Published on December 13, 2019

What's So Great About Winter Birding on Cape Cod

Yellow-breasted Chat (Photo: Mark Faherty)
Yellow-breasted Chat (Mark Faherty)

Winter birding on Cape Cod isn’t just good—it’s exceptional!

Early winter weather conditions on Cape Cod can be more like late fall in other parts of the Commonwealth. Some species that vacate other regions of the state by November will linger on Cape Cod for a month or two longer.

Birders making the trip to Cape Cod in winter eagerly anticipate late lingering waterfowl like Green-winged Teal and Wood Ducks, semi-hardy species like Gray Catbirds, Hermit Thrushes, and Eastern Towhees, and species that are at the northern limit of their winter range on the Cape such as Black-bellied Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones.

Birds like chats and catbirds are always fun to find during the winter season on Cape Cod, but it’s the truly unexpected avian phenomena—from rarities to memorable encounters—that reinforce and compel one to endure the biting wind and plummeting temperatures of the season.

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