Winter in the Berkshires 2021: It’s for the Birds

You don’t need snowshoes or ski boots to enjoy winter in the Berkshires. A pair of binoculars and an avid interest in birding offers just as much fun and excitement as schussing down mountains or careening through the woods on a snowmobile. Luckily, our lovely bed and breakfast in Sheffield, MA lies a stone’s throw from Lime Kiln Farm, one of Massachusetts Audubon Society’s premier birding sites. And not too far afield in Lenox, MA, the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and Post Farm Marsh host guided workshops for avian enthusiasts.

family of hawks in tree branch against a blue skySpot Winter Raptors in the Berkshires

Among the highlights of winter birding in the Berkshires, an opportunity to learn about the movement and behavior of raptors looms large. Trekking through multiple locations with a knowledgeable guide searching for birds of prey and nocturnal owls on the prowl might just be the highlight of a trip to the Berkshires for some birders.

Hunt for Owls after Dark

Imagine the mystique in venturing out on a starlit night listening for the telltale signs of owls on the hunt. Tramp through fields and forest following the lead of an expert while learning about the nighttime habits of these magnificent nocturnal hunters.

Skydancing American Woodcocks

Come early spring, the woodcocks take to the evening sky to woo a mate with an aerial performance of courtship. When love is in air for the American woodcock, the meadows of Lime Kiln Farm are aflutter with birds dancing in the night sky. It’s a spectacle that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Elusive Winter Finches

Some experts predict that winter 2021 will be the best opportunity to capture a glimpse of the elusive winter finches. Tiptoeing through the fields at the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA on an early spring morning may be your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to listen to the beautiful song of these hard to spot birds.

Birding Events in the Berkshires

Mark your calendars for these upcoming birding events in the Berkshires. Pre-registration is required. You should dress warmly for the weather, carry your own binoculars or spotting scope, and bring snowshoes or footwear with traction to accommodate wintery conditions.

  • Sheffield, MA–Mass Audubon – Birding Workshop: Winter Raptors at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheffield, MA. Feb 20, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Lenox, MA–Mass Audubon – Starlight Owl and Wildlife Prowl at Post Farm Marsh, Lenox, MA. Mar 12, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Sheffield, MA–Mass Audubon – Sky Dance of the American Woodcock at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheffield. Mar 17, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Lenox, MA–Mass Audubon – Sky Dance of the American Woodcock at Post Farm Marsh, Lenox, MA. Mar 19, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Pittsfield, MA–Mass Audubon – Birding Workshop: Winter Finches @ Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Mar 20, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Pittsfield, MA–Mass Audubon – Sky Dance of the American Woodcock @ Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Mar 24, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

For more on the birds of western Massachusetts, read our blog post: Birding in the Massachusetts Berkshires.

Of course, you’ll want to return to the warmth and comfort of your cozy room at the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast after your birding adventures. Call us now to reserve your favorite room. The birds of the Berkshires are waiting for you.