Juncos breed in open woodlands and forest edges. The female builds a cup nest composed
of grasses, small twigs, and other fine plant materials. The nest is usually placed
against a tree or shrub or a tuft of plants. The female incubates three to five white eggs
with brownish blotches for up to 13 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave the
nest in just under 2 weeks.
According to records at the Bird Banding Lab, a total of 1,359,116 Juncos have been
banded since 1955. Of these, 15,198 have been recovered, representing a recovery rate of
It is reported that flocks of Juncos return to the same general wintering grounds each
year. Juncos color banded here at Chipper Woods in Central Indiana over the last three
winters wander around the Indianapolis area, but non have not been observed to return in
subsequent years. Colors used here include combinations of red, orange, yellow, green,
blue, pink and white.
If you should observe a color banded Junco, please report it to the Bird Banding Lab by
calling 1-800-327-BAND. Be sure to note the color combinations and if they are on the left
or right leg.
Overall, breeding bird counts show that Junco populations are declining slightly,
especially in the northeastern US and Canada.
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification guide to North American birds. Part 1. Slate Creek Press,
Bolinas, CA. 732 Pp.
Rising, J. D., and D. D. Beadle. 1996. A guide to the identification and natural
history of the sparrows of the United States and Canada. Academic Press, Boston. 365 Pp.
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