A Birder's Guide to Minnesota


~  Corrections and Additions (as of September 2012)  ~


This collection of corrections and additions to the 4th edition of A Birder's Guide to Minnesota (2002) will be updated as needed to provide those who use this reference to Minnesota's birding locations with more accurate and up-to-date information. 

Accordingly, please contact the author with new information you are aware of so this can be passed on to other Minnesota birders: either send by e-mail to eckertkr@gmail.com, or by U.S. mail to 1921 W. Kent Rd., Duluth, MN 55812.

Note – Boldface type indicates new revisions since the previous update (March 2012). These September 2012 revisions are in the Introduction / Publication Data section and the following counties: Roseau, Marshall, Polk, Lyon, Pipestone, Rock, Hennepin/Ramsey/Washington, Sherburne, Stearns, Carlton, Lake of the Woods, Itasca, and St. Louis.


My thanks to Betsy Beneke, Bill Blackburn, Judy Chucker, Shawn Conrad, Claudia Egelhoff, Bob Holtz, Norma Malinowski, and Barb & Denny Martin, who provided information for portions of this latest update.

Others who have contributed to previous updates include: Jim Barrett, Dave Bartkey, William Brown, Cindy Butler, Cathy Clayton, Ted Dick, Herb Dingmann, Bob Dunlap, Bob Ekblad, Ron Erpelding, Michael Evans, Ben Fritchman, Janet Green, Chad Heins, John Hockema, Allison Jensen, Doug Johnson, Jeanie Joppru, Kate Kelnberger, Chuck Krulas, Fred Lesher, Jim Lind, Molly Malacek, Craig Mandel, Bill Marengo, Jim Mattsson, Allan Meadows, Scott Meyer, Warren Nelson, Bob O’Connor, Cindy & Kim Risen, Bob Russell, Julian Sellers, Peder Svingen, Brian Smith, Tony Smith, Linda Sparling, Bill Stauffer, Jeff Stephenson, Shelley Steva, Steve Stucker, Karen Sussman, Dan and Sandy Thimgan, Ben Wieland, Larry Wilebski, Steve Wilson, and Ned Winters.

*          *          *



Publication Data (page ii)


A Birder's Guide to Minnesota is now out-of-print; however, it is possible that amazon.com or American Birding Association Sales (http://www.buteobooks.com) still have a few copies in stock.

Suggestions to the Birder / Shorebirds and Sewage Ponds (p. 5)


Some additional comments about sewage ponds:


• The best and most accurate on-line source for locating sewage ponds is Google Maps http://maps.google.com. (Also see Google Earth at http://earth.google.com, which includes the same maps.) These maps are based on satellite photos, which were not readily available in 2002, and this guide's original directions to some ponds often had to rely on less accurate sources. Accordingly, corrections to some directions have been necessary in previous updates, and, with the help of Google Maps, dozens of other sewage ponds not included in this guide in 2002 have been located and are also included here. (Note, however, that Google Maps are not infallible: they are subject to human error when streets and roads are labeled, and a sewage pond can appear or disappear after the satellite photo of the area was taken.)


• Keep in mind that most sewage ponds are not worth going too far out of your way for: many are too small to attract that many birds, very few are consistently good for shorebirds (they tend to be better for ducks, grebes, gulls, terns, and swallows), and some are hidden behind berms and fences and impossible to see without venturing beyond those fences or without permission to gain access. On the other hand, however, almost all sewage ponds can be worth a look if you happen to be in the vicinity, especially in areas where there are few other wetlands to attract waterbirds.


• When exploring on your own for sewage pond locations, keep in mind that most are 1-3 miles away from town, usually adjacent to rivers or creeks (to handle water discharges or overflows), and the fenced berms around them are typically the most noticeable feature you'll spot from nearby roads.

Also see http://www.mbwbirds.com/Minnesota_sewage_ponds.html for a list of Minnesota sewage ponds.


References and Resources / Books (p. 7)


The Nature Conservancy of Minnesota has a new address (1101 West River Pkwy., Minneapolis 55415) and e-mail (minnesota@tnc.org). Their guide to the state's preserves is most easily ordered from the Minnesota's Bookstore website http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore.


The new address of the Minnesota Bookstore is 660 Olive St., St. Paul 55155; they now have a website on which orders can be placed: www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore.

The Great River Birding Trail Guide to the Mississippi River Valley and The Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail (17 loops to 132 birding areas in the Minnesota River watershed of western and south-central Minnesota) are available from Adventure Publications (www.adventurepublications.net).


A Guide to Minnesota's Prairie Passage Route and Sites is a free booklet available from the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Office of Environmental Services (address on p. 7; telephone 651-284-3765). Includes historical, natural history, and other information on 38 sites along the so-called Prairie Passage Route, most of which are included in the West Region.


References and Resources / Maps (p. 7-8)


The Minnesota Office of Tourism's toll-free number has changed to (888) 868-7476; their e-mail address is explore@state.mn.us. The state highway map, along with maps of several Minnesota cities, can also be downloaded at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/statemap.


The DOT county highway maps are now available from the Minnesota Bookstore (see above). The new address for obtaining Minnesota county maps from the DOT is 395 John Ireland Blvd., St. Paul 55155; telephone (800) 557-3774. These same maps are now available as free pdf downloads at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/maps/cadd/html/counties.html.


The Minnesota Highway and Recreational Atlas (recommended in a previous update) is now out-of-print.

Most of Minnesota's state forest maps are available as free pdf downloads at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests/list.html. Free pdfs of the Department of Natural Resources County Biological Survey maps are also available at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/mcbs/maps.html.

The maps and other information in The Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail (see Books above) can also be downloaded at www.birdingtrail.org.


References and Resources / Checklists (p. 8)


Bob Ekblad's website address is now birding-minnesota.com. This website includes good information on birding locations (especially Olmsted County), contacts, and other resources (including these updates to A Birder's Guide to Minnesota).


References and Resources / Hotlines (p. 8)


The Duluth Birding Report telephone number has been changed to (218) 834-2858.


References and Resources / Bird Clubs (p. 8)


The MOU's new website address is moumn.org.


To subscribe to the MOU-net listserve (mou-net@lists.umn.edu), see the instructions at http://moumn.org/subscribe.html.


References and Resources / Birding Tours (p. 8)


The new address of Minnesota Birding Weekends is c/o Kim Eckert, 1921 W. Kent Rd., Duluth 55812, e-mail eckertkr@gmail.com; the Minnesota Birding Weekends schedule is at http://www.mbwbirds.com/MBWeekends.html.


References and Resources / University of Minnesota (p. 9)


Although not associated with the university, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is another Twin Cities facility for treatment of injured birds and other wildlife (including raptors when The Raptor Center is closed). Their contact information: 2530 Dale St. N., Roseville 55113, telephone (651) 486- 9453, website www.wrcmn.org.


References and Resources / Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve (p. 9)


Checks for memberships and other inquiries about Hawk Ridge should now be sent to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, which now manages Hawk Ridge (P. O. Box 3006, Duluth 55803; telephone 218-428-6209; website www.hawkridge.org).


References and Resources / A Birder's Guide to Birders (p. 9-10)


The MOU's listserve has a new address: mou-net@lists.umn.edu. (This address change should also be noted in the Bird Clubs section on page 8.) Also note that previous postings on this listserve, the best resource for reporting and receiving news of significant bird sightings, are available on the MOU's website (http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=MOU-NET) and the Birdingonthe.Net website (http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/MNOU.html).


Kim Eckert's contact information is 1921 W. Kent Rd., Duluth 55812; telephone (218) 349-5953; e-mail eckertkr@gmail.com. There are also new e-mail addresses for: Craig Mandel (egretcman@msn.com); Dave Benson (bensodavid@gmail.com); Mike Hendrickson (mlhendrickson@yahoo.com); and Jim Lind (jslind@frontiernet.net).




With the addition of Black Guillemot and Acorn Woodpecker records in November 2009, the MOU Records Committee now recognizes a total of 437 species recorded in the state. Since the publication of A Birder's Guide in 2002, additions to the state list have been: Cackling Goose, Brown Pelican, Wood Stork, Slaty-backed Gull, Elegant Tern, Black Guillemot, Long-billed Murrelet, Inca Dove, Costa's Hummingbird, Green Violetear, and Acorn Woodpecker; in addition, Black Phoebe has been deleted from the list. As of January 2010, there are now 314 species classified as Regular, 42 Casual, 78 Accidental, 2 Extirpated, and 1 Extinct.


A partial list of additional ID reference books (see p. 15) since the 2002 publication of this guide:


The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern / Western North America (Eastern guide includes Minnesota; smaller and more portable than original Sibley Guide, with much material omitted)

National Geographic Society Field Guide is now in its 6th edition (includes several significant improvements from the previous edition)

Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding (2011; an expanded version of Kaufman's 1990 guide of the same name)

Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges by Thompson et al. (similar in concept to Kaufman's Advanced Birding guide)

Raptors of Eastern / Western North America by Wheeler (two large and expensive volumes greatly expand on material in the two Clark & Wheeler guides)

Hawks from Every Angle; How to Identify Raptors in Flight by Liguori (new and recommended guide to 19 widespread North American species, with 370 photos)

Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide by Paulson (more inclusive and useful than Paulson's other shorebirds guide)

The Shorebird Guide by O'Brien, Crossley, and Karlson (new and recommended photographic guide to all species recorded in North America; includes 870+ photos and extensive text)

Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia by Message and Taylor (illustrated with paintings, not photos; includes non-North American species)

Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia by Olsen & Larsson (printed in 2003 with many errors, withdrawn by publisher, corrected and republished in 2004; far more comprehensive than Grant's gulls guide)

Gulls of the Americas by Howell and Dunn (as comprehensive as Olsen and Larsson’s 2004 gull reference, and this newer guide is more user-friendly)

Sparrows of the United States and Canada: The Photographic Guide by Beadle and Rising (recommended supplement to Rising's other sparrows guide)

Tanagers, Cardinals, and Finches of the United States and Canada by Beadle and Rising (a useful photographic guide similar in design to the sparrows guide by these same authors)


These additional ID references on specific birds and groups (see p. 15-49) are from the "Birding by Hindsight" series of articles (also see other articles in this series at http://www.mbwbirds.com/Birding_by_Hindsight.html):

loons & grebes (p. 15-16) / The Loon 80:166-171  

herons (p. 16-17) / The Loon 81:152-156

Canada & Cackling geese (p. 18) / The Loon 76:99-102

• swans (p. 18) / The Loon 75:230-234 and 78:227-231

• ducks (p. 18-20) / The Loon 68:168-172

Mississippi Kite (p. 21) / The Loon 74:110-112

• hawks (p. 21-23) / The Loon 70:110-115 

gallinaceous birds (p. 23-24) / The Loon 77:175-180

• shorebirds (p. 25-28) / The Loon 67:100-103

dowitchers (p. 28) / The Loon 78:48-52

jaegers (p. 28) / The Loon 79:111-115

• gulls (p. 28-31) / The Loon 67:157-161

Thayer’s Gull (p. 30) / The Loon 74:168-173

• owls (p. 32-33) / The Loon 69:155-160 

hummingbirds (p. 34) / The Loon 80:94-110

flycatchers (p. 35-36) / The Loon 80:226-230 

• shrikes (p. 36) / The Loon 82:186-188 

swallows (p. 37-38) / The Loon 77:111-114

• warblers (p. 41-44) / The Loon 69:95-99 

• sparrows (p. 44-47) / The Loon 72:46-51

meadowlarks (p. 47) / The Loon 78:111-114

blackbirds (p. 47-48) / The Loon 81:43-47




Kittson County (p. 54-55)


Larry Wilebski is developing two birding sites on his property in the northern part of the county. One is named Shorebird Park, where water levels are often low enough to expose mudflats: from Lancaster, go 7 miles north on Highway 59, then 1.4 miles west on Township Road T-61. The other is Evergreen Acres, a site with planted conifers among a mix of habitats, and with even a cabin available for visiting birders: from Shorebird Park, continue 0.6 mile west, 1 mile south, and 0.7 mile west. For more information, contact Larry at (218) 762-4205 or larryw@wiktel.com.


The Wallace C. Dayton area, part of The Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Aspen Parkland Project, now has Sharp-tailed Grouse observation blinds; call (218) 498-2679 for information.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hallock – 2.1 miles south from Highway 175 on Highway 75, then 1 mile west and 0.2 mile north.

Lancaster – from the junction of County Roads 4 and 6 west of town, 0.1 mile northwest on County Road 6, then 0.1 mile north across the railroad tracks, and hike 0.2 mile east on gated road.


Roseau County (p. 55-59)


The habitat along the back roads south and west of Roseau River Wildlife Management Area (inset B), including the sedge marshes along County Road 7 (site 4), is not as productive as before. The remaining grasslands and marshes are now fragmented by brushlands, aspen stands, and agriculture.


The north-south road through the meadows on inset C (site C5) is now signed 360th Avenue. To reach this area (now designated Roseau Lake Wildlife Management Area) from Roseau, it is best to go west 3 miles on Highway 11 to County Road 123 and then north 4 miles. This area can be reached by going north 4 miles from Roseau on Highway 310 and then west 3 miles, but this east-west road (350th Street) may be impassable in wet weather.

In recent years, Short-eared Owls have been seen at dusk in fields and meadows northeast of Roseau, most often in late summer/early fall (and probably earlier in the year): look especially along 440th Avenue (5 miles east of Roseau), 2-5 miles north of Highway 11, and along connecting side roads 340th and 350th Streets. 


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Badger – 1.2 miles east on County Road 2 to 290th Avenue, then 1 mile north and 0.4 mile west.


Marshall County (p. 59-61)


As of the spring and summer of 2012, birding access to Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge (inset A) was no longer permitted to the best areas of the refuge: i.e., beyond the gates on the Westgate and Northgate roads. Discussions are ongoing with refuge personnel to again provide gate keys upon request to visiting birders, as had been the policy for several years.  

In addition to the so-called Melo (now named Angus-Oslo) water impoundment in Polk County, there are now two other large impoundments in the vicinity of Warren. These can attract good numbers of water birds of all kinds during migration and summer:

 • One impoundment is in Marshall County northeast of Warren: from Highway 75 in Warren, go 9.5 miles east on Highway 1 to 240th Avenue, then 3 miles north to the southwest corner of the impoundment.  

 • The other impoundment is on both sides of the Marshall-Polk county line: from Highway 75 in Warren, go 5.5 miles east on Highway 1 to 280th Avenue