Oregon Junco at Cranberry Marsh in Whitby

This Oregon Junco is wintering at the south trail at Cranberry Marsh in Whitby. I thank Peter Pyle, Steve Mlodinow and Mark Peck for information. Steve Mlodinow confirmed its identity as an Oregon Junco and not an intergrade with Slate-colored Junco. Photos taken 22 and 24 February and 4 March 2012.


From photos by Barry Cherriere on 26 February, Peter Pyle determined it is in first winter (formative) plumage, and is most likely a male. In his assessment, he checked the wing coverts, tail and primaries. The hood is overall slate-grey, and the top of the head and nape are brown like the back, whereas the bib in front is blackish. Cranberry Marsh on 22 February 2012.


Steve Mlodinow said the blackish bib, which he called a weird chest-shield, occurs uncommonly only in Oregon Juncos and probably indicates a first winter male. This suggests the black of an adult male comes in first on the chest and throat.


On 28 February 2012, Mark Peck examined the Oregon Junco specimens at the Royal Ontario Museum. Only one immature male had the blackish bib patch. Adult males had solid all black hoods and adult females had grey hoods similar in coloration to the grey head on the Cranberry bird.