Fox squirrel looking up to treeWinter Feeder Count

Help KNC study Michigan birds this winter! Do you have a birdfeeder visible from a window in your home or at your office? If so, you are perfectly equipped to participate in our Annual Winter Feeder Survey. From November through April, we ask our Michigan community to submit monthly information about the birds observed at their birdfeeders while following a simple protocol. The data gathered helps researchers better understand, protect, and conserve bird species that utilize Michigan habitats.

Your support makes a difference.   

To join the Winter Feeder Count, email John Brenneman at JBrenneman@NatureCenter.org.


"Where are all my goldinfches?"


During its 60-year history, the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) has answered countless wildlife inquiries from the community. Perhaps the most common naturalist question in winter is, "Where have my goldfinches gone?" Nearly 40 years of data from our Michigan Winter Feeder Count tells us that know that the American Goldfinch is among the most abundant feeder species in Michigan each winter. So why are they sometimes absent, perhaps for extended periods?  In severe weather events like ice and deep snow, our feeders may be crucial to the survival of some individuals, but most are simply using our feeders as one of many food sources.  In early winter, seeds of many plant species are abundant across the landscape, even in places we may consider barren. Flocks of goldfinch likely have older individuals familiar with these food sources. Later in winter, as natural food sources are consumed or covered with snow, the American Goldfinch will again visit feeders in greater numbers.

Continue to feed birds in winter for your enjoyment. Place some food on the ground for doves, sparrows and yes, even for the squirrels. Every species you see at your feeders will bring joy as the all thrive in tandem.

Interested in joining the Winter Feeder Count? Email: JBrenneman@Natu​reCenter.org

Support the Winter Feeder Count 

KNC’s Winter Feeder Count has brought together hundreds of Michigan’s birdwatchers for over four decades, creating an incredibly valuable dataset for tracking bird populations over time. This important work continues year after year through the generous support of donors like you. Please consider making a gift today!