Length 6 inches.
Slate-coloured Junco: Junco hyemalis
Plate 29. No. 2.
- 6-6.50 inches.
- Male and Female:
- Dark bluish slate all over, except lower breast and
belly, which are grayish white and form a vest. Several outer tail feathers white, conspicuous in ﬂying. Female, with a more rusty cast and vest less distinct. Bill ﬂesh-white, dusky at tip.
- A crisp call note, a simple trill, and a faint whispering warble, usually much broken, but not without sweetness. (Bicknell.) Song sometimes heard before it leaves in spring.
- Common winter resident; late September to April.
- From the higher parts of the Alleghanies and northern New York and northern New England, northward.
- On ground, Sparrow-like.
- 4—6, White, peppered with reddish brown.
- North America at large, but chiefly east of the Rocky Mountains; south in winter to the Gulf States.
The Juncos, Whose habits are Sparrow-like, come to us after the summer moulting, varying their return with the weather. In 1893, they appeared September 25, but they may be expected to increase in number from this date until late October, while in November they go off on excursions in little parties, a. habit that they keep up all winter.
You cannot fail to name the Junco, with his sad—coloured coat, light vest and tail feathers; his cheerful habits will allow you to become quite intimate with him before winter is over, for he will come freely to the door for food, and is a frequenter of city parks and even back yards.
Juncos are winter residents upon whom we can always depend, although the numbers vary greatly. A small flock has lodged for many seasons in the evergreen honeysuckles about the house, and one bitterly cold February, when every seed was frozen down, a number came into the barn, feeble and exhausted, and peaked about the grain bin, mutely waiting for food; nor were they disappointed.
Together with the Chickadee they are frequently to be seen around the kennels, where the dogs always treat them with courtesy. They usually leave in early April, but sometimes lingering into May, they let us hear their song before they go northward for their wooing.