Bird Sounds: Dark-eyed Junco

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Dark-eyed Junco Calls

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Many folks call the Dark-eyed Juncos a sign of winter and “snowbirds” since these birds appear in our backyards just as winter settles in. Learn more and listen to their sweet bird song.

Dark-eyed Juncos are medium-sized sparrows about 5 to 6 inches long with long tails; these winter-hearty birds breed in Canada and migrate to the U.S. in the winter season. They’re commonly found across the country. East of the Plains, the males have a darker slate grey and white color, and the females have a lighter color. In the West, these birds often have reddish-brown coloring on their backs or sides. Both have distinct white outer tail feathers that flash open when they take flight.

They are “ground birds” that nest on the ground (under trees or logs) and forage on the ground, hopping around and pecking at the ground for the seeds of weeds and grasses. They’ll also show up at bird feeds but tend to gather under the feeding tray.

The male birds sing a sweet, musical trill lasting about 2 seconds. Calls include short, hard tsip, and excited high-pitched twitters.

Here, you can identify the sounds and bird song of the Dark-eyed Junco—compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard of a Dark-eyed Junco? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

About The Author

Jennifer Keating

Jennifer is the Associate Digital Editor at The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She is an active equestrian and spends much of her free time at the barn. When she’s not riding, she loves caring for her collection of house plants, baking, and playing in her gardens. Read More from Jennifer Keating

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