Bird of the Month Dark-Eyed Junco

Bird of the Month
Dark-eyed Junco
Sometimes called snowbird, these medium sized sparrows can be found year round in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, but they are easily found hopping about your back yard feeder during the winter.  The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York.  
The Dark-eyed Junco is a medium-sized slate grey sparrow with a rounded head, a short, stout white bill and a fairly long, conspicuous tail
Dark-eyed Juncos are primarily seed-eaters, with seeds of chickweed, buckwheat, lamb’s quarters, sorrel, and the like making up about 75% of their year-round diet. At feeders they seem to prefer millet over sunflower seeds. During the breeding season, Dark-eyed Juncos also eat insects including beetles, moths, butterflies, caterpillars, ants, wasps, and flies.
The female chooses the nest site, typically in a depression or niche on sloping ground, rock face, or amid the tangled roots of an upturned tree. Around people, juncos may nest in or underneath buildings. Occasionally, juncos nest above the ground on horizontal branches (rarely as high as 45 feet), window ledges, and in hanging flower pots or light fixtures.
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