Monday, October 17, 2011

The Junco - Dan Huber

These Slate-colored Dark Eyed Juncos are what I usually see, the females are lighter in shade and an occasional brown adult.
From Blogger Pics
    I have a friend who will tell in the autumn, with a touch of venom, that she saw a Junco at her feeders.  She doesn't dislike them but for what their presence means; winter is nigh.  I have not been birding long, now about five years, and this was one of the first seasonal patterns, although pointed out to me I watched and enjoyed.  Here in southern New England, the Junco is absent or at least rare for the spring and summer, but often mid to late autumn they start appearing at the feeders, quickly becoming regulars.

From Blogger Pics
For one so drab, note all the shads of brown and black,actually very colorful.
From Blogger Pics
This special bird stimulated me to study them with the pencil as well.
From Blogger Pics
   Last year the Junco had a special role for me.  I had started my birding aggressively trying to learn as much as I could, see as many birds as I could.  It is my personality, to master that which I enjoy.  I found myself starting to chase birds and to list.  I also found myself not having as much fun as I should be for a hobby.  Watching the Juncos at my feeder last winter, this "common" bird, I found myself revelling in it's beauty.  I have a nice setup out my window, partially obscured by grape vines, allowing very close looks.  This common drab species helped awaken my ability to find peace and a zen-like feeling when watching birds.  Since then, although I still itch to list every bird I see, I have been allowing the birding day to go slow, often sitting in one spot for hours, I am often rewarded with wonderful close looks at behaviors I never would have seen.
    
Although Juncos are not here yet,  I can't wait to see them again.

From Blogger Pics

11 comments:

  1. Dan, I've always enjoyed seeing the Juncos; Snow Birds as I call them, come back, I love their soft calls and muted coloration. I saw one at the Swell in central Utah last week, but not close enough to get great pictures of. Love this post.

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  2. Excellent Dan and I love the drawings very much!

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  3. ...I'm so glad you included your sketches, Dan! I love seeing bird art. Rick and I have an ongoing contest to see who spots the first junco each autumn. So far, we are sans junkies. We're watching for them, though! :-)

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  4. I saw my first DE Junco of the season - an Oregon subspecies - in Millcreek Canyon near Salt Lake City. It was a delight to see!

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  5. Hey Dan! Great Junco post and photos..they look so chunky..stop feeding them so much..hee hee. Love the sketches!

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  6. Super photographs. Even better sketches.

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  7. Delightful photos of delightful birds! Through thick and thin the Juncos were at my feeders in Texas, like they enjoyed the worst weather.
    I never noticed the dark contrast between their leg and foot color either, but it's like they have special snow shoes.

    Thanks for posting.

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  8. Great post, Dan! I loved the Junco photos. I have not seen one yet, maybe that is a good sign. I can wish the winter away.

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  9. Thanks very much to all for such nice comments.

    dan

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  10. Ive used casls for the dark eyed junco and they come aflying. Esp when the mating call is played. I live near Seattle, wa and also attracted a different bird but dont know what it is. I have video of the bird. Plz feell free to email at sonoali@yahoo.com i also noticed in the past few days no juncos :( have they moved out of the area?

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