Meet LOLA (Lime – Orange – Lime – Aluminum). She is one of only two juncos we have caught so far that I feel completely confident is female.


(“Juncos are sexually dichromatic,” you say, “how can you not be sure about the sex? The black-headed ones are male, the brown-headed are female!” Well… it’s complicated, but the main issue is that several male-looking juncos have been behaving like the female mates of other, male-looking and male-behaving juncos. It’s confusing.)

LOLA lives at a mid-elevation campground, where many, many juncos all live very close together. She was caught by pure luck: while her mate responded angrily to our playback, she foraged unconcernedly nearby, and just happened to fly into our net. We caught her on a cold morning so we worked very quickly to collect our data and let her go before she could get chilled. (This is why I don’t have a better picture of her—no beauty shots when time is of the essence!)

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