Reflecting on 2021: Birds in Winter

This winter season in the snow belt has been very unusual, with little to no snow cover. We must be a couple of feet below normal. Snow is finally arriving, but I must back pedal to January and February 2021, to tell this story.

Much of my winter bird photography occurs around the house and along adjacent trails in managed wildlife habitat.

Northern Cardinal
Common Redpoll, an erratic northern visitor
Red-breasted Nuthatch
“Slate-colored” Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Central New York region has a rich variety of natural areas and bird life, so there is much to see beyond the backyard. Weekly excursions on the back roads that crisscross rural areas and wetlands can be a challenging, but rewarding, winter activity. Nesting eagles and visitors from the far North – especially snowy owls and snow buntings – are always subjects of interest.

Bald Eagle, one of a mated pair, circling an active nest in February
Snow Bunting, one member of a large flock of about 100 northern visitors
Snowy Owl, hunting open fields for meadow voles

Photos by NB Hunter (January and February 2021). © All Rights Reserved.