Winter is a great time to watch birds.
Although there are fewer species around many will come to feeders. In Manitoba over 400 different bird species have been recorded, however, only about 50 (12%) of these stay during the winter. It is the perfect time of year to start learning the different species!
The birds that spend the winter in Manitoba belong to a variety of groups. They include: grouse, hawks, owls, pigeons, woodpeckers, crows and jays, chickadees, nuthatches, waxwings, shrikes, sparrows, and finches. There are always a few stray species that manage to spend the winter here (e.g. ducks, geese) but they are not regular winter residents. Birds have many strategies for dealing with the cold, snowy Manitoba winters. Some birds gr ow extra feathers on their bodies and legs, some fluff up their feathers to trap air close to their skin to keep warm, some will huddle together for warmth, some store food, and some change their diets from insects to seeds, nuts and berries.
There are many opportunities to get help when learning the winter birds. Join a Christmas Bird Count, participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count or in Project FeederWatch
Black-capped Chickadees grow larger brains in winter.
Did You Know?
- 88% of Manitoba’s birds migrate.
- The Snowy Owl considers southern Manitoba its winter destination.
- Some birds have larger brains and grow new brain cells each fall so that they can remember where they hid their food.