Dark-eyed Junco

A dark-eyed junco perches on a tree branch and flashes his tail feathers
A dark-eyed junco perches on a tree branch and flashes his tail feathers

Dark-eyed juncos are most often seen on the ground, pecking around for bits of seed. But in this photo, I managed to capture one perched for a long period of time in a tree branch, seemingly displaying his tail feathers.

Normal courtship behavior for a male is to stand on the ground near the female, dip his head and raise his tail feathers while fanning them out to each side. I had never before seen one fanning its feathers up in a tree. And no females were anywhere to be seen. If this bird was attempting a courtship display, he was going about it all wrong.

But it was amusing for me, and I snapped away, capturing a behavior and location that I had never seen before with this bird.