat: Evergreen or mixed forest in summer. In winter, all kinds of woods, brushy places, farms, parks, back yards.
Diet: Seeds, nuts and grains in winter; insects, berries and grass seeds in summer.
Backyard Favorites: Birdseed and cracked corn scattered on ground.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Dark-Eyed Junco’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Dark-eyed Junco Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

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Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.