The Darkeyed Juncos in our yard defy their
description. They are supposed to be ground feeders but ours do eat from the high feeders
now and not only do they eat the black oiled sunflower seeds they are supposed to like,
they also can be seen at the black thistle feeder hanging in front of the living room
window. It took me awhile to identify these little guys because while they have the
behavior listed in the books, they don't have the look of the pictures I saw. I finally
found this picture in a new book I had gotten and this is a spitting images of the flock
that come to our yard. We get quite a large group of them every winter. It is said that
since they show up in gardens during the winter, they are often referred to as
snowbirds. That really fits since the yard they go to is "snogirl's" yard wouldn't you say? Although in this part of Western Washington, they don't get much snow.
UPDATE - 2001 This year we have a new nest in the neighborhood. I have had a hanging flower bowl in front of a bedroom window in the back yard for several years but right after I replanted it the week of Easter, a Junco family moved in. One day a couple of weeks later, I was dead heading the
pansies and was startled as a bird flew out from amongst the flowers. It was the female. She has four or five eggs in her nest. The parents are starting to get used to us being in the yard and will now go in and out of the bowl with us out there. It took awhile though. I would love to be able to get pictures when the eggs hatch.
They ended up hatching two nests before the season was over. We
thought they were finished when the eggs hatched and all sign of them was
gone so we removed the nest from the plants and they started rebuilding it
and another set of eggs was laid. That bunch of hatchlings all fell from
the nest one day as they were startled by the grandkids playing nearby. We
had baby birds everywhere. Had a rough time keeping an eye on them and so
did the parents. They tried rounding them up the best they could. We never
saw them again after that day so we can only hope they survived.