About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Most common winter birds in Michigan

I'm new to the area. Does Lansing have Cardinals year-round? What birds will I see at the feeder this winter? ~ Lansing, Michgian

Mid-Michigan is lucky enough to see lots of birds during the long cold winter months. I’ve listed some of the most common birds you’ll see and the food they like at feeders.

1. House Sparrow- White Proso Millet, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips
2. Black-capped Chickadee- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
3. Northern Cardinal- Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Shelled peanuts, Striped Sunflower seed
4. Downy Woodpecker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet
5. White-breasted Nuthatch- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
6. Mourning Dove- Oil Sunflower seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, White Proso Millet, Nyjer Thistle
7. Red-bellied Woodpecker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
8. Northern Flicker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
9. Dark-eyed Junco- White Proso Millet, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Nyjer Thistle
10. American Goldfinch- Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Chips, Oil Sunflower Seed
11. Blue Jay- Peanuts in the Shell, Nuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
12. Tufted Titmouse- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
13. House Finch- Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Chips, Oil Sunflower Seed
14. European Starling- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
15. American Crow- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
16. Cooper’s Hawk- Songbirds, Squirrels, Unrendered Suet
17. Carolina Wren- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
18. Eastern Bluebird- Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
19. American Robin- Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
20. Cedar Waxwing- Mealworms, Suet Nuggets, Berries and Wild Fruit

Click HERE for the Eastern Seed Preference Guide

Of course there are a lot more birds in Michigan during the winter and they don't just eat from feeders, but this gives you a start. For more information we have Birds of Michigan Field Guides or you can visit our online Bird Guide to identify birds at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/.

Related Articles:
10 Winter Finches in Michigan: http://bit.ly/oL3iCF 
Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/pXv5ZN
What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/nImz5g 
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh  
How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter Birdwatching http://bit.ly/q93Men 
What is the best bird feeder? http://bit.ly/qVr7i8

2 comments:

  1. are robins winter birds

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    Replies
    1. The America Robin (Turdus migratorius) does migrate but the birds that summer in Canada may migrate to parts of Michigan (where I live) and think that’s far enough. If you look at the range map you’ll see that there are winter populations of Robins in most states year round. Robins are surprisingly hardy birds, capable of surviving temperatures well below zero. But that doesn’t mean sightings are common.

      After nesting season has ended, they usually form large nomadic groups that roost at night in the woods. Their diet changes from mostly worms and insects to fruit, nuts and berries. I’ve seen them devouring our crab apples, Mountain Ash tree berries, and sometimes under my feeders looking for nuts. They also appreciate open water in the winter. If you have a pond or heated birdbath they may show up for afternoon drinks.

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