It is finally winter in New York!  This year it was only a couple of months late – not that I am complaining. But, as all good things must, our warm and nearly snow-less season had to come to an end and this weekend it finally did with a blast of arctic air and small quantities of the cold white stuff. Of course, we New York birders don’t let a little winter stop us from birding and over the weekend I saw a bunch of what I would call snow birds.  By snow birds I mean birds that it seems only fitting to see when there is snow on the ground or in the air and birders’ extremities are turning blue.

Before we get to the images let me apologize for the brevity of this post.  You see, I promised several months ago to do a presentation on the birds of Kazakhstan for the Queens County Bird Club on Wednesday, 15 February.  Unexpectedly, it turns out that 15 February is only two days away and I had better get to it!  Of course, if you happen to be around New York City on Wednesday and have nothing to do but listen to someone who once spent four days birding Kazakhstan blathering on as if he were expert while misidentifying the birds in his slides then stop on by the Alley Pond Environmental Center on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston, Queens,  at 8 PM. You’ll probably regret it, but only if you forget to bring tomatoes to throw at me.

On to the snow birds! Stay warm this winter!

This is the ultimate snow bird – a Snowy Owl

Or is this the ultimate snow bird – a Dark-eyed Junco?

It is literally snowing on this pair of winter finches – a White-winged Crossbill and a Pine Siskin.

Even at very long range this is a very nice snow bird – a Rough-legged Hawk.

Any bird with “hyperboreus” in its scientific name is an automatic snow bird – a Glaucous Gull.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.