Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota is a popular place to bird watch. There are not only a variety of ducks and geese who visit the many lakes on a regular basis, but a multitude of song birds pass through on their way to warmer ground in the fall. Here are 5 birds you see in Minnesota mostly during the warmer months of the year, but a few are year around too.
5. Wood Ducks
To me, these are some of the most amazing little ducks around. They lay eggs in the hollow part of a tall tree and the babies have to jump to the ground to get to water. The males of this species are very colorful and almost look like they are a wooden decoy, instead of a live duck.
4. Ring-necked Pheasant
I like spotting these long tailed birds out in a field or as they fly alongside my car. I used to think they got their name from their call, since it sounds like they are getting their neck wrung as they give the call. However, their name comes from the white ring seen around the male’s dark-colored neck.
3. Common Loon
These water birds can be seen and heard on many of the lakes around Minnesota. They tend to ride low in the water and both males and females look alike. Loons are fast swimmers and excellent divers. There’s no telling where they will pop up in a lake once they dive under the water.
2. Eastern Wood Pewee
For a tiny bird, the Eastern Wood Pewee is able to belt out quite a loud call. It is very high and piercing to the ears. These small olive-colored birds migrate to Central and South America for the winter months. They have taken the same route for the past 100 years.
1. Red-breasted Nuthatch
These little birds are very busy and can be seen making their way up and down the side of a tree trunk in search of bugs. Their call is long and drawn out. It is higher pitched than the White-breasted Nuthatch, but still very similar sounding.
I’ve been bird watching along many of the lakes and have even seen white pelicans taking a rest at a larger lake. I have a running list of birds I’ve spotted, so of course these large birds were added to my ongoing list. Do you have some favorite birds you look for each fall during migration? Are there a few types of birds that you are looking forward to seeing some day?
Top Photo Credit: ThomasD300