Junco the Gray

Sorry folks, been a little bit lax on my postings as of late. Actually I have been making non-wildlife posts on my other site, but doesn’t get me off the hook for not showing the wildlife some love. In my defense, this has been a hell month which has included massive work preparing for this year’s Haunted Trail and the three half marathons with one more to go in just over a month has definitely left me blog shallow. To help remedy the situation figured I’d go ahead and throw out a set from May 2014

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

You couldn’t ask for a bird to be more cooperative when it comes to getting them in the tin. I swear this particular specimen was actually trying to work with me to get the best angles and background settings. Hell, I can’t even get my Poodles to cooperate this much with me and we even FEED them! As mentioned, this bird was shot a few years back on a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Believe we were out in Denver for the Poodle Agility Teacup Nationals and made a point to catch the park on our way back.

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

Hit the jump to see a few more of the Junco.

Linda had pulled into a trail head and we took a small hike to see what it had to offer. That trail ended up having some significant snow on it making the walk a bit dangerous, especially while carrying some expensive glass. On our way back to the car, this Gray-Headed Dark-Eyed Junco came out from rummaging in the leaves to perch on a nearby pole. “Hey, you there.. yes, you with the big glass over there – come take my picture”

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

It isn’t often you get to meet a talking bird so obviously I obliged. There it would sit for a few minutes perfectly still. After a few snaps, it would adjust its position and allow me to take a few more snaps, check the settings on the camera, strike a new pose and repeat. Can’t beat that when it comes to wildlife photography. Most of the time I’m contorting my body to shoot through obstacles and trying like crazy to get the focus on the subject. My birding check list indicates I already have this variety checked off, but oddly enough, I was unable to locate it on the blog. I did find the Oregon and the Slate. Regardless, I am sure this was an improvement over any previous shots.

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

Did I mention there was snow on the trail – welcome to elevation in May. Still remember trying to get through the pass to Yellowstone one year in late May by helping Linda locate the plow poles on the side of the road (they actually closed that pass behind us).. Thought I would leave this next shot in just to give you a better sense of the total composition of this species. It also keeps my brother Ron from complaining I didn’t give him enough angles to really experience the bird.

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

Pretty happy with these shots over all. The Junco is pretty common around here, but we tend to get the Slates. Their presence typically marks the beginning of winter and their departure brings in warmer spring weather. This year they hung around a bit longer than they usually do – not sure what was up with that but appreciate their ability to clean up all the seed that hits the ground. It is a very rare moment when these Juncos opt to feed directly from the feeders.

Speaking of Winter months, let’s close with a chilly scene.

Gray Headed Junco captured at Rocky Mountain National Park in May of 2014

Now that I look at it, this one seems to be a bit upset at my intrusion into his feeding grounds. No worries little one, I already had my breakfast. Take it easy everyone! I’ll try my best to get a few more wildlife themed posts out before the end of the month – no promises though, zombies don’t just build themselves ha!

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2 thoughts on “Junco the Gray”

  1. Wow, these are gorgeous shots!! Really gorgeous. I haven’t seen this sub-species.

    I had the same behavior, though, with an Oregon subspecies of the Dark-Eyed Junco last March in Yosemite National Park in California. I was walking along a closed road in the woods waiting for someone to come up really mad and kick me out, and this Junco popped up on a log next to me and did exactly the same thing, turning and posing for pictures. I got some great close-ups of it.

    And a park ranger did drive up that closed road and stopped right across from me and stared at me. Freaked me out, as I had recently been kicked out of a closed area by a very mad ranger in Illinois. So I turned and looked at him, weakly waved a bit, and he just took off without comment. Weirded me out.

    Again, these are great shots!

    Ron

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    1. Thanks!

      Did occur to you that the Junco was actually entertaining itself by trying to get you in trouble. Hey, look at me, take my picture, watch me do shadow puppets, meanwhile, his fellow Junco gang members are dropping dimes on you to the park rangers. Just occurred to me while typing this if millennials know what that phrase even means.

      I am a little disturbed by this trend of getting disciplined by Park Rangers. This would only be a selfish concern since I often go birding with you and would hate to have any collateral issues with the law. I guess it is a good thing I can run faster than you hehehehe – what goes for bears attacks goes for birding.

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