First-basic junco (Junco hyemalis) at Gilgo, New York on 24 October 1999


We would appreciate any informed comment on a rather interesting 1st-winter junco that was observed by Andy Guthrie, Tony Lauro and myself on Sunday 24 October 1999.

The bird was feeding quietly by itself in some gardens at Gilgo Beach on the south shore of Long Island. It appears to be in first-basic plumage and we think belongs to the 'Oregon Junco' grouping (J. h. oreganus - simillimus - thurberi - pinosus - shufeldti).

We managed to get some good video footage of the bird and here are a handful of still captures. We urge caution in reviewing the colors. The scans seem much colder than in life and this may be even worse on certain computer monitors.


Figure 1. Head on view showing dark facial mask and weak bib. 24 October 1999; Gilgo, Long Island, New York. Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson, 1999.


Figure 2. Another frontal view showing bib and flanks. The lower (ventral) edge of the gray bib appears to be convex. The bib itself is little more than a gray wash but was clearly differentiated from the cinnamon flanks. 24 October 1999; Gilgo, Long Island, New York. Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson, 1999.


Figure 3. Frontal view with head turned slightly. 24 October 1999; Gilgo, Long Island, New York. Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson, 1999.


Figure 4. Sideview showing details of the wing coverts and flanks. Several of the inner greater coverts had broad buffy edges contrasting with dark centers. The parallel dark streaks running down the mantle were slightly more obvious in life. 24 October 1999; Gilgo, Long Island, New York. Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson, 1999.


Figure 5. Blurred shot as the bird shook itself. Presented here only as an attempt to show the spread tail and distribution of white on the outer rectricies. It is unclear to us whether this is a useful feature as it seems quite variable. 24 October 1999; Gilgo, Long Island, New York. Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson, 1999.


Copyright © 1998 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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