The Dark-eyed Juncos started showing up here in October. The birds' arrival is a sure sign of approaching winter. This is one of the birds I never noticed until I began bird watching. It mingles with the other sparrows at the feeders, another nondescript bird until I looked at it closely. Now I don't understand how I couldn't have noticed it. It is the only one of the small sparrows dressed in a tuxedo, dark in a neat suit of feathers except for its very white breast. To me, now that I know it, it looks very different from most sparrows with their various feather patterns of browns, grays, blacks, and whites.
It is easy to pick the junco out when it flies across our yard. Its tail is dark on the upper side, edged by a white feather on either edge.
The juncos will be with us until April. When they leave, we know spring has arrived.
The photos were taken by Tom from our dining room window.