Date: 7/30/17 9:53 pm
From: David Irons <LLSDIRONS...>
Subject: [obol] Educational photos: "What kind of sparrow is this?"
After seeing a "hot of the press" juvenile Dark-eyed Junco in the yard late yesterday afternoon, I spent several hours staking out our feeding station in hopes of getting some photos today. It never showed up this morning, but finally made an appearance about 6PM. It was clearly recently fledged as it was heavily streaked and still begging and being fed by an adult. I've attached two photos, one of the bird by itself and another with one of the parents. I think our local junco pair had two successful clutches this year, as there are two hatch-year, but now unstreaked youngsters coming to our feeders and now this bird, which showed up for the first time yesterday. We had seen the adults bringing at least one streaked juvie to the feeders back in late May/early June.


Fresh out of the nest Dark-eyed Juncos look much more like a sparrow than a junco. About the only good clue to their identity is the tell-tale white in the tail, which is far more extensive than the amount of white in the tail of a similarly streaked Vesper Sparrow. Songbirds typically only hold their juvenile plumages (first full set of feathers) for only a few weeks before they go through a performative molt that results in a more adult-like appearance. In the case of young juncos, they are heavily streaked in juvenile plumage, but unstreaked below after their performative molt.


Dave Irons

Beaverton, OR

 
Join us on Facebook!