Horrah! The bird that Jan has seen in her garden has been identified –
I got a kick out of your private email in which you suggested the dark-eyed junco as a candidate for the bird I saw on my deck in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. I had been doing lots of research on the web and had just decided the best candidate is the slate-colored junco.
You did a great job of suggesting a junco on the limited information I gave you.
Here is a picture.
The breast of the pictured bird is much lighter than that of the bird I saw. Some internet pictures show slate-colored juncos with darker breasts. The light beak also fits with my bird.
The slate-colored junco is suppose to be very common in my area at this time of year (I did not grow up here so didn’t know this – had never even heard of juncos). They like to visit bird feeders. They are known as snow birds and will soon move north.
Sorry I don’t have a way to get a photo.
Thanks so much for your interest and help
I’m really glad the puzzle has been solved and it’s been really interesting for me to think of a bird in a USA garden and then think or our garden birds. Bird watching and feeding seems to be the same in a lot of places.