Dark-eyed Junco, "Oregon" variety, Boise, Idaho

Some Notes on Juncos


Juncos are a very common bird, but they also represent one of the great ornithological puzzles. Depending on who you talk to, there are between three and twelve species. The number of species depends on whether you think the confusing color patterns represent color and song variations on one species or separate species. As Birds…

Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Pinnacles National Park, California

Return of Bird of the Week: Pacific Slope Flycatcher


Once upon a time there was a bird species called a Western Flycatcher. Another member of the Empidonax genus. But ornithologists decided in 1989 that what had been called Western Flycatchers were actually two different species, distinguished by song and geography. Not by appearance. Birds of North America, the on-line databases of North American birds, says (paywall):…