Chapter 3

Back to Video Gallery

Chapter 3

Diversification I: the Dark-eyed Juncos

[vimeo url=”″ title=”0″ fs=”0″ portrait=”0″]

Throughout North America, the species known as the “Dark-eyed Junco” exhibits striking differences in feather color, body size, and behavior from place to place.  This variation among “subspecies” and “races” of juncos has caught the attention of biologists interested in diversification, evolution, and speciation–the process by which new species form. Exploring the definition of ‘species,’ hybridization, and the role of new DNA technology in studying evolution, this segment features footage from junco habitats across the continent. From Dr. Alden Miller in the 1920s, to Dr. Borja Mila, a modern day explorer and ornithologist, join researchers on their quest to understand the riddle of the Junco’s evolutionary history.

Keywords: adaptation; Biological Species Concept (BSC); Black Hills; biology; bird; cytochrome oxidase; Dark-eyed Junco; differentiation; divergence; diversification; diversity; DNA; evolution; evolutionary tree; feathers; feather color; gene; gene sequence; genetics; Grand Teton National Park; Gray-headed Junco; Indiana University; junco; Junco; Junco aikeni, Junco caniceps; Junco hyemalis; Junco mearnsi; Junco oreganus; Mila, Borja; Miller, Alden; molecular clock; morphology; Mt. Charleston, Nevada; Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales; Oregon Junco; ornithology; phenotype; phylogenetic tree; phylogeny; phylogeography; Pink-sided Junco; plumage; races; radiation; sequencing; San Diego Museum of Natural History; Slate-colored Junco; South Dakota; speciation; species; species concepts; subspecies; Unitt, Phil; University of California-Berkeley; White-winged Junco;

Research Articles & Links: (coming soon)