Gentle Juncos

Junco on Snowy Tree Branch 3.19.13The more I watch birds, the more I admire them…at least some of them! Slate-colored Junco Among those I particularly admire are the juncos, because they are so peaceable. Junco+20 2.19.15For instance, this morning I just refilled the bird feeder (after a week’s absence),Juncos at Feeder 2.17.13 and while many of the birds fussed and fumed at each other, Sparrow complaining to junco the juncos simply tried to stay out of trouble’s way and ate when they could. 11.15.12 They are primarily gleaners and usually pick up seeds from beneath the feeder, Junco. Slate-coloredwhere the atmosphere is quieter, and there’s less competition for food. Snowy Junco stamping ground When it’s really snowy, juncos hop back and forth, packing down the snow Slate-colored Junco pecking out sunflower seed to expose seeds, which is really fun to watch. Junco eating seed They’re very industrious, and I notice that they always get plenty to eat Junco behind plant without having to enter into any neighborhood ruckuses! Junco 10:23:14 The juncos in my backyard here in lower Michigan are the “dark-eyed juncos,” Junco all fluffed up in zero degree weatherbut sometimes they’re called “northern juncos” or “slate-colored juncos,” Snowflakes on Junco 2.24.15 & I’ve even heard them referred to as “snow birds,” which seems strange to me, Northern Junco Snowy Day! 2.24.15 because I think of snowbirds as birds who fly south to escape the snow, Female Junco posing and juncos actually tend to head north in April or May Junco. First Snowsnot reappearing until fall, as one of the first heralds of cold weather returning. Junco deep in a drift In fact, the more snow, the more snowy juncos come to our feeder!Junco with violets 3.19.13 By now, you probably have a very clear picture of what juncos look like:Close up of Junco  The prototypical male has a “slate” gray (dark, almost charcoal gray) head and neck bib, dark gray back and wings, and a white belly. Junco. Tail feathers and back The males have darker, more pronounced markings than the females, Juncos' colored coat who are more of a brownish gray Junco on rail. Snowy with reddish brown flanks, Northern Junco landing on branch 2.20.15 although both males and females have wonderful variation in their individual plumage designs. Junco in snow on lake  Still, if you see a small bird in the winter, about the size of a sparrow, Junco Front shot that’s dark on the top and white underneath, Snowy Junco with orange legs, black feet and a short, stubby, pale pinkish bill with a black tip, Northern Junco pecking through snowyou’re most likely looking at a junco. Junco.10.23.14JPG If he has a peaceable nature Slate-colored Junco 1and  is willing to glean in the shadows under your feeder, Junco in Flower Pot than I think you can be sure it’s a sweet-tempered junco! Junco in Snowstorm 3.19.13Ah, to be like the peaceable juncos! Junco Fluff Ball in snow“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

4 responses to “Gentle Juncos

  1. Charylene Powers

    I watch birds and we also have many Junco’s this year. Thank you for the lovely pictures and texts. Charylene Powers

    • Thanks, Chary! I think the hard winter has brought us an abundance of these tenderhearted little fellows. 🙂

  2. Juncos come to my yard in winter. Love them. They wait for the other birds to feed and they eat the scraps or fallen seed and dig them up also. Wonderful to watch.

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