This distinctive sparrow is common in open montane woodland usually dominated by pine. Primarily a Mexican species, barely enters U.S. Much like Gray-headed and Red-backed subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco but with staring yellow eye and rufous back usually extending onto wings. Otherwise pale gray, darkest around the eye. Bill half black, half yellow. White outer tail feathers like Dark-eyed Junco. Forages on the ground, but perches higher when singing. Song has a similar ringing tone to Dark-eyed Junco, but usually with several distinct sections of chips and trills.
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