Continuing with my discussion of bird names – these dark-eyed beauties called juncos showed up in my yard after our biggest snowstorm (9″ in New Jersey, perhaps). Funny thing about juncos is they wander around the ground, not hopping about in the branches. See, even in the snow they prefer exploring what’s down.
On a site called Beauty of Birds, I learned this about the junco name:
The species’ Latin name “hyemalis” translates into “winter;” and the genus name, Junco, roughly means “bird of bushes or reeds” – referring to their preferred habitats.
On the Wikipedia article for Junco: “Despite having a name that appears to derive from the Spanish term for the plant genus Juncus (rushes), these birds are seldom found among rush plants, as these prefer wet ground, while juncos like dry soil.”
Well, my juncos seemed to be OK hopping along on top of the snow. They are sometimes called snowbirds, but I think that’s usually a reference for flying south, *away* from the snow.
Some of the photos I took of the junco came out rather dark because the bird was down in the shadows. I might have changed the ISO to be a little higher on the one above, so it looks a little brighter.
On the Wikipedia article specifically for dark-eyed junco, it says they are related to the sparrow.
Not to confuse, but to give some contrast, here’s a photo of a tufted titmouse on our backyard tree when the tree was totally full of snow: