top of page

Dark-Eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis

dark-eyed junco 3-21-11.JPG

Photo Credit: Alan Sparkman (1), Carrie Steingruber (2)

This small, distinctive member of the sparrow family is easily identified by its black head, and black-and-white flash of tail feathers as it flies off from foraging along the ground. Juncos can be seen all over campus, and are one of the clearest, persistent singers in the dawn chorus.  They nest low to the ground—and sometimes in unusual places, such as in a water fountain, or under an old tire.  See the Breeding Birds page for pictures of junco eggs and nestlings.


Dark-eyed Junco 

You spend the day 
flying away, 
eyes on display 
for all to see. 

Feathers like ash 
quick as a flash 
across-path dash, 
suddenly free. 

Head turning, you 
choose either to 
fly from the blue 
or hop, two, three 


gone, nearly trod 
on. I am awed 
at your quite flawed 
logic, you see? 

Are you scared or brave? 
Still waiting for 
shoes on your head 
instead? Please flee!



Audio Credit: Amanda Sparkman 

bottom of page