Whether you can’t wait to see snowflakes or you’re dreading the thought of freezing temperatures, there’s one thing all of us birders have in common… we’re sad to see our backyard birds go. But there’s no need to worry. There are still birds out and about in colder climates. Some are even attracted to the colder weather and come to our neighborhoods in search of the snow and cold!
The “snowbird,” aka the Dark-eyed Junco, is one of the most prominent birds you will see at your feeders this winter. This snowbird has five distinct plumage variations that are all considered the same species: gray, white, black, brown and rufous. These flashy little sparrows usually spend their summers in Northern Canada and then retreat to the lower portions of North America for the fall and winter. Seeing these birds at your feeders is a sure sign that winter has arrived!
Another fan of snow, the Snow Bunting, flies into Northern America for the winter from the coldest parts of Canada. These birds call the Arctic Circle home over the summer breeding months. This is the most northerly breeding range of any songbird species! They can withstand temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep warm, these birds can be seen in larger flocks tunneling in the snow. Often referred to as snowflakes, these birds tend to look like large flakes of snow drifting in the wind when taking flight!
Want to be sure you don’t miss these two birds this winter? Well, you can certainly attract them to your yard by providing them with a few key elements. 1. Hearty Seeds - Most birds that stay in colder regions in the winter eat seeds. Insects are difficult to find in the freezing temperatures, so offering seeds such as black oil sunflower and thistle for these birds is a must. 2. Water - Streams and lakes that tend to be main water sources for birds in summer are often frozen in the winter months. Providing a water source in your yard is a great way to attract these thirsty birds and help them get through the cold days and nights. Try our Sip & Seed feeders to provide water as well!
Even though there are fewer birds around in winter, there are many birds that are hoping for a winter wonderland!
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