Around here the robin has changed its mind about flying south for the winter. A better sign of the season, in reverse, is the Junco.
Its migration pattern takes place far north, where the weather stays cold. Like the robins that congregate in winter, this little, gray, ground-feeding bird hunts with its flock. They communicate constantly through quite chipping sounds as they search through the leaves and grass for seed. Disturbed, you’ll find the sure sign of a Junco: the flash of white from its outer tail feathers, most visible after one sounds an alarm and the whole bunch takes off for the trees. Unlike the robins, the Junco’s departure means spring has arrived; their arrival means winter is here.