Birding in Minnesota is a great option in the winter months, both indoors and out.
With their leaves lost to the wind, finding where a chirp, trill, or whistle is coming from is short work on bare branches. Feathered friends you might see in January include Bohemian waxwings, black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, or the occasional woodpecker—pileated or downy. Bald eagles are often seen scavenging along the road or soaring above a farm field searching for an easy dinner. Last year a snowy owl made Roseau it’s home. Watchers were lucky as he seemed to have a daily watch post on a wooden light pole east of Roseau right along the road.
If you’re heading to a state park, bring a park-specific bird checklist with you! At Christmas time, bird watchers gather in Roseau to count the birds to track their presence and change in patterns from year to year. This event is sponsored by the National Audubon Society. They are always looking to grow their volunteer list. Visit the MN DNR website to see the flying visitors listed by season and abundance: mndnr.gov/state_parks/birding.html
If participating in bird watching from home be sure to research what winter birds eat. You may want to change the composition of bird foods offered and perhaps the arrangement of your feeders. Some birds like and need high-fat suet or sunflower seeds in the winter others like those. Feeding to their taste will aid in the birds’ survival, as well as increase your viewing enjoyment in the snowy months ahead.
Birds watching has no restrictions it’s great for young and old. It’s free or relatively inexpensive. It’s also an easy hobby to take up without
being required to buy gear to participate. No matter the weather, you can bird watch together.