The happy couple– er, trio

A few days ago, we had a very good day: we caught two females! This brings our total banded females up to… five. Females are elusive.


The two females we caught aren’t interesting only for their sex, however.

We caught them in the same location, within half an hour of each other. The first captured, ABBY, I saw foraging with male MAIS and another unbanded female immediately prior to capture. Since we saw no other juncos so close by, I think it’s very likely that our second-captured female, MAGG, was that other unbanded female.

MAGG. I think the greys and browns in her hood are very pretty.

But here’s the best part: MAIS, ABBY, and (if it indeed was her) MAGG were all foraging together like mates: they gave little contact cheeps, they stayed within a few feet of each other. I think MAIS landed two females. And both are reproductive—they both had brood patches that indicate that they were either incubating eggs or sitting on young chicks.

ABBY’s brood patch

MAGG’s brood patch

So MAIS is having a very good summer!

MAIS. That soulful eye is irresistible to the ladies.

1 thought on “The happy couple– er, trio

  1. Do most biologists anthropomorphize as much as you do? But here’s my real question: why do these birds have such long claws if they mostly stay on the ground? They all look as if they need their nails clipped.

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