It was such a gorgeous day today I cruised up to the forest near Allenspark, CO. There is a campground near there that I like to visit after it closes for the season. It's big, full of ponderosa pines, and a few aspen and easy to get to.
And look what I ran into:A little flock of White-winged Juncos!
This bird below was very curious. Same steely gray that the adults were, but no wing-bars. It was feeding and staying close to the adults. I'm thinking that it is a hatch year bird. You get a glimpse of the white edged secondaries here.
I crept along very quietly and they let me get close enough for some photos, but not too close.
Look at the overall pale gray of this young bird. A very plain face too. At first glance, you might think Slate-colored, but the size, white edged secondaries and more white in the tail speaks to me of White-winged. What do YOU think?
The bill is darker than the adults pinkish bill. What a beautiful bird. I wish my photos were better, but you work with what you've got.
Here is a different adult than the first pictures. The wingbars are faint, but you can see them.
This view is what is striking to me. The way the secondaries are broadly edged in white.
I was not able to get shots of the tail opened at all but they all had a lot of white in their tails.
I'd love to hear what your opinion on these birds is!