Friday, April 11, 2014

Dark-eyed Junco

Here is an oddly-plumaged Slate-colored Junco we banded last Monday near Northfield, Minnesota. I do not recall ever handling a junco with such odd facial markings. The bird is clearly in molt—note the feather sheaths on its ear coverts. Are the pale gray supercilliary marks winter feathers not yet molted into dark adult plumage? What about the odd necklace running across its upper breast? That this bird is the Slate-colored form of a Dark-eyed Junco is evident by the sharp angle formed by the edge of its white belly.

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