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Collage of birds

What Birds am I Now (Not) Seeing?

Note: this is the full article by Guest Contributor MARK NEWSTROM. An excerpt of this article is featured in the March/April 2019 Bird's-Eye View Newsletter Since the beginning of this author’s life in the mid-1950s, the variety of birds seen in and around the Twin Cities area has surprisingly changed. Herein are five examples of bird species that were not…
Raptor Guide

Raptors! A Guide to Minnesota’s Birds of Prey

  A raptor, also known as a bird of prey, is a carnivorous, meat-eating bird. All raptors share at least three characteristics: keen eyesight, eight sharp talons and a hooked beak. The word “raptor” comes from a Latin term rapere meaning “to seize or grab.” Minnesota raptors include eagles, falcons, hawks, kites, osprey, owls and vultures. Most Minnesota raptors have…

It’s Time Again for Winter-Visiting Finches

Photo by Jim Weisman Welcome Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls This is the time of year when you may begin to see some less-common visitors to your backyard feeding stations. Every few years, we experience an "irruption"—an influx of typically northern-dwelling birds—into our Twin Cities Metro Area and beyond in Minnesota. The irruption is often due to poor crops of…
Variety of finches at feeder in winter

Who’s Who at Your Winter Feeders

  IDENTIFYING SIMILAR "LITTLE BROWN BIRDS" AT YOUR FEEDERS THIS WINTER From our Bird's-Eye View Newsletter archives: Volume 19, Issue 1 By Guest Contributor MELISSA BLOCK Part of the joy in backyard birding is identifying and keeping track of the birds that come to your yard over the years. Equipped with a field guide, it’s relatively easy to identify birds…
Trumpeter-vs-Tundra-Web

Trumpeter Swan or Tundra Swan?

They swim gracefully (or feed ungracefully) in the water. They fly gracefully, in small to large V-formations. They honk or whistle. They are definitely swans, with their long necks and stout bodies. But of the two types of swans seen locally, either Trumpeter Swan or Tundra Swan, which is which? If each type of swan is side-by-side, distinguishing them is…

Late-Summer Reading List

The crazy, hazy, lazy days of late summer call for a great reading list! Bird lovers will enjoy these selections by local resident, naturalist wildlife photographer and prolific author; Stan Tekiela. A Year in Nature with Stan Tekiela—a Naturalist's Notes on the Seasons Learn from the expert in this collection of some of the 500 newspaper columns from Stan’s 20…

Feed hummingbirds out of your hand!

We're so excited about this clever new product! Nectar Dots allow you to feed hummingbirds out of your hand. Simply sit or stand still with the nectar dot in your hand near an existing nectar feeder where hummingbirds frequent (it's helpful to wear sunglasses while you do so!). Take a look a the video for more details! Pick up your…

In Depth: Baltimore Orioles

This article is from our Bird's-Eye View Newsletter Archives: May/June 2011 Male and Female Baltimore Orioles By White Bear Lake Manager Bob Ellis One of the most striking songbirds to visit backyards is the oriole. The vivid orange and black coloring of a male Baltimore oriole is unmistakable and dramatic. While both sexes display a white wing bar, the female’s…

Top Tips for Hosting Bluebirds

Hosting Eastern Bluebirds in your yard is rewarding. You get a close-up look at these beautiful, iridescent birds. You also get the satisfaction of knowing you're helping to restore bluebird populations. It's not difficult to host bluebirds, but you should be aware of what's involved before you get started. This video gives you an introduction to hosting bluebirds. For more information,…

Video: Bird Alarm Calls

Backyard Bird's Alarm Call Network Real-time reports from backyard birds can give those around them advance warning to seek cover. Alarm calls can be wide-bandwidth, loud and short to attract birds from farther away to come mob a predator. Other calls can be shorter bandwidth, high-pitched "seets"that don't travel as far as individual sounds, but spread quickly from bird to bird…

Minnesota’s Winter Birds

Many times people are surprised by some of the birds they can see in their backyard during our harsh winter months. If there are sufficient natural food sources on their breeding grounds even American Robins and Eastern Bluebirds will sometimes remain in the area where they spent the summer. A Blue Jay and Northern Cardinals visit feeders in the winter.…