Dark-eyed Juncos vary greatly in color. Formerly there were four juncos – Oregon, Slate Colored, White Winged and Grey Headed that are now considered one and the same species. These little sparrows are abundant in the North American forests. They flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada in search of insects, seeds and berries. They also will fly upwards from the ground to catch the insects from the trunks of trees. They are easily recognizable by their crisp (though quite variable) markings and the bright white tail feathers conspicuous in flight. Juncos are one of the most abundant forest birds of North America which you’ll see on woodland walks as well as flocking around your feeders.
Their habitat is coniferous and mixed woodlands and they especially like edges and openings. During migration and in winter they reside close to the cover of trees and thickets along roadsides, in gardens and fields. Their nest is constructed in a cup-like shape of twigs, grass and moss and is lined with fine hairs, rootlets and grasses. They nest on or near the ground with the nest typically is concealed behind vegetation, in cavities of stumps or steep slopes.
Some Juncos in the West and in the Appalachian Mountains of the East are resident and don’t migrate at all. The Juncos that breed in Alaska and Canada winter in the southern U.S.