The Ordinary Extra-Ordinary Junco: Singing the praises of a research rock star

“From the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker to the well-traveled arctic tern, there are a lot of fantastic birds in the world. Dazzlingly iridescent indigo buntings. American redstarts that very nearly glow. Birds with, at least at first glance, a lot more cachet than an ordinary junco.After all, juncos are ubiquitous, ranging across North and South America. Sometimes called ‘snowbirds’ in Indiana, they arrive in autumn, stay through winter, and will be migrating away soon. (Look closely and you just might spot some of the little, gray birds outside your window right now.) But, when it comes to research value, the unassuming junco is a veritable rock star.”

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