Beak of the Week: Dark-eyed Junco


There are so many reasons why I love feeding birds!  And, while it is always exciting to see a new face stop by for a meal, it is equally refreshing to see familiar guests return for some feed, too! As I sit at by window this winter, watching my birds, I can’t help but be excited by the Dark-eyed Juncos that come back time and time again. Although one of the most common feeder birds, in addition to being one most plentiful birds in North America, the Dark-eyed Junco’s quirky moves and boisterous behavior make it a hard one not to love!

So, without further ado, I introduce to you this week’s featured bird…


Common Name: Dark-Eyed Junco; also nicknamed “snowbird” on account of its ubiquity during winter months.

Latin Name: Junco hyemalis

Range: In the summer, during breeding season, the Dark-eyed Junco is found in the western United States, across Canada and in the Appalachians. In the winter, this Junco is commonly found in all regions of the United States.

Habitat: Breeding summer range: coniferous and mixed-coniferous forests. Winter range: fields, parks, woodlands, farmlands, roadsides, and at your backyard feeder!

Diet: Mainly seeds, often eating from the ground. Known to eat insects during breeding season. To learn more about the Dark-eyed Junco feed/feeder preferences, click here!

Conservation Status: Least concern

Interesting Fact: The Dark-eyed Junco has many regionally diverse appearances. In fact, up until 1973, five different variations of the Dark-eyed Junco were considered separate species.  Look below to see some of the most common variations…


“Oregon” Junco
“Pink-Sided” Junco
“Slate-Colored” Junco
“Gray-Headed” Junco

For more variations, take a look at a field guide of North America!

Happy Bird Feeding!

Danielle + Michelle

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