Remembering the Dark-eyed Juncos


Another of the forgotten species of birds that inhabit this part of west Texas is the Dark-eyed Junco. (Junco hyemalis).  In all honesty, I have never personally seen one here in San Angelo, but I have in nearby places such as the Abilene area and Fort Davis, for example.  Why they avoid San Angelo, I do not know.

The two types that I am familiar with are the Slate-colored group and the Oregon group.  Rather than try to tell you the differences in text, I will show a couple of  images that I took over the past few years.  In these photographs you can see the difference between the two.

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon group)

  • Photographed February 15, 2009
  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens  (400mm)
  • 1/500 sec. @ f5.6  ISO 400
  • Metering – center weighted
  • Aperture priority

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored group)

  • Photographed November 10, 2010
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 500mm f4 IS super-tele lens  (500mm)
  • 1/400 sec. @ f4 – ISO 3200
  • Metering – partial
  • Shutter priority

There are also some other variations of the junco that are not ususally seen  around west Texas.  They are Pink-sided, White-winged, Gray-headed and Yellow-eyed.

Click on either of the images to see enlargements.

While you’re here click Avian101 to read a guest article that I contributed to H. J. Ruiz’s blog about birds and birding.

To see more of my photographic prowess, click on my Flickr logo a the right of this page.

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12 thoughts on “Remembering the Dark-eyed Juncos

  1. Hi Bob..love your photos of the Juncos..they are one of our favorites in the winter time at the window feeders. They are priceless and quite people friendly as they will wait for you to fill the feeders and then jump right in for their dinner. We have more Slate Juncos …than the Oregon Dark-eyed.Thanks again for sharing…you always seem to make my day…

  2. Bob, I had the same problem with the Dark-eyed Juncos I’ve seen only one and was lucky to take pictures, not so good though. However, everybody says they’re so abundant. You figure it! 🙂

  3. Bob, I enjoyed seeing these Dark-eyed Junco photos! And thank you for including the camera setting info. I have not used center-weighted metering (just partial and sometimes evaluative) for my bird and other nature photos. I will give it a try, especially when I have a subject that is similar to the background color as shown in your Oregon group Junco photo.

    I checked out your interesting article on the Avian101 blog. The Inca doves are definitely cuter than our doves here in Georgia.

    • Hi Karen, Thanks for commenting.

      Recently, I have began shooting with spot metering, also. Since birds are so small, I felt that at times I wasn’t getting a true reading. I also shoot mostly in shutter priority now, to insure that I have enough speed to stop the action of the flighty avians.

      By the way, I have been checking out your blog, and your flower photographs are simply stunning. 🙂

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