Whether you’re an avid birder or a casual
observer, you’ll enjoy spotting a wide
variety of birds in Minnesota. Spring and fall
migrations are especially good times to observe
waterfowl and songbirds.
Minnesota has four birding trails, driving routes that link many
of the best birding sites in the state, including state parks,
forests, wildlife refuges, wetlands and prairies. Maps identify
the sites and the species of birds to watch for along each trail.
All of these birding trails are described in the specialty trails
section of mntrails.com.
Pine to Prairie Birding Trail
Between Fergus Falls & Warroad in the northwest.
Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail
Follows the river from the western border to the Twin Cities area.
Great River Birding Trail
Follows the Mississippi River from its source to the
southern border of the state.
North Shore Birding Trail
Loons: The official “state bird,” loons can be spotted on
lakes in the northern two-thirds of the state, where their
distinctive calls are a familiar sound.
Eagles: With our large eagle population, it’s not unusual
to see a bald eagle, especially in northern Minnesota and
along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. In the winter,
they gather at the open waters of the Mississippi and can be
easily observed from the riverbanks at Wabasha. The National
Eagle Center here has resident eagles for up-close viewing.
Hawks: In the fall, thousands of hawks follow a migration
corridor that takes them over Hawk Ridge in Duluth, making
an impressive display during peak periods.
Trumpeter swans: Hundreds of elegant trumpeter
swans winter in the open waters of the Mississippi River in
Monticello, gathering visitors to view this impressive bird.
MORE BIRDING INFO
Recorded birding reports, bird and wildlife
watching areas, and birding festivals.