Venturing outside of the Metro
Planning on taking a trip outside of the Twin Cities during the first few months of the year? If you are heading south and have time, check out Colvill Park in Red Wing for great waterfowl birding and the National Eagle Center in Wabasha for winter Bald Eagle viewing. The National Eagle Center also does field trips and habitat tours where you can learn more about our national bird. Check out their website for more information at nationaleaglecenter.org.
If you drive through or are near Houston Minnesota, stop by and check out the International Owl Center, plan ahead if you’d like to go on one of their “Owl Prowls”, as they book up quickly! You can find more information on internationalowlcenter.org.
One of the top places for winter birding will require a trip up north to the beautiful Sax-Zim Bog. Stop by the visitor center first and pick up a map and visit with fellow birders to find out what they’ve been seeing (and check out their new education center while you’re there!).
Evening Grosbeaks, Black-billed Magpies, Winter Wrens, Boreal Chickadees, Great Grey Owls, Pine Grosbeaks, Common Ravens, Purple Finches, Canada Jays, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Snow Buntings, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Ruffed Grouse, Northern Goshawks, Northern Hawk Owls, and many more amazing birds await you during the winter at the bog.
If you’d like someone else to show you the ropes for your first visit, you can also sign up for their bird watching and raptor field trips on the Friends of Sax-Zim bog website: https://saxzim.org/events.