Juncos are a charming yard bird here in Seattle, ubiquitous near feeders and along the lower canopy of shrubs and small trees. Their nesting habits are maddeningly cryptic, however, as they raise their young near the ground, and as hidden away as possible.
Recently, my mother reported nesting activity along the stone walkway leading to her lower level residence in the house she and my stepdad share with my sister's family. A pair of juncos were building a nest in the foliage along the path, up against the rockery supporting the plant life.
As discreetly as possible, my mum got a few shots of the nest and recently laid eggs--three of them! As any of us pass by the spot, we can catch a glimpse of the female bird nestled over her precious eggs, warily wishing we'd hurry off.
The jury is still out as to whether the nest will succeed--at last pass I did not see the female on her eggs, and such desertion is not uncommon if the birds decide the spot just wont do. We all hope it wasn't any of us who might have driven them away.