Dark-eyed Juncos- the females

On Friday, we caught three Dark-eyed Juncos in one net check. As you can see from the photo of the three together, they exhibited a range of feather colors on their backs. Ranging rusty brown to slate gray, the back color of our ‘Slate-colored’ eastern subspecies are the easiest way to determine the gender and age of the juncos.

The bird on the left that looks like it was dipped in hot chocolate mix was determined to be a hatch year female by the bander, while the two birds on the right that have a smaller amount of brown are after hatch year females.

female Dark-eyed Juncos- from left to right hatch year, adult, and another adult. Photo by Alex Lamoreaux.