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Backyard Birding Guide

Posted on March 24, 2020

Nature is everywhere. The sights and sounds of returning birds are sure signs of spring. Spend some time outside today and record what you see!

Small bird sitting on a tree branch

Have you seen these common Manitoba winter birds in your backyard?

  1. Black-billed Magpie
    • You’ll notice that in the right light, its black feathers reveal hints of green, purple, and blue.
  2. Black-capped Chickadee
    • This bird hides seeds and other food to save for later, remembering up to thousands of hiding places at a time.
  3. White-breasted Nuthatch
    • Watch for the habit that gave this bird its name: forcing seeds between tree bark, then hammering its sharp bill to break the seed open.
Chickadee sitting on tree branch

Can you spot these seasonal birds as they start to migrate for the spring?

    • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Tip: Yellow-rumped Warblers eat mostly insects, but can also find energy from berries and tree sap. They are one of the earliest warblers to return in spring. Look for them fluttering off of branches catching insects in mid-air.
    • Red-winged Blackbird – Tip: Male Red-winged Blackbirds migrate north ahead of the females to set up breeding territory in cattail marshes. Look for Red-winged Blackbirds feeding on seeds under your bird feeder.
    • American Robin – Tip: American Robins eat earthworms, but also fruit, like apples and berries. Put up a nest box in your backyard before breeding season to entice a pair of American Robins to stick around.

Longer days and changing weather in late March is a good indication to us that it’s time to start to watch for migratory birds flying back to the north, to find food and nesting habitat.

With over 300 bird species migrating over three major corridors—the Central Flyway, Mississippi Flyway, and Atlantic Flyway—spring is a busy time for birds in Manitoba.

Birding guide

Get the Guide

Download and print or save to your smartphone so you have it on hand for all your outdoor adventures this spring.