Wintry Wonders: 20 Birds to Look for in the Snowy Season

Birders and nature lovers will enjoy this roundup of cute photos of birds in snow, standing up to the icy and chilly weather.

northern cardinal in snowCourtesy Anne Duvall

Red Birds in Snow

“At this time of year, we think of hanging Christmas ornaments on the tree. I also love to look outside and see nature’s ornaments. Nothing brightens a scene like red male cardinal birds in snow,” says Anne Duvall. Discover proven ways to attract cardinals.

mourning dove in snowCourtesy Natalie McCloy

Mourning Dove in Winter

“We had an early November snowstorm in Michigan. The birds are very active when it snows, so I always have my camera nearby. When I looked out my back window, I saw this beautiful mourning dove sitting on the deck rail,” says Natalie McCloy. Here are more breathtaking photos of mourning doves.

cooper's hawk in winterCourtesy Dave Lyman

Frosty Bird of Prey

“A juvenile Cooper’s hawk had been hanging around in our backyard for a few weeks hunting, but it was just out of reach of my camera. As luck would have it, it perched outside our bedroom window when the light was just right and I was able to take this picture,” says Dave Lyman. Learn how to identify Cooper’s hawks vs sharp-shinned hawks.

Black-capped chickadee on tree in snowCourtesy Jody Partin

A Cheery Winter Chickadee

“While visiting my parents in northern Wisconsin, an early winter storm came and coated everything with ice. I went out with my camera to photograph black-capped chickadees. They did not seem bothered in the least by their icy perches,” says Jody Partin. You’ll love these incredibly cute chickadee pictures.

pine siskin in snowCourtesy Betsy Brooker

Persistent Pine Siskin

“I admire the stalwartness of the bird in snow. He was rewarded with the prize of the seed in its beak,” says Betsy Brooker. Learn how to attract and identify pine siskins.

snowy blue jayCourtesy Brenda Doherty

Blue Jay in Flurries

This picture was taken on a very cold day at my home in Ontario. I think perhaps he was hoping for a peanut,” says Brenda Doherty. Check out more beautiful blue jay photos you need to see.

white breasted nuthatch in winterCourtesy Diann Marksberry

Winter White-Breasted Nuthatch

“I took this photo of a white-breasted nuthatch from my kitchen window. He is perched in the dogwood tree waiting for his turn at the feeder. I don’t get nuthatches very often, so it is always a treat when one shows up!” says Diann Marksberry. Discover the best foods to attract nuthatches to your yard.

redpollCourtesy Don Kaddatz

Back for the Season

“Every winter, I look forward to the arrival of common redpolls. Last year they appeared later than usual, but it’s always such a nice surprise when they show up,” says Lilly Heibert. Discover surprising facts about arctic birds.

hairy woodpecker on tree in snowCourtesy Judith Dedes

Searching for a Snack

“It was the first snowstorm of the year in Dexter, Michigan, with 11 inches of snow. Yet this hairy woodpecker was out pecking for some bugs on the sweetgum tree in our yard,” says Judith Dedes. Here’s how to tell downy and hairy woodpeckers apart.

robin in snowy berry treeCourtesy Laura Retyi

Robin in a Berry Tree

“In Cincinnati, Ohio, we have a street that is lined with rows of hawthorn trees. Every winter, tons of robins gather to eat the berries,” says Laura Retyi. Here’s how to attract robins to your yard or garden.

harris sparrowCourtesy Bob Bauer

Sparrow in the Snow

“I chose this picture of a Harris’s sparrow sitting on an icy covered cedar branch. These birds in snow are not flashy; but are a delight to have in our yard,” says Bob Bauer. Don’t miss the 51 best winter bird photos.

bluebird in snowCourtesy Joann Firsdon

Bluebirds in a Blizzard

“I love winter. The lovely snow floating down like little jewels is so peaceful. I was talking to someone when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something blue. I looked, and there were two bluebirds sitting in a small tree right in front of me. Oh my gosh! I couldn’t get my camera on fast enough. And then they flew away. Whoever heard of bluebirds in a snowstorm?” writes Joann Firsdon.

Learn how to identify snow buntings.

house finch on snowy branchCourtesy Tom Hagen

House Finch on a Branch

“A sweet little house finch waited on a snowy branch for its turn at the nearby porch feeders,” says Tom Hagen. If you’re a finch fan, you’ll love these 20 beautiful pictures of finches.

cardinals in a snowy evergreen treeCourtesy Beth Huebner

Cardinal Birds in a Snowy Evergreen

“These male cardinals love to sit on a tree outside our kitchen window. At any time, they are spectacularly beautiful, but capturing them in this snowstorm added a magical quality to their dramatic red color against the snow,” says Beth Huebner. Check out more simply stunning photos of northern cardinals.

snowy owl in flightCourtesy Ted Busby

Snowy Owl in Flight

“I heard about a rural area that three snowy owls had settled in, so I decided to try and get my first photos of this magnificent bird. Once I arrived, I had no trouble spotting the owl a long way out in a farmer’s field. I asked for permission to enter the property and spent approximately 40 minutes slowly approaching the owl in a zig-zag fashion so not to stress the bird, stopping periodically to take some shots,” says Ted Busby. Check out more outstanding pictures of owls.

dark eyed junco on fenceCourtesy Lori R. Bramble

Dark-Eyed Junco in Snow

“Winter is one of my favorite times to take bird photos. After it snows I go out and sprinkle birdseed and sunflower seeds to attract juncos, which are very common in my area. I was lucky enough to get this shot of birds in snow when a dark-eyed junco landed on the fence in my backyard,” says Lori R. Bramble.  Check out 50 beautiful winter pictures across America.

goldfinch on snowy branchCourtesy Amy Estoye

Female Goldfinch in Winter

“Like most female birds, goldfinches are not flashy, but that’s what I love about this little one. Looking at this photo always gives me the feeling of waking up the morning after a snowstorm. The air is silent, sounds muffled by a thick layer of sparkly white,” says Amy Estoye. Learn how to attract goldfinches to your backyard.

northern flicker in snowCourtesy Meghann Fletcher

Northern Flicker Eating Berries

“We thought winter was finally done for the year, but another blast of snow came. This red-shafted northern flicker’s movements were quick as he made his rounds between the mountain ash berries and crabapples,” says Meghann Fletcher. Check out the 4 best foods for attracting woodpeckers.

Bnbbyc16 Donna Keller 001Courtesy Donna Keller

Pretty Purple Finch

“This is a male purple finch just after a spring snowstorm in my home state of New Hampshire. I was dreading having to deal with yet another storm in April; no less, when I peered out my window to see the birds in snow flocking to my feeders. I immediately grabbed my camera and started shooting. The purple finch is the New Hampshire state bird, so it seemed fitting,” says Donna Keller. Learn how to tell the difference between house finches vs purple finches.

brown thrasher in snowCourtesy Debbie Richmond

Fox Sparrow

“This little cutie surprised me under my feeder one cold morning. Very nice surprise as the fox sparrow was a lifer for me. Added him right to my list!” says Debbie Richmond. Here’s how to create winter shelter for birds.

Kirsten Schrader
Kirsten is the content director of Birds & Blooms. She's been with the brand in various roles since 2007. She has many favorite birds (it changes with the seasons), but top picks include the red-headed woodpecker, Baltimore oriole and rose-breasted grosbeak. Her bucket list bird is the painted bunting.