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Dark-eyed Junco visits

The only time I ever saw a Dark-eyed Junco was the very first winter we lived in our current home, almost five years ago. It was early morning when six Juncos foraged as a group in our front yard, probably finding insects in the damp ground. That was the first and last time they appeared.

Until a week ago.

I looked out the living room window and saw a bird with a different colored pattern from the usual birds we see in the garden. It was a Dark-eyed Junco of the "Oregon" form. These Juncos are native to Western North America. Juncos are considered sparrows, with a round head, small and pale bill, and a long tail with white outer feathers.

Dark-eyed Juncos are ground birds, foraging at the base of shrubs, trees and in yards.

They breed in coniferous and mixed-coniferous forests throughout the western U.S., across Canada and in the Appalachians. During breeding season they eat insects such as wasps, flies, ants, and caterpillars.

Otherwise their main diet is seed-based.

They certainly would find a lot of seeds in our native garden, with all of the buckwheat slowly going to seed.

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