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The Most Common Winter Birds

The Most Common Winter Birds

As the days get increasingly shorter and the leaves start to change, birders can feel slightly sad as their summer friends migrate south. But, whether you’re just starting as a birdwatcher or are a seasoned pro hoping to find a bit more information, let’s look at the most common winter bird species you can anticipate seeing in your yard this winter. 

Northern Cardinal

Perhaps the bird most associated with winter and one that is popular year-round, the Cardinal, tops our list. After all, who hasn’t seen a holiday card depicting an image of a cardinal perching on a snowy tree branch? These birds are easy to spot with their bold red plumage. Even the female of this winter bird species, which has less vibrant plumage, still stands out amidst the greens and whites of winter. 

If you want to attract a northern cardinal to your backyard, try sunflower seed and safflower seed, as well as suet blocks that contain fruit. A heated bird bath is also an excellent choice for drawing in these creatures that will enjoy frolicking in the water. 

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

This beautiful bird is typically a resident of Canada but can be found throughout the United States during the winter. It tends to be a very active bird that is relatively easy to spot due to its beautiful coloration. You’ll recognize the nuthatch by its black and white striped head and the reddish-colored breast (which often appears closer to an orange). 

These birds will typically flock to seed feeders as well as suet. They are pretty unconcerned with humans, so you’ll often get outstanding views of them. Their boisterous attitude makes them a favorite for people to watch. 

Tufted Titmouse

While there are many species of titmouse, the tufted titmouse is perhaps the most well-known in the eastern United States. Not just a type of winter bird, you’ll find this species present year-round; however, they are much more likely to be lured to backyard feeders in the winter months as their food supply gets scarcer. 

You’ll spot this bird by its grey feathers, white breast, and slight hints of rust color just below the wings. These birds love peanuts but can also be attracted to seed and suet. They are bold and rarely shy away from humans meaning they are likely to get closer as they become comfortable with your presence. 

Dark-eyed Junco

This is a bird that you’ll be able to find throughout most of North America, including almost all of the United States. It is also one of the most common winter birds to spot. How do you know if you see a dark-eyed junco? Look for the juxtaposition of the dark grey feathers and plumage with white breast and white tail feathers. These sparrows are pretty beautiful and will be a welcome addition to your yard. 

These species enjoy a heated bird bath during the winter, and you can offer several types of food. Since they are granivorous, you’ll want to provide things like cracked corn and sunflower seeds from relatively low platforms. They visit feeders more frequently in the winter than in other seasons. 

Blue Jay

The blue jay is a favorite bird of many people. They can be found throughout most eastern and central United States, although some eastern populations are migratory. Winter is a time when they are frequently on the hunt for food. You’ll notice these birds by their bright blue tops and whitish/greyish breast and belly. They have black and white stripes on their wings and tail and are also known for their signature crest. 

If you want to attract blue jays during the winter, you can offer shelled peanuts, seeds, and cracked corn for food. Sunflower seeds are a popular choice. You also want to make sure you have the correct feeder. Tube feeders don’t provide space to land, so try a stationary large platform feeder

Final Thoughts

There are many popular winter birds that you can attract to your yard; however, these five are some of our favorites. When hoping to attract winter bird species to your home, remember Birdertown for all your birding needs.



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