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Niagara Falls
Monday, April 15, 2024
Bird watch: Dark-eyed junco
A dark-eyed junco in NOTL. LILY MCKINLEY

Lily McKinley
Special to Niagara Now/The Lake Report

Dark-eyed junco:

It’s “Canada’s snowbird” and it is a beautiful sight in Niagara-on-the-Lake during the winter.

The dark-eyed junco is the most abundant forest bird in North America.

It resides in diverse habitats, spanning from coniferous forests to suburban gardens.

During the summer breeding season, the junco nests in higher-elevation boreal forests across the mountains of western Canada.

In the winter, it migrates to lower, southern regions, including the Niagara Peninsula.

Juncos travel up to thousands of kilometres on their migratory journey and typically arrive in the region by early winter.

The species can often be seen burrowing through the snow in search of their food.

When you encounter one junco, you are likely to see a flock of 30 or more.

Juncos do not visit feeders during warmer months due to abundant natural food sources, but they are often seen at backyard feeders in the winter.

This offers an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of these charming visitors.

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