So much of life is perception and I'm here to defend a great NH Winter Bird that gets very little attention, the Junco!

Hill Street Studios

Even though Juncos can be about a dozen different colors and found as far south as Mexico and as far west as California, chances are all you'll see are the black and white 'Dark Eyed' variety around here. And you'll only see them when the weather is cold and miserable.

Why do I like them so much? Let me count the ways!

I love that they look completely paranoid. If you notice, they're always on the lookout for predators with a cartoonish arrhythmic herky jerky head motion that never stops when they are feeding. They usually do so in a flock, so additionally, I see them as good team members, always looking out for one another.

Since they're true winter birds, they're equipped with the ability to puff up to keep warm when it gets brutally cold out. If they're not feeding, you can easily find them on the perch of a shrub, looking like a bloated soccer ball.

Also they're a lot of fun to watch during the worst blizzards. I swear they're the only NH creature that has fun when the wind is whipping snow ball sized flakes around in 45 mile per hour gusts.

And you can see them through the worst visible conditions because of their tail, which is almost always flashing a bright white signal through their dark top coat. It's another defense mechanism that you can see from a hundred yards away.

Just a few of the reasons 'The Junco' is the furthest thing from a 'Junky' bird.

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