… a little Junco

May 3, 2016

My observations are that birds which winter over are more agreeable in disposition than birds which come here to breed.  Case in point, Juncos, which winter over here and then head further North to breed.  They are such a delightfully polite and agreeable little bird, not taken to fighting over the feeders, but rather preferring to peacefully forage below them.

dark-eyed junco may 2016

‘Dark-eyed Junco’

 3″ x 5″, watercolour on Saunders Hot Press 140# Paper

On the other hand, birds which migrate here to breed, like the Common Grackle, dive-bomb me when I’m giving our dog Elmo his early morning walk, as though I am suddenly in my dotage going to start climbing trees to pull down their nests.

But blest be the birds which come here to winter over, like the so-lovely Common Redpoll and the Dark-eyed Junco.  Although extremely territorial when nesting, we get to see Juncos when sex is the furthest thing from their bird-brained minds and finding seeds on the snow is all they care about.

Some birdie facts:

  • Juncos are the “snowbirds” of the middle latitudes. Over most of the eastern United States, they appear as winter sets in and then retreat northward each spring. Some juncos in the Appalachian Mountains remain there all year round, breeding at the higher elevations. These residents have shorter wings than the migrants that join them each winter. Longer wings are better suited to flying long distances, a pattern commonly noted among other studies of migratory vs. resident species.





11 Responses to “… a little Junco”

  1. […] Lance Weisser at Weisser Watercolours posted this junco a few days before the 8th this month – and please check out his site for more adorable bird miniatures in watercolor. […]


  2. Marlene Lee said

    Your love for birds are quite evident. And the frame is a perfect fit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Cris, I can certainly relate to that. We have Towhees also, but very very few (maybe we have a lot of cats in the neighbourhood!). Growing up, the bird call which made me nuts was the Mourning Dove. In the West we don’t have them, only the Collared Dove, and it is just a gentle cooing. Funny how we respond to certain species! Thank you very much for your constant support.


  4. Ha ha, great description, that sums them up so well. They used to be so abundant when I was a kid, now they are seen less frequently, as I guess so many other birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a perfect painting of a polite and agreeable birdie! I *thought* the same about our towhees – with the addition of adorable and curious – but THEN they started a permanent encampment after our kitty died. They have JUST the piercing, ugly tweet that makes me want to go out and smack them. Every. Single. Morning. (I guess that makes them NOT polite and NOT agreeable. In my opinion. Of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ….hahahaha! I had to google ‘stroppy’ just now! Great word. Great word for Starlings, too–like coined for them. They insist on going around in groups, yet can’t stand one another–butting in, pushing off, squawking–then suddenly flying off to do it all again at someone else’s feeder (smile)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathe said

    What a beautiful painting and bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a cute little bird, I haven’t heard of these before, probably as they don’t visit the uk. Made me chuckle as I was watching the birds feeding at my friends today, talk about stroppy, those starlings may just be tops today.

    Liked by 2 people

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