Outside Dad's window are juncos on the ground eating the seed I spread for them. Many years ago, I painted these three birds from a similar scene. Unfortunately, I sold the pair about a year ago. I would make a poor commercial artist; I can't stand to let go of my work, which represents memories to me.
We have juncos only in the winter, and they are a sign of it. They're a softly-colored bird, grays, dusty blacks, pale washes of pink. They make small sounds, not infrequently, but neither do they chatter. They gather in small groups, seldom more than six or eight in my yard, even less often alone. They are the first to find scattered seed (besides the squirrels). Of their mating, their spring or summer habits, I know nothing, because they are gone again. In all things that I know about them, except eating, they are moderate, a trait I find charming.
I hope Dad is enjoying the company of the juncos. I am.