dark-eyed junco

::Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis):: After a couple “what happened to winter?” posts, I thought I’d better draw these dark-eyed juncos who showed up in my garden today (note: the snow on those branches did not show up – I just put it there to make the bird happy). Juncos are known as “snowbirds” because they follow winter wherever it goes. Today a breezy, wintery chill descended on the valley and, sure enough, these birds came back with it. I don’t know if they were after the leftover vegetable seeds from the garden or the bugs that the warm weather tricked out of the soil, but they feasted and hopped. I wonder what winter would be like without its flock of jolly little gray and white birds – juncos, chickadees, titmice, and woodpeckers, They are the stalwart ones who talk to us from frigid branches and sing warmth into silent winter forests. As my own shoulders rise to my ears in a cold shudder and I wonder why I don’t move to the southwest, they hop and flit and chatter as though this is their favorite weather. I think it is, and it draws me outside to see what the fuss is about.