Birds of Winter - 2017

The winter birding period, beginning December 1st and ending on the last day of February, is a rewarding time to bird in Nova Scotia. Most of our migratory breeding species have long since departed, as have passage migrants that spend some brief time here in the fall before continuing south, but the occasional straggler may remain. Many species that breed further north come to Nova Scotia to spend the winter in our relatively mild climate, and can only be seen here in the coldest part of the year. Finally, there are a good number of species that live in Nova Scotia year-round and can be seen more easily in winter than other seasons. Keeping a personal winter list is a great way to keep motivated when it is often easy to justify staying indoors on a cold day.

HISTORYBlake Maybank

It has been 20 years since distinguished NSBS member Blake Maybank began keeping track of Nova Scotia's winter bird sightings. To his way of thinking, it was a worthwhile communal activity toward which birders could contribute, and something every province should take to heart. As we enter the 2017-18 winter season without Blake, the Nova Scotia Bird Society will be the stewards for his legacy of enthusiastic winter listing for years to come. Stop by throughout the winter season for updates to the official list.

We are very pleased to have Keith Lowe continue tracking the sightings as a tribute to Blake's enthusiasm for this event.


X (P) - (Sub)species was seen in the indicated winter season.
*X* (*P*) - (Sub)species was seen in the Depths of Winter (i.e., February) of the indicated season.

Species in white are usually recorded every winter season.
Species in yellow are not recorded every winter season.
Species in orange have less than 10 total records in NS.
Species in red are presumed extirpated.

Winter is Coming...


Download the Spreadsheet

Download the complete Birds of Winter spreadsheet that includes entries between 1996-2006 HERE