Yellow-Eyed Junco

Junco phaeonotus
Range Map

The Yellow-eyed Junco is mostly a resident of the mountains in Mexico. In the USA we can find them in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona. These birds share many of the same traits as their Dark-Eyed cousins. Many of their vocalizations are similar, and that familiar inverted white “V” of their otherwise dark tails that flash as they fly away, remind us we have been in the presence of juncos.

I’ve enjoyed the company of these birds when I’ve visited the Chiricahua, the Santa Rita and the Catalina Mountains of southeastern Arizona. There’s something enchanting in those piercing, fiery yellow eyes.

Science recognises four subspecies of Yellow-Eyed Junco:

  • J. p. palliatus lives in southeastern Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico south to central Mexico.
  • J. p. phaeonotus lives in southwestern Mexico.
  • J. p. fulvescens lives in southern Mexico
  • J. p. alticola lives in northern Central America.

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