Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Officially Winter Now - The Snowbirds Have Arrived

We all see and enjoy the beautiful fall colors and feel the relief of cooler air that fall brings. It's a short lived introduction to the season we all know arrives next. But to me, nothing introduces the winter season more than the arrival of the Dark-eyed Junco. In my house these birds were, and still are, referred to as "snowbirds". I guess they got this nickname for their knack of showing up just before the first snowfall - or in my area, the first cold spell.


I'm always excited to see my first Juncos of the season and this weekend was it! I spotted them foraging under my bird feeders.

Juncos are ground feeders that tend to stay together in small flocks. They vary in color across the country, but in general they’re dark gray or brownish birds. When they take flight, they can be easily identified by the two white stripes on their outer tail feathers.

In my own yard, I've noticed that these birds like to hang close to ground cover - like shrubs or small trees. These birds would benefit well by providing them with a homemade brush pile for winter protection. I'll post more about that later...

Have a great week everyone and be sure to check out more bird photography over at!