Dark-eyed Junco

Ubiquitous but still wonderful to see and shoot

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Dark-eyed Juncos come in many colors (subspecies) over much of the western USA. They are typically year round residents, even at altitude in Southern California. Ground feeders, often pre-dawn, they can be difficult to capture in an appealing setting and pose. The one exception to this is around water. They are drawn to any puddle or slow moving stream like a magnet. Any thing, rock, branch, flower, that sits along the edge of the water will attract them, and often-up they come on top of the object. For this shot, I sat near a tiny stream that crossed the hiking trail near the Agua Dulce trailhead at about 5500 feet, and waited. Soon enough, there it was. I liked this shot for the “spotlight” type of effect the spackled light gave. This is the Oregon variety of Dark-eyed Junco, the most common here in So Cal mountains. Shot with a Canon R6, 100-500 mm lens at 500 mm, f/7.1, ISO 2500, EC of -0.7 (a mistake on my part). Processed in PS very little with a few “hot” leaves brought down. Cropped about 25% from L and bottom.

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