Populations in the higher elevations move down hill and south. Populations in milder areas usually stay there to breed. Populations in northern areas move south to bread in warmer areas of California or Mexico.
The Dark-eyed Junco generally nests on the ground near cover. The nest is usually placed close to a source of water.
The Dark-eyed Junco eats insects, spiders, and other small arthropods as well as fruits and seeds. They usually obtain their food from the ground.
The Dark-eyed junco is found throughout California excepting the high sierras in winter. Year round populations at the base of the Sierras and along the coast In northern California the year round population expands inland above the central valley connecting to the sierra populations. In winter the birds move into the valley and desert areas in California that are avoided in winter. Also, many birds move up into higher elevations of the sierras in summer.
The Dark-eyed Junco likes open areas for foraging with nearby forested or wooded area for cover. They especially like alpine meadow for these habitat characteristics. Cats are very detrimental to the Dark-eyed juncos way of life as it both nests and forages on the ground.