Yellow-eyed JuncoJunco phaeonotus

Greg Lasley/VIREO
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
Greg Lasley/VIREO
Yellow-eyed Junco


5 1/2-6 1/2" (14-17 cm). Unique bright yellow-orange eye and black lores. Bill has dark upper mandible and pale lower mandible. Gray above, with bright rusty mantle and white outer tail feathers. Underparts lighter. Walks rather than hops. "Gray-headed" form of Dark-eyed Junco is similar, but has dark eye, all-pink bill, and hops.


Song is more highly patterned than that of the Dark-eyed Junco. One representation is chip-chip, seedle-seedle, chee-chee-chee, although it is variable.


tip calls
songs #1
songs #3
songs #2


Coniferous forests; pine-oak woods.


Resident in mountains of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.


This junco is slower and more deliberate in its movements than the Dark-eyed Junco; it walks, rather than hops, on the forest floor.


3 or 4 bluish-white, spotted eggs in a slight cup nest of small rootlets and fine grass lined with horsehair, on the ground under the protection of a log, a stump, or grass tufts, or in a low tree.

Similar Species

adult male, Oregon junco

Dark-eyed Junco

5-6 1/4" (13-16 cm). This species shows much geographic variation in color. Typically, male of western population ("Oregon Junco") has black hood, chestnut mantle, white underparts with buff sides.

adult male

Black-chinned Sparrow

5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). A gray sparrow with black chin and eye smudge, pink bill, chestnut-streaked mantle, white belly. Thin white wing bars. Female and juveniles lack black facial markings.


Black Phoebe

6-7" (15-18 cm). Slate-black except for white belly, undertail coverts, and outer tail feathers. Its tail-wagging, erect posture, and insectivorous feeding habits are helpful in field identification.


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