Take a kid birding. Minnesota’s Wintering Birds Minnesota’s Wintering Birds. Open water along rivers and power plants offer habitat for trumpeter swans, mallards and Canada geese. I had never seen so many for so long, especially during bad weather, I always thought they migrated to warmer weather, but this winter… Traveling to Minnesota in the depth of winter may seem to defy reason, but for the birdwatcher, the season and place combine to produce a mouth-watering array of species. Most years, some Minnesota winter birds begin to make their spring calls now. WCCO 4 News At 10 – January 3, 2017. When the winter snow starts falling in many parts of the country, some backyard birds have already departed for warmer climates, while other birds are migrating into backyards from further north. Barred owls become responsive to calls. At right is a composite photo showing the size difference between the female downy on the far right and the larger female Hairy feeding on the left side of the feeder. Photos courtesy of Charles Miller and Melissa Hansen. They are similar to the Purple Finch but lack the Finches' eyebrow, have a smaller bill, more heavily striped chest and yellow bars on the wings. So how do birds survive bitter cold temperatures of a frigid Minnesota winter, especially since they weigh less than a pocket full of change? January is the coldest month in Minnesota, but it tries to make up for it by being the snowiest month on average in Minnesota. Don’t look for them at the Mayo Clinic. blue birds in Winter during storm by: Carol On Sunday, during a snow/sleet storm in Palmer, MA, we had a flock of 20 -25 bluebirds stay in the yard for over 5 hours. Minnesota Seasonal Status: A regular breeding resident species, migrant, and regular in winter. It is also called "Zebra-backed". Forehead is dark brown. While the list below contains all the usual hummingbirds found in Minnesota, it’s possible to find a vagrant species of hummingbird that’s not native to Minnesota. The most common backyard birds in Minnesota in winter (December to February) are these: Black-capped Chickadee (53% frequency) American Crow (41%) Downy Woodpecker (33%) All across the state between mid-December and mid-January, small groups of birders are organized to cover established local count circles. American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) in their winter garb. Identify birds in North America for bird watching or as a bird guide. In winter, a few species of songbirds—the ones that nest in tree cavities or birdhouses in spring—will also use roost boxes to stay warm. Hairy Woodpecker. Red osier dogwood (also known as red twig dogwood) and its bright red stems stand out against the snow. Well, they employ some of the same tactics we do! Fortunately, many native plants and introduced species can provide beautiful berries that persist into the winter months and provide a critical food source for wildlife. Dense vegetation found in thickets or the interior branches of evergreens serve as a windbreak and conceal the birds from night-prowling predators. Snow-covered and frigid, there are many wonderful birds in a beautiful, peaceful environment. Not all Minnesota birds head for warmer temperatures in the winter, reports Heather Brown (2:25). These are gifts that do keep on giving. For more information on birds and bird feeding check out this post on bird feeding tips. Around here, winter birds include: black-capped chickadees, slate-colored juncos, white-breasted nuthatches (and the occasional red-breasted nuthatch), cedar waxwings, downy woodpeckers (and the occasional red-bellied woodpecker), blue jays, starlings, cardinals, and sometimes a brown creeper. In winter, a few species of songbirds—the ones that nest in tree cavities or birdhouses in spring—will also use roost boxes to stay warm. The cold Minnesota days are worth it to see the northern owls (snowy, great gray, northern hawk, boreal), snow buntings, Lapland longspurs, redpolls, woodpeckers, and winter finches. Black bill is long and stout. Below: When heavy weather comes, birds are very active at the feeders. Below are some winter bird conversations overheard! They don't all fly south: 8 birds to look for this winter in Minnesota Dark-eyed junco. The 2nd photo shows the bird on the same feeder post as the photos up above, so you can get a size comparison. The Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, the large Pileated, and the Red-bellied Woodpecker can be seen at suet feeders on the coldest of winter days.