J. h. aikeni resembles the slate-colored junco but is larger, lighter gray (the head plumage contrasting with the dark lores), has much more white in the tail, and has a larger, longer bill that often has a bluish cast. Females are paler and washed brownish. Most fresh (fall/winter) individuals have the white wingbars that give this taxon its common name, but this feature is not always present, especially in spring and summer on females as the white tips to the wing coverts easily wear off. About one slate-colored junco in 200 has wing bars as bold as those of a fresh white-winged junco. Therefore, using wingbars alone to identify a bird as a white-winged junco outside the breeding range is ill-advised; identifications must be based on all the relevant characteristics.