Backyard Birds

Volcano Junco (Junco vulcani)

The Volcano Juncos (Junco vulcani) are American sparrows found in Central America. It is the southernmost member of the Junco family.

Distribution / Habitat

Volcano Juncos are found in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama.

Throughout their range, Volcano Juncos typically occur above the timberline – at altitudes above 10,000 feet (~ 3,000m). However, on the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica, they occur at an elevation of about 7,000 feet (2,100 meters).

The habitat is open grassy or brushy areas with some stunted scrubs.

They are usually seen running or hopping on the ground, and flying short distances.

Volcano Junco



  • Average Length: 6.3 inches or 16 cm
  • Average Weight: 0.9 oz or 28 grams

Plumage Details / Adults

  • Head: black mask through the eyes and grey sides
  • Brown upperparts with dark streaking on the back.
  • Greyish underparts
  • Wings and tail are edged dark.

Other Physical Details

  • Yellow eyes
  • Flesh-colored legs and beaks

Juvenile Description

  • Buff-grey underparts
  • Back is brighter brown with blacker streaking.

Similar Species

  • The Volcano Junco resembles the Yellow-eyed Junco, but the former is much larger in size; and can be identified by the brownish plumage details and streaking on the back.

Diet / Feeding

Their diet consists of seeds, berries, insects and spiders mostly found on the ground.

Breeding / Nesting

Their cup nests are neatly lined with soft plant fibers and are placed on the ground under bushes or rocks, or found in cavities on vegetated banks. The average clutch consists of two brown-spotted, pale blue eggs.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Calls: a thin tseee or a clearer wheew

Songs: k’chew chu k’wee chip chip chueee.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Strnad vulkánový, strnadec vulkánový … Danish: Gråbrystet Junco
Dutch: Vulkaanjunco … Finnish: Laavajunkko … French: Junco des volcans … German: Streifenjunko, Streifenwinterammer … Italian: Junco dei vulcani, Junco del vulcano … Japanese: miyamayukihimedori … Norwegian: Vulkanjunko … Polish: junko ciemnosterny … Russian: ????????????? ???? … Slovak: strnádlik vulkánový … Spanish: Junco de los Volcanes, Junco del Volcán, Junco paramero … Swedish: Vulkanjunco

JuncosPhoto Gallery
Volcano Junco, Junco vulcani, Paraiso Quetzal, Los Santos Forest Reserve, Costa Rica (2/15/13)
Volcano Junco

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button