Range. - North America east of the Plains, breeding in the northern tier of states and northward; winters in southern United States.
This species is slaty gray on the head, neck, breast, flanks, back, wings and central tail feathers; the rest of the underparts are white, sharply defined against the gray. They migrate through the United States in large flocks, usually accompanied by White-throated or Fox Sparrows. They breed very abundantly in the northern parts of their range, frequently in the immediate vicinity of houses but generally on the edges of clearings, etc., placing their nests on the ground and generally partially concealed by rocks, stumps, sods or logs; the nests are made of grasses, lined with hair, and the four or five eggs are white or greenish white, variously speckled with reddish brown either over the entire surface or in a wreath about the large end. Size .80 x .55.
Range. - Pacific coast from California to Alaska, breeding north of the United States.
This sub-species is entirely unlike the preceding, having a black head, neck, throat, breast, wings and tail, and brown back; the remainder of the underparts are white, washed with pinkish brown on the sides. The habits and nesting habits of this western Junco are the same as those of the eastern, the birds building in similar localities and making the nests of the same material. There appears to be little, if any, difference between the eggs of the two varieties.
Range. - Pacific coast breeding from Oregon to British Columbia and wintering south to the Mexican boundary.
Said to be slightly larger and duller colored than the Oregon Junco; eggs the same.
Range. - The Sierra Nevadas from Oregon to southern California.
Similar to oreganus but paler and back more pinkish; eggs will not differ.
Range. - A very locally confined variety breeding in pine woods of southwestern California, about Monterey and Santa Cruz.
Similar to thurberi with the head and neck slaty instead of black.
Range. - Alleghanies in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
A slightly larger bird than the Slate-colored Junco and with the bill horn color instead of pinkish white. They have been found to breed very abundantly in the higher ranges of the Carolinas, nesting under banks, in tufts of grass, or occasionally in small bushes, in fact in such locations as are used by hyemalis. Their eggs which are laid during May, June or July (probably two broods being raised) are similar to those of the Slate-colored species but slightly larger.
Range. - From northern Idaho and Montana north to Alberta; winters south to Mexico.
This variety is like mearnsi but darker on the head and throat and with less pink on the sides. Its nesting habits and eggs do not differ from those of the Pink-sided Junco.
Range. - Breeds in mountains of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana and winters south to Mexico. This species has the head and breast gray, the back brownish and the sides pinkish brown. They breed at high altitudes in the ranges, placing their nests of grasses under sods or overhanging rocks; their eggs are pinkish white before being blown and are spotted over the whole surface but more heavily at the large end with pale reddish brown and gray. Size .80 x .60.