Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) - HBW 16, p. 542

French: Junco ardoisé German: Winterammer Spanish: Junco Pizarroso
Other common names: Slate-colored Junco (“hyemalis group”); Oregon Junco (“oreganus group”); Grey-headed Junco (“caniceps group”);White-winged Junco (aikeni); Guadalupe Junco (insularis); Pink-sided Junco (mearnsi); Red-backed Junco (dorsalis)

Taxonomy: Fringilla hyemalis Linnaeus, 1758, South Carolina, USA.
Molecular data indicate close relationship between this genus and Zonotrichia. Nominate race has hybridized with Zonotrichia albicollis. Recent molecular-genetic studies suggest that genus spread quickly N from Central America in post-glacial period; although morphological divergence high, molecular divergence not so well marked; on the other hand, the farther S in Central America, the older is the lineage, and the more distinctly characterized it is molecularly. Taxonomy of present species complex; races molecularly very close to each other, and more closely allied to N races of.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla hyemalis Linnaeus, 1758, South Carolina, USA.
Molecular data indicate close relationship between this genus and Zonotrichia. Nominate race has hybridized with Zonotrichia albicollis. Recent molecular-genetic studies suggest that genus spread quickly N from Central America in post-glacial period; although morphological divergence high, molecular divergence not so well marked; on the other hand, the farther S in Central America, the older is the lineage, and the more distinctly characterized it is molecularly. Taxonomy of present species complex; races molecularly very close to each other, and more closely allied to N races of J. phaeonotus than to S populations of latter; S races of present species very similar morphologically to J. phaeonotus, and unpublished molecular data suggest that Guadalupe race insularis may be better placed with that species. Races form six groups: “hyemalis group” (nominate, carolinensis, cismontanus), “oreganus group” (oreganus, shufeldti, montanus, thurberi, pinosus, pontilis, townsendi), “caniceps group” (caniceps, dorsalis, mutabilis), and three single-subspecies groups, i.e. “aikeni group”, “insularis group” and “mearnsi group”; these sometimes treated as six separate species, but hybridization occurs among them and several races intergrade with others from different group (cismontanus often considered a hybrid between nominate and “oreganus group”). In the past, race dorsalis sometimes treated as a separate species. Proposed race eumesus (from Blue Mts of Washington) included within shufeldti. Availability of name shufeldti has been disputed, andreplacement name simillima proposed. Sixteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758) - breeds Alaska and across Canada from C Yukon, NW & C Mackenzie and SW Nunavut E to N Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland and S to NE British Columbia, C Alberta, C Saskatchewan, S Manitoba and NE USA (S to C Minnesota, SE Wisconsin, C Michigan, W & N Pennsylvania, SE New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts); non-breeding from S edge of breeding range S (mostly E of Rocky Mts) to NW Mexico (N Baja California, N Sonora and C Chihuahua) and Gulf Coast (S Texas E to NE Florida).
  • cismontanus Dwight, 1918 - breeds SC Yukon S to C interior of British Columbia and WC Alberta; non-breeding from S coastal British Columbia S to extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California) and SW USA (S to Arizona and New Mexico, E to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and C Texas.
  • oreganus (J. K. Townsend, 1837) - breeds SE Alaska S to Calvert I, in CW British Columbia; non-breeding also S along coast to C (rarely S) California.

     See all 16 subspecies
  • hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758) - breeds Alaska and across Canada from C Yukon, NW & C Mackenzie and SW Nunavut E to N Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland and S to NE British Columbia, C Alberta, C Saskatchewan, S Manitoba and NE USA (S to C Minnesota, SE Wisconsin, C Michigan, W & N Pennsylvania, SE New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts); non-breeding from S edge of breeding range S (mostly E of Rocky Mts) to NW Mexico (N Baja California, N Sonora and C Chihuahua) and Gulf Coast (S Texas E to NE Florida).
  • cismontanus Dwight, 1918 - breeds SC Yukon S to C interior of British Columbia and WC Alberta; non-breeding from S coastal British Columbia S to extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California) and SW USA (S to Arizona and New Mexico, E to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and C Texas.
  • oreganus (J. K. Townsend, 1837) - breeds SE Alaska S to Calvert I, in CW British Columbia; non-breeding also S along coast to C (rarely S) California.
  • shufeldti Coale, 1887 - breeds on W slope of coastal ranges from SW British Columbia S in W USA to W Oregon (to c. 43° N); non-breeding S to S California, sparsely also to SE Idaho, Colorado, W Texas and N Mexico (Chihuahua).
  • montanus Ridgway, 1898 - breeds in C interior British Columbia and SW Alberta S in W USA to E Oregon, W Montana and C Idaho; non-breeding to S British Columbia, W Montana and South Dakota S to N Mexico (N Baja California, N Sonora and C Chihuahua) and S USA (to C Texas and E Kansas).
  • thurberi Anthony, 1890 - breeds S Oregon and California (S on coast to San Francisco, and in interior mountains to San Diego County); non-breeding also in adjacent lowlands E to Arizona and SW New Mexico and S to NW Mexico (Baja California and Sonora).
  • pinosus Loomis, 1893 - coastal ranges of C California (from San Francisco S to San Benito and S Monterey County).
  • pontilis Oberholser, 1919 - Sierra Juárez, in N Baja California (NW Mexico).
  • townsendi Anthony, 1889 - Sierra San Pedro Mártir, in N Baja California.
  • aikeni Ridgway, 1873 - breeds SE Montana, W South Dakota, NE Wyoming and NW Nebraska; non-breeding also S to SW Colorado, W Kansas, N New Mexico and W Oklahoma.
  • mearnsi Ridgway, 1897 - breeds extreme S Canada (SE Alberta and SW Saskatchewan) S in USA to E Idaho, C Montana and NE Wyoming; non-breeding from N Utah, NW Wyoming and W & C Nebraska S to N Mexico (N Sonora, C Chihuahua and Durango) and W Texas.
  • insularis Ridgway, 1876 - Guadalupe I, off NW Baja California (NW Mexico).
  • caniceps (Woodhouse, 1853) - breeds in mountains of S Idaho and S Wyoming S to C & E Nevada, S Utah, W & C Colorado and N New Mexico; non-breeding also E to W Nebraska, W Kansas and W Texas, S to N Mexico (Sonora, N Sinaloa, Chihuahua and N Durango).
  • dorsalis Henry, 1858 - breeds in mountains of New Mexico, extreme W Texas and N Arizona; non-breeding also slightly farther S.
  • mutabilis van Rossem, 1931 - mountains of S Nevada and adjacent SE California.
  • carolinensis Brewster, 1886 - breeds E USA in Appalachian Mts (from NW West Virginia and W Maryland S to N Georgia); winters in breeding area, and adjacent lower elevations.