Backyard Birding in Winter

When winter birding in the snow belt, observing backyard bird feeding stations is often more enjoyable, and more productive, than fighting cold temperatures and blowing snow. Several well-spaced feeding sites, maintained with grain, Niger seed and suet cakes, attract dozens of birds throughout the day. Early morning, mid day and mid afternoon are prime times and feeding always intensifies when the snow is falling. These are some of my favorite captures from January to the present (since my last post on the subject).

Northern Cardinal, male
Northern Cardinal, female
Slate-colored Junco
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Mourning Dove
Tufted Titmouse
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Purple Finch, male
Purple Finch, female
White-throated Sparrow
Cooper’s Hawk

Photos by NB Hunter (January and February, 2022). © All Rights Reserved.

14 thoughts on “Backyard Birding in Winter

    • Thanks Bonnie. We’ve had some nasty weather that has forced me to stay off the trails and back roads with a camera. Scenes close to home have been kept me moving with passion and purpose!

    • Thanks Babsje. Re: your favorite topic – Most of our surface waters are frozen now, but some spring-fed canals and canal feeders are open. Once in a while I see or hear of a GB Heron on a canal, but nothing of late. Looking forward to ice-out and the life that follows!

  1. Hi Nick, As always these are lovely captures of our favorite backyard birds. The black-capped chickadee is so sweet with its fluffed and tipped out feathers. The mourning dove took on a lovely pose for you. I love your photos. Hope you had a good Valentine’s Day.

    • Thanks! Always good to hear from you and receive your thoughtful comments. As the weather calms down I expect to increase my home range and begin exploring with the camera. It’s furbearer breeding season so there’s lots of activity. While on a trail walk on snowshoes this morning I saw tracks everywhere – fox, fisher, bunnies, voles, mice and, of course, deer. Enjoy!

    • Judging by Fb posts from bird groups around the state, Cooper’s hawks have been very active around feeders in recent weeks. They prey on birds and we refer to bird feeders as their “fly-through restaurants”. Generally, the song birds scatter and escape when a hawk appears. If a bird doesn’t fly away (or get eaten), it will hunker down and remain absolutely motionless for as long as half an hour.

      • The same is true for the feeders in my area of Colorado. We have had both Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and they were joined recently by a Northern Goshawks. I usually know when one of them is around as avian activity around the feeders stops completely.

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