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 Dark-eyed Junco

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Dark-eyed Junco.

Use the links below to view the Dark-eyed Junco reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Dark-eyed Junco sightings.
Dark-eyed Junco Archives Reports
Fall 2003 1205
Spring 2003 533
Winter 02-03 3507
Fall 2002 528
Summer 2002 3
Spring 2002 278
Winter 01-02 164
Fall 2001 597
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 394
Winter 00-01 314
Fall 2000 414
Summer 2000 3
Spring 2000 599
Winter 00-99 375
Fall 1999 427
Spring/Summer 1999 13

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Dark-eyed Junco

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Dark-eyed Junco
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Dark-eyed Junco
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Junco hyemalis hyemalis (Linnaeus)
Slate-colored Junco (A.O.U. 1998: Dark-eyed Junco)

Resident, common in the Upper Peninsula and in the northern third of the Lower Peninsula, uncommon south to Kent and Ingham counties. Winter visitant, regular in southern half of the Lower Peninsula, and occasional in the eastern counties of the Upper Peninsula.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Kneeland (1857: 236).

SPRING.-Slate-colored Juncos usually leave the southern part of Michigan in late April; numbers are sometimes recorded in the Upper Peninsula in early April.

Lower Peninsula.-L. "W. Campbell (1940: 209) reported that most of the Slate-colored Juncos have left the Toledo-Erie marsh area by the end of April. Swales (1903: 39-40) noted them as common transients in the Detroit area during late March and in April; he recorded more than 200 there on April 9, 1908. In 1918 and 1919 N. A. Wood (1922: 22) noted flocks in Berrien County until the latter part of May; Walkinshaw (1939:110) found that the species left the Battle Creek area by the last of April; and Gibbs (1885: 87) gave March as the period of its greatest abundance in Kalamazoo County. From 1931 to 1933 only an occasional individual �was seen at Sand Point, Huron County, by D. W. Douglass after the first week in May. Maurice G. Brooks saw about 12 near Tawas City, Iosco County, on March 17, 1939; N. A. Wood noted as many as 10 a day on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, in the first half of May, 1929.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson usually finds the Slate-colored Junco at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, from mid-March to early May; he records numbers there in April (April 3 and 4, 1938: 75 each day; April 5, 1938:100; April 22, 1937: 100). Bryens has made similar observations at McMillan, Luce County; he recorded 200 there, for example, on April 27, 1936. N. A. "Wood (1933: 726) listed the species as a common transient at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, during late April and early May, 1931; Laurence Dayton reported it present on Isle Royale from mid-April to the time of his departure in late May (1937).

SUMMER.-Because of lack of information from the area between Craw- ford and Kent counties, the southern breeding boundary of the Slate-colored Junco is not well defined. Juncos are found breeding commonly in Crawford County. They were reported once from Kent County and twice from Ingham County, but there are no recent breeding records from that far south.

Lower Peninsula.-Alexander "W. Blain, Jr. (1903c: 95), reported a Slate-colored Junco at Detroit on June 25 and July 15. H. A. Atkins (1879: 238) saw 1 near Locke, Ingham County, on July 8, and indicated that the species nested there in 1883 (Barrows, 1912: 513). Two specimens were collected near Grand Rapids by C. W. Gunn on July 13, 2023 (H. A. Atkins, 1879: 238), and R. H. Wolcott observed the species gathering nesting material there in June (Barrows, 1912: 513). Chaney (1910:276) saw a pair at Hamlin Lake, Mason County, during the summer. Four to 15 were seen daily during July and early August in the vicinity of Lovells, Crawford County, by Leonard Wing in 1931; an adult feeding several young out of the nest was observed in Oscoda County by N. A. Wood and Frothingham (1905: 50) on June 15. Recently several parties from the Museum of Zoology have found the species breeding regularly in both Crawford and Oscoda counties. Van Tyne (1925: 623) collected 2 specimens near Boyne Falls, Charlevoix County, on August 3, and Widmann (1902: 235) believed that the species bred in Emmet County, where he observed several young of the year. At Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have found a number of nests with eggs between mid-June and early August.

