My Winter Birding Wish List

One of the things that I love so much about bird-watching is that it is a year-round hobby, and there are different birds to see in every season.  As winter approaches, I am already thinking about the birds I hope to see.

My wish list is as follows:

  • Pine Siskins
  • Redpolls
  • Snow Buntings
  • Bald Eagle
  • Snowy Owl
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Crossbills

Some, like the Pine Siskins and the Redpolls, are fairly regular winter visitors to our yard, but that makes their appearance each year no less exciting, and a year without their presence would be disappointing indeed.  These are photos taken over the last few years.

Common Redpoll

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskins

Common Redpolls

Common Redpolls

Pine Siskins

Pine Siskins

Snow Buntings are also fairly regular winter visitors, but my sightings are always of the flock from afar, or while driving.  I am hoping for a closer look at these lovely birds this year.

The Bald Eagle has become a regular winter sighting for me, and after a three year streak it would be disappointing not to see it again.

Winter after winter, the Snowy Owl has thus far eluded me (despite road trips purposely in search of it!).  And then just last week, my brother saw one while at work not far from home – maybe this will be the year!

The Evening Grosbeak and the Crossbill are my wild hopes, as I have yet to ever see either beyond the pages of my bird guide, and they have been on my wish list for a long, long time.  But who knows what this year will bring!

What’s on your winter birding wish list?

About Rachel Lancashire, ON

Rachel Lancashire lives and birds in Ennismore, ON. Groundcovers nursery worker by day, she is a freelance writer and artist in her spare time. She has had articles about birds and wildlife published in Nature Friend, GreenPrints and The Banner. Her art, inspired by birds, can be found on her blog, MyWildMuses, and in her Etsy shop, Miss Sitta's Nest.
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4 Responses to My Winter Birding Wish List

  1. I have not had redpolls yet where I am, but in past years they have appeared at my feeder any time between November and February/March. Where some of these winter nomads end up can be very localized – I haven’t seen any pine siskins yet this year, but my grandparents in Peterborough have them at their feeder. I personally have never seen a crossbill of evening grosbeak (thus the wish list), but they are both nomads as well, and year to year can be locally abundant in one place and absent from another. There are apparently Snowy Owls around (my brother saw one near my home), and I saw Snow Buntings in December (not backyard visitors but I see them flying in fields and open areas). Our winter regulars are similar to yours apart from the broad-winged hawk and osprey (which disappears here in September and doesn’t return until April.)

  2. Barry Brown says:

    I would like to hear of where the common redpoll have gone for the last three years?. We have very few species this year and have yet apart from the pine siskins, seen none listed here. We have a large mourning dove (60-232) here as well as the chickadee, junco, blue jay, breasted nuthatch, eagle, ospray, cooper hawk, broad winged hawk sharp shined hawk, hairy woodpecker, Downy woodpecker, to date, many others not yet arrived?.

  3. Thanks! I hope you get to see one, too!

  4. Rosie LaLonde says:

    Snowy owls are appearing here in the Chicago area and in the city! I hope to see one—so far I have missed them when they are here.
    I hope they pay you a visit!

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