The Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis, is a small sparrow.
Adults are generally grey on top with a white belly and white outer tail feathers. The bill is usually pinkish. There are several regional variations:
- The Slate-colored Junco has a dark slate grey head, breast and upper parts. Females are brownish grey. It is found in North America east of the central plains; it is relatively common in its range.
- The White-winged Junco has a grey head, breast and upper parts with white wing bars. Females are brownish grey. It is found in the mid-western United States and is relatively rare.
- The Oregon Junco is found on the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. It has a dark grey head and breast with a brown back and wings. This is the most common form in the west.
- The Gray-headed Junco is found in the southern Rocky Mountains. It is mainly grey on top with a rusty back.
- The Pink-sided Junco has a grey head and breast, with a brown back and wings. It has pinkish-brown flanks. It is found in the northern Rocky Mountains from Canada to the northern United States.
Their breeding habitat is coniferous
or mixed forest areas throughout North America. They usually nest in a well-hidden location on the ground or low in a shrub or tree.
Northern birds migrate further south; many populations are permanent residents. Slate-coloured Junco is a rare vagrant to western Europe and has wintered in Great Britain, usually in a domestic garden.
These birds forage on the ground. In winter, they often forage in flocks. They mainly eat insects and seeds.
The song is a trill similar to the Chipping Sparrow.