Winter Birds

Sharp-shinned Hawk © Pat Bumstead

Birdwatchers are people who enjoy a challenge, and birding Canada in the winter definitely qualifies!

Winter birds may be few and far between in places, but the joy of spotting one after trudging through the snow for hours is more than worth the effort.

Besides, there are none of those annoying leaves getting in the way of your view.

For those hardy birders who want to tackle Canada in the winter, we’ve prepared a list of winter birds that huddle through our northern climate.

As always when dealing with birds, this list is not a definitive one but is just meant to be a rough guide. And to prove that yes, we really do have birds in the winter!

Water Birds

  • There are now year round resident populations of Canada Geese and Mallards.
  • Eider ducks – Common & King
  • Scoters – Black, White-winged & Surf
  • Ducks – Harlequin & Longtailed
  • Goldeneyes – Common & Barrows
  • Mergansers – Common & Hooded
  • Murres – Common & Thick-billed
  • Razorbill
  • Guillemots – Black & Pigeon
  • Murrelets – Marbled & Ancient
  • Auklets – Cassin’s & Rhinocerous
  • Puffin, Atlantic

Birds of Prey

  • Eagles – Bald & Golden
  • Hawks – Sharp-shinned & Merlin,
  • Falcons – Peregrine, Gryfalcon & Northern Goshawk
  • Owls – Great-horned, Barred, Great Grey, Snowy, Northern Pygmy, Saw-whet, Northern Hawk & Boreal

Game Birds

  • Partridge, Grey
  • Pheasant, Ring-necked
  • Grouse – Ruffed, Spruce, Blue, Sharp-tailed & Sage
  • Turkey, Wild
  • Ptarmigan – White-tailed, Rock & Willow
  • Dove, Rock (Common Pigeon)

Perching Birds

  • Woodpeckers – Northern Flicker, Downy, Hairy, Three-toed, Black-backed & Pileated
  • Shrike, Northern
  • Jays – Blue, Grey, Stellars & Clarke’s Nutcracker
  • Magpie, Black-billed
  • Raven, Common
  • Crow, American
  • Lark, Horned
  • Chickadees – Black-capped, Mountain, Chestnut-backed, Boreal, Grey-headed
  • Creeper, Brown
  • Nuthatches – White-breasted, Red-breasted, Pygmy
  • Wren, Winter
  • Dipper, American
  • Kinglet, Golden-crowned
  • Thrushes – Varied & American Robin
  • Starling, European
  • Waxwing – Bohemian & Cedar
  • Sparrows – Song, Dark-eyed Junco, Snow Bunting, House
  • Cardinal, Northern
  • Finches – House, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Common Redpoll, Hoary Redpoll, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak

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