Eco-tourism in Minnesota; It’s Great


Not many people realize that Minnesota and Wisconsin are the number one and two birding destinations in the lower forty-eight states. Of the 8 most wanted birds on the American Birding Association list, 4 are regularly seen in Minnesota, as are 11 of the top 25 most wanted birds. These birds include the Gyrfalcon, Great Gray Owl, Boreal Owl, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Spruce Grouse, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Connecticut Warbler and Yellow Rail. The Gyrfalcon, owls, woodpeckers and spruce grouse can be seen along the north shore of Lake Superior in winter. The Yellow Rail and Connecticut Warbler can be seen in St. Louis County, west of Duluth in the summer. The Connecticut Warbler can also be seen along the north shore and in several north central counties. About 40 percent of the Golden-winged Warbler nesting population can be found in Minnesota. More information near bottom of page.

Minnesota is also one of the few places in the United States where you can see both bald and golden eagles, both trumpeter and tundra swans and both sandhill and whooping cranes, plus it has the largest population of wolves in the lower 48 states, and one of the largest populations of moose and black bears west of the Mississippi.

Natural History Areas of Minnesota

Northeast Minnesota


Park Point and Lake Superior harbors for wintering gulls, ducks and loons. Sax-Zim Bog with its Winter Boreal Bird Festival in February.


Spring, Summer & Early Fall

International Wolf Center- wolves - and North American Bear Center - black bears -– Ely, MN

Shute Bear Refuge – Orr, MN – black bears

North Shore & Gunflint Trail – birding, wildlife.

Crex Meadows, Grantsburg, Wisconsin – migrating and native/nesting sandhill cranes, bald eagles, osprey, wolves, abundant prairie and wetland wildflowers



Hawk Ridge – Hawk migration


Black Dog Road, Burnsville, MN – native and migrating bald eagles, and trumpeter swans and ducks

Monticello, MN wintering Trumpeter Swans



Spring & Fall

Black Dog Road, Burnsville, MN Migrating pelicans, waterfowl, trumpeter swans, gulls


Summer & Fall

Black Dog Road, Burnsville, MN – nesting bald eagles, pergrines and osprey, birding

Wildlife Science Center – wolves, bears, raptors

Numerous birding and wildlife areas - Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Carlos Avery Game Refuge, MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Murphy-Hanrahan Regional Park, Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary, MN Zoo, Como Zoo

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge & the International Crane Institute – one of two summering/breeding populations of endangered whooping cranes in the world, plus captive cranes from around the world

Winter, Spring,Summer & fall

Mississippi River from Redwing to the Iowa Border - largest population of wintering bald eagles in the world, wintering waterfowl, nesting bald eagles

National Eagle Center, Wabasha, MN

Whitewater State Park & Game Refuge – wintering golden eagles



National Eagle Center, Wabasha, MN

Whitewater State Park & Game Refuge



Mississippi River from Weaver Bottoms to Iowa Border in Minnesota, and Rieck’s Lake in Alma, Wisconsin - Migrating waterfowl, including numerous species of ducks, Canada geese and tundra swans, and sandhill cranes



Southwest Minnesota

Spring, Summer & Fall

Jeffers Petroglyphs - Native American rock carvings & wildflower prairie

Blue Mounds State Park - Bison and birding

Pipestone National Monument – Pipestone Quarries, birding and wildflower prairie, and Native American Pow Wow


I’ll post several birding and wildlife photography tips soon.


There is a complete list of where to see rare or interesting birds and mammals in Minnesota, and a lot more useful information, on my website at If you want to visit any of these places and do not have transportation, or need a natural history guide, contact us at

Southeast Minnesota

Twin Cities Metro Area & Central Wisconsin

If you know of other places to go, feel free to comment below.

Remember, take a family member of friend along on a nature tour, and bring along a still or video camera, and binoculars of spotting scope for memories sake and better viewing.

God bless and enjoy our Great Outdoors,



There are also photographs of birds and wildlife for sale on our site. Just look for the links to T.R. Michels Outdoor Photography or log on to

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