Wyoming’s winter landscape may appear devoid of life. But look closer and you’re bound to see the flutter of wings. 

A bald eagle peers down from its perch in the Tongue River Valley. (Shannon Anderson)

Birds are ubiquitous during the cold months, visiting backyard feeders, hunting for prey, chattering in bushes, fluffing their feathers to keep warm and even dipping into frigid waters. 

A gray-crowned rosy-finch snacks on a snowy bannister between Cody and Powell. Rosy-finches are known for their preference of high-altitude mountainous terrain for summer breeding habitat. (Annie Hay)

Several readers submitted bird photos to WyoFile’s Cold Snap Challenge. The images capture raptors on the hunt, passerine birds at rest and even a rare visitor. 

Dorrene Brown Butterfield takes photos from her deck south of Alpine for her blog. In late November, she captured this great gray owl, which hung out in her yard for two days. (Dorrene Brown Butterfield/theviewfromourdeck.blogspot.com/)

Some were chronicled in the backcountry, others in residential backyards. All are proof that birds can persevere through snow, ice and biting cold. 

A black-capped chickadee flutters around a backyard bird feeder in Sheridan. (Daniel Kenah)

Do you have a striking photo of winter in Wyoming? Submit high-resolution entries to WyoFile’s Cold Snap Challenge by emailing them to editor@wyofile.com under the subject line “Winter photos.” Be sure to tell us when and where the images were taken. We’ll gather the images and publish our favorites through the winter.

An immature sharp-shinned hawk visits a bird feeding area between Cody and Powell. (Annie Hay)

Katie Klingsporn

Katie Klingsporn is WyoFile's managing editor. She is a journalist and word geek who has been writing about life in the West for 15 years. Her pieces have appeared in Adventure Journal, National Geographic...

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  1. Just imagine what our world will be like when we kill off every other living species… we are on track to doing this. Make changes to save our planet now. It’s already too late for some species of flora/fauna…smarten up!