So there we were, standing in the kitchen, Noah cooking breakfast, me pouring my first cup of coffee, when out of the shrubs, at the base of the giant black locust tree, hops out the teeny tiny harbinger of winter - the Dark-eyed Junco!!!
Dark eyed juncos can be found only in North America, in the winter all across the US, enjoying feeders, fields, forests, parks, and gardens. Their colors are reminiscent of a winter's day, snow on the bottom, dark cloudy skies above.
There are many different dark-eyed juncos, those that visit us are the slate colored variety.
In the summer they nest in Canada, the Western US, and the Appalachian Mountains often in coniferous forests.
It was at one time fabled that the dark-eyed juncos were chipping sparrows in winter plumage due to their size and similar songs (they're not).
They have also been used to predict the weather - early in the winter if many juncos are congregating at a feeder, cold and snow will soon follow. Once they are no longer around, winter's end is near.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.