Monday, November 24, 2008

Oregon Junco, YES!!!

I sent some of my junco photos to my birding instructor, Jerry McWilliams. author of The Birds of Pennsylvania, The Birds of Erie County, etc... and this was his reply:

Yes, your junco is an "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco. I am not familiar with name Cassiar junco. Oregon's are rare, but regular in Pennsylvania. I have only seen a handful of them in Erie County and only a couple were males.

I then sent him this excerpt describing the Cassiar Junco to which he replied:

According to this description of Cassiar junco, I probably have seen a few of these, especially females. I would still call any ADULT MALE juncos with a distinctive hood and orange-brown flanks, "Oregon" Dark-eyed Juncos. It really becomes a problem making this distinction between a "pure" subspecies and hybrids between the two subspecies when trying to identify females and immature males.

As of Saturday the "Oregon" was still hanging around and I took "a few" more shots. I'm not sure how I expect to catch up with all the categorization I need to do if I continue taking all these photos! Looks like rain for the next few day so maybe that will keep me in the house and focused on the task at hand:(

This guy's sure packin' it in!
Notice how distinct his hood is from the rest of the body. I've seen them darker in pictures but according to Cornell's website the hood can be dark to dull gray.

Here is a male dark-eyed junco, slate-colored form. Not sure if he's singing or yawning:)

This is a female slate-colored junco chomping on a sunflower seed. This cute little female adorned one of my Christmas cards from last year.

As the afternoon wore on it started getting pretty cold and windy...

so I headed indoors for some hot coffee and a cozy warm blanket!


Leedra said...

Look at those feet in the last photo. He is going to need those large feet to hang on in that wind storm.

Toni said...

Awesome photos Michele. It was great to see more of the side and backside of the Oregon Junco.

Glad jerry was able to clear the ID up for you.

HANNIBAL said...

Nice series of Juncos and their info. Loved that last shot especially! They were all very cute and well captured!

Bird Girl said...

I'm so happy your ID was confirmed by Jerry - now that is a treat in the world of birding and photography! I've never seen an Oregon Junco and I will now be on the look out for one! Thanks for the great images and info, Michele! (It is hard to stay indoors when there are so many birds and so little time ;-)

Linda in Erie said...

Very nice photos of the Juncos. I had one show up the first snow we had and he disappeared and a whole flock arrived for our big snow storm last week. I couldn't tell you if they were slate-colored and only stay around my place when there is a snow storm. I can't figure that one out.

NCmountainwoman said...

Fantastic shots of the juncos. I loved them all.

MicheleRF said...

Leedra-Aren't bird feet amazing!?
Toni-Thanks! I was glad to get the side shots. After being outside for about an hour I think he got used to me and was a little less shy:)
HANNIBAL-Thanks! Glad you liked it.
BG-Yes, luckily:( the weather is bad now and I'll get some computer work done.
Linda-Yeah, mine are here more when the weather is bad, maybe because it's harder to find food in the wild at those times.
Carolyn-Thanks and stay tuned for some more Carolina wren shots I took on Saturday!