Upper Peninsula.-The Slate-colored Junco has been noted as a common summer resident on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County (Van Tyne, 1923: 24); at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914:68) ; and on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, where T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan took several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) in 1938. Bryens found a nest with 5 eggs at McMillan, Luce County, on May 30, 1928, and saw fledglings being fed by the adults on August 8, 1936. In the Lake Superior State Forest, Luce County, F. W. Braund discovered a nest with 4 eggs on June 12, 1940, and N. A. Wood (1918: 11) listed the species as abundant at Whitefish Lake, Alger County. F. M. Gaige (1914: 86) found birds of the year at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, in late July and early August; in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, both S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 183), and Christy (1925: 214) listed the species as a common summer resident, and Van Tyne observed adults feeding young there on June 24, 1936. About 15 Juncos were seen daily in the summer of 1938 near Golden Lake, Iron County, by John L. George and R. L. Patterson, and a few pairs were believed to nest near Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, by N. A. Wood (1933: 726). Although no nests were found on Isle Royale, adults were seen daily and young "in nearly all stages of plumage" were noted in late summer, 1905 (Max M. Peet, 1909: 368).

FALL.-In the Upper Peninsula the main flight extends from the latter part of August to mid-October, and in southern counties from late September to early November.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909a: 117) recorded the species on Isle Royale until mid-September in 1905. Trautman saw 70 near Ewen, Ontonagon County, on October 2, and 60 near Trout Creek, Houghton County, on October 4, 1934. Ira N. Gabrielson listed the species as abundant and well distributed in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, in late September, 1936; R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw more than 200 near Deer Park, Luce County, on August 28, 1934. At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, the species was listed as common on August 15, 1925, by Fargo, and between August 24 and 28, 1931, by A. D. Tinker and R. E. Olsen. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson has observed numbers of Juncos in late September and October (50 seen on September 26, 1939; 75 on October 11, 1936; and 100 on October 21, 2023) ; Magee banded 1 at Sault Ste Marie, Chippewa County, on November 22, 1936.

Lower Peninsula.-J. Claire Wood (1913: 19) noted 30 of the species on October 13, and 150 on October 25, at Lincoln, Alcona County; Trautman reported 200 at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on October 17 and 18, 1936. Chaney (1910: 276) observed that Juncos became abundant in Mason County in the latter part of September; N. A. Wood (1911: 102) saw a few on Charity Island, Huron County, on September 9, and noted "hundreds" there on September 22; Gibbs (1885: 87) gave October as the period of greatest abundance in Kalamazoo County; "Walkinshaw (1939:110) has noted their arrival at Battle Creek, on the average, by October 1. Observers report the species appearing in the southeastern counties in late September or early October: L. D. Case saw 35 at Portage Lake, Jackson County, on September 30, 1939, and 75 there on October 1, 1939; A. D. Tinker saw 1 at Ann Arbor on September 23, 1930; and Brodkorb reported several there on September 28, 1938. Swales frequently recorded large numbers in the Detroit area: he saw 150 there on October 5, 1908; 100 on October 3, 4, 5, and 8, 1911; and 100 on November 5, 1910. L. W. Camp- bell (1940: 209) has noted the main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh area between mid-September and mid-October, generally about the first of October.

WINTER.-The species apparently winters rarely in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula, and regularly in the southern third of the Lower Peninsula.

Upper Peninsula.-Magee writes that he saw 2 or 3 Slate-colored Juncos at Sault Ste Marie in December, 1936. Christofferson saw 4 on February 22, 1923, at Brevort Lake, Mackinac County, and 25 on February 13, 1925, near Munising, Alger County.

Lower Peninsula.-E. K. Studt (1930: 45) saw several Juncos near Pewamo, lonia County, in late December. Gibbs (1889: 188) stated that they were often seen all winter in Kalamazoo County; in the Ann Arbor area observers frequently report flocks of 10 or more: R. E. Morrill saw 10 on January 1,1937, and 20 on January 1, 1939; John L. George noted about 60 on January 15, 1938. Swales made similar observations in the Detroit area, observing 15 on January 2, 1909, and 10 on January 7, 1902.

Junco hyemalis cismontanus Dwight Cassiar Junco

This junco, a rare straggler in Michigan, is represented by 5 specimens : 1 collected by B. F. Sykes at Kalamazoo on March 30, 1879; 3 by L. W. Campbell in Erie Township, Monroe County, on March 19, 1939, December 19, 1942, and March 26, 2023 (all in U.M.M.Z.) ; and 1 by Max M. Peet at Ann Arbor on November 2, 2023 (Peet collection).

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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