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View Diary: The Daily Bucket, Flashy juncos? (116 comments)

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    We have a large group of juncoes here in northern Maryland.  Most of the ground is snow- and ice- covered.  So, I have been putting out millet on the mulch under the large overhangs of our roof.  The juncoes seems to do better with the millet than with sunflower seed (especially striped sunflower seed) because their beaks are relatively small.  So they can eat smaller seeds and crack smaller shells more easily.

    They do better with black oil sunflower seed than with striped, because the black oil seeds are smaller.  However, if I put black oil seeds out on the ground, in no time flat, the squirrels  (Moochers!) horn in and gobble up pretty much all of the sunflower seeds that I have put out, leaving little or none for the juncoes.  The squirrels can eat the millet, but they have a harder time dealing with it than with the black oil sunflower seeds.

    Most of the juncoes eat only what they can find on the ground.  They make no attempt to use the seed and suet feeders that we have hanging from tree branches (with squirrel shields or other anti-Moocher components).   However, a few of the juncoes have learned the hang of it (pun intended).

    I have been putting out the millet because it is so cold here.  The birds must be exposing quite a bit of calories  simply trying not to freeze to death.  And because the snow and ice cover is so extensive, the juncoes and other ground feeders are having a tough time finding something to eat.

    Around here, the juncoes typically arrive in November and leave sometime in April.  Their arrivals and departures are sure signs that the seasons are changing.

    Thank you for this diary!

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