There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Slate-coloured Junco

Subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis hyemalis

Medium-sized sparrow
Dark gray head, back and sides
White belly and outer tail features
Short, stout, pink bill

Listen to its call.

Technically, I probably should have just updated my earlier posting of the Oregon Junco, as this bird is another form of the Dark-eyed Junco. However, seeing as it was too snowy to find many birds out there today, I decided that this bird was different enough to deserve its own entry. After all, the two forms are quite different in appearance. I didn't even recognize today's bird of the day as the same species as the earlier one until I had searched my reference books multiple times. It had me totally stumped.  See for yourself.
"Slate-coloured Junco"
"Oregon Junco"

Learn more about the Dark-eyed Junco. 

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