The slate juncos have returned! These little snowbirds are about the size of a sparrow and have beautiful gray feathers and soft white bellies. In flight their tails fan out into a contrasting slate and white sail. They look especially pretty on a snowy day. I startled one the other day and he called out in a hard tic sound, but I think they also have a few songs in their repertoire.
Pictures don't do them justice this time of year. I'll wait for the day when they cluster under my feeder atop a clean blanket of snow.