Winter Feeder Survey

If you enjoy feeding birds and have a bird feeder out, join the Winter Feeder Count! We are asking people living in Michigan to submit their information about the birds visiting their feeders monthly, November through April. There is a simple protocol to follow and the information gathered is valuable for protecting birds and the habitat they utilize.

Email John at to sign up.

Top Five Species for the 2023 Winter Feeder Survey

Below are the top five species based on percentages of feeders visited over entire state:
White Breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch 98%


Black-capped Chickadee 97.5%

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker 96.5 %

Dark eyed junco

Dark-eyed Junco 96%

Blue Jay(2)

Blue Jay 95.5%

Winter Feeder Count Wrapup 2023

The 47th year of Winter Feeder Counts wrapped up in April as 239 participants from across Michigan conducted 1,157 feeder counts. They identified 66,348 birds of 115 species in their feeder count areas. Counts showed a below-average number of common redpolls and pine siskins reported. There was plenty of food in Canada for the pine siskins, so many stayed up north. The redpoll’s food source was predicted to be scarce; that was not the case, so they did not venture south as much as anticipated.
Pileated woodpeckers were reported on over half of the feeders, reaching a new high count. Their increased numbers is due to forest maturation, especially across the southern half of the state. For the last 15 years, the black-capped chickadee has been the most widespread species found at feeders, and it was surprising to see it nudged out of that top spot by the white-breasted nuthatch.

Winter Feeder Cardinals

For current participants:

You can now fill out your Count Day forms online! This survey is open to KNC volunteers to record observations of bird species for our winter feeder count program. Please fill out one form for each Count Day. Forms are due by the 15th of the month after the count day.

Donate to the Winter Feeder Survey

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.

Make a secure donation here >