Birds in Minnesota

Minnesota is an excellent area to explore and discover. The North Star State is a magical place. Vast boreal forests, vast plains, distant bogs and wetlands, and an abundance of woodlands all contribute to some excellent birdwatching. Minnesota has a lot to see. The land of 10,000 lakes and the northernmost point in the United States on the Mississippi Flyway is home to an abundance of natural bird habitats.

Minnesota boasts around 246 species of birds that visit on a seasonal basis, and while this number is lower than in some states, it does not mean that serious birding is impossible here.

In 1961, the loon (Gavia immer) was designated as Minnesota’s state bird. It is also referred to as the common loon. Loons are huge birds with black and white plumage and red eyes.

In the section below, you’ll find the birds you’ve been hoping to see in Minnesota.

Minnesota birds of prey

You’ve come to the perfect site if you’re particularly interested in Minnesota birds of prey. Minnesota is home to a variety of hawks, owls, vultures, and other raptors that can be seen around bodies of water, in open land, and even in urban areas.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes offers excellent birdwatching opportunities for residents and visitors alike. There are 66 parks to visit and numerous trails, if you know where to search. Certain Minnesota birds move south for the winter. Today, we’ll look at popular backyard birds in Minnesota and have a little discussion about them.

Eagles in Minnesota

Each year, the Mississippi River valley serves as a migration route for several waterfowl, raptors, and shorebird species migrating from northern summer habitats to warmer southern wintering grounds. During this time of year, southeastern Minnesota is home to a large number of bald eagles migrating south. Eagles have been spotted in supposedly record numbers around Minnesota.

Eagles have successfully adapted to suburban areas in Minnesota, breeding at popular lakes; they also nest in more typical locations along northern lakes and the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

Owls in Minnesota

Owls are abundant in Minnesota, and in this part, we’ll take a closer look at the owl species you may expect to see (along with photographs!).

Owls are extraordinary creatures, and their existence implies the presence of a diverse range of organisms, from rodents to trees to insects to other birds. Owls come from as far north as the Arctic and as far south as Brazil to nest in Minnesota. Twelve different species of owls are found in Minnesota, but not throughout the state.

Discover fascinating facts about Minnesota Owls.

Tyto Alba - Barn Owl in the US

Tyto Alba – Barn Owl

Barn owls or known in Latin as Tyto Alba hunt on the ground and eat mostly small creatures, which they ...
Strix nebulosa - Great gray owl in the United States

Strix Nebulosa – Great Gray Owl

When measured in length, the great grey owl or known in Latin as Strix nebulosa is the largest owl in ...
Bubo Virginianus - Great Horned Owl

Bubo Virginianus – Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus, the great horned owl is a big owl native to the Americas. It is the most extensively distributed ...
Megascops asio - Eastern screech-owl

Megascops Asio – Eastern Screech – Owl

Megascops asio, commonly known as the eastern screech owl is a tiny owl found in eastern North America from Mexico ...
Strix Varia - Barred Owl in the USA

Strix Varia – Barred Owl

Strix varia, the northern barred owl is often known as the striped owl or hoot owl is a big North ...

Common backyard birds of Minnesota

Minnesota is the 12th largest state in the United States. With a variety of habitats, it is home to approximately 446 bird species that dwell here year-round or come during migration season.

This section will provide you with photographs and information about the most common backyard birds found in Minnesota, so you can identify them when they visit your yard.

Woodpeckers in Minnesota

These critters are not fair-weather friends; they rival and even surpass the hardiest of people as we await the arrival of spring. Among these overwintering birds is a group that almost everybody with an interest in the outdoors is likely familiar with: the woodpeckers.

Of the 22 woodpecker species identified in the United States, 11 are present in Minnesota, ranging from the ubiquitous downy to the less common red-headed and Williamson’s sapsucker.

Best Birdwatching Spots in Minnesota

The Land of 10,000 Lakes offers excellent birdwatching opportunities for residents and visitors alike. There are 66 parks to visit and numerous trails if you know where to search.

Many people enjoy bird watching as a hobby. It’s sometimes considered a sport that requires expensive equipment, yet all you really need are your eyes and ears to get started.

The following are the top five birding locations in Minnesota.

  1. Hawk Rigde Nature Reserve in Duluth
  2. Blue Mounds State Park
  3. Sax-Zim Bog
  4. Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge
  5. McGregor Marsh

Other birds

It’s a lot of fun to put up bird feeders and watch what comes to visit, but it’s even more fun when you know who they are. Now you can learn about the different birds that visit feeders or hop across your lawn in Minnesota.

If you have encountered a bird in Minnesota that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page

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