Saturday, October 23, 2010

The hearty and vigilant juncos are back!



Waves upon waves of juncos have returned to southern Wisconsin during the past week. They're a rather conspicuous songbird this time of year by sight and sound; nearly everyone will recognize them in backyards and parks. In flocks, it seems that they almost always have something to comment on while inspecting their surroundings. Hearing their little laser-beam "tew-che-tew-tew" call is highly amusing to me. While a single bird will often forage quietly on its own, as soon as two get close to each other a vocal disagreement is practically assured. Flushing them while walking down a woodland trail, it's easy to notice their prominent white outer tail feathers and rattling flight call. Catching one by surprise will cause a junco to sound off its smacking alarm note. Though common as they are, I find their antics and company during winter's long and cold months a kind of blessing.

Dark-eyed Junco © 2010 Mike McDowell

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