Once considered five separate species, the five
races of Juncos are now grouped into one species. The five races tend to
summer in different locations, but multiple races can be found together in
winter. The photo on the right is of the white-winged race. The white-winged race
is a South Dakota specialty, nesting only in
the Black Hills. They are similar to the slate-colored junco, except have
white wing bars, more extensive white on the tail, and average 10-15% larger
than other junco races.
Habitat: Conifer and mixed woods in breeding, Open
woods, brush, undergrowth, and residential areas in winter.
Diet: Mostly seeds and insects. Summer diet
is evenly split between insects and seeds, while winter diets are primarily
seeds of weeds and grasses.
Behavior: Primarily forages hopping or walking
along the ground. Even when they come to feeders, they typically will
feed on fallen seed below a feeder, or on tray feeders set on the ground.
race nests in the Black Hills, other races only winter in the state.
Migration: Most races summer in
Canada or in the Mountain West. The white-winged race can be found in all
seasons in the Black Hills, while the other races are only found here in the
Bird Feeders: Seeds, nuts and
Similar Species: Generally distinctive, except for
the Yellow-eyed Junco, a species
found in higher elevations of the far southwestern United States.
Conservation Status: Very common and widespread.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Dark-eyed Junco"
University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web - Dark-eyed Junco
Photo Information: May 30th, 2004 -- Near Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park -- Terry
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Dark-eyed Junco photos.