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Spring is a Time of New Beginnings...

"Spread your tiny wings and fly away And take the snow back with you Where it came from on that day" ~Snowbird by Gene MacLellan

Spring is a time of new beginnings and as much as I love seeing all of the spring migrants that make New England their home for the next few months, I'm always a little sad to see the "winter birds" move on.

One of my favorite winter birds, and a bird that is quite common at backyard birdfeeders in the Eastern United States, is the Dark-eyed Junco. In fact, these birds are the "snowbirds" of much of the US - they appear just as winter begins to set in, but come Spring they head for the forest floors of the Western mountains and Canada. (Some Juncos in other parts of the US are year-round residents, but they will head to higher elevations during the warmer months.)

Interestingly, the color patterns of Juncos vary across the country. East of the Plains they are gray and white birds (with a few that appear a bit more in the brownish range) - but in the west they come in various color patterns including "pink-sided," "gray-headed," and "red-backed."

I last saw a Junco in my yard two days ago. I suppose it is possible that there will be a few stragglers that hang around for a while longer, but I hope the same doesn't hold true for the snow!

Dark-eyed Juncos

Middlesex County, MA

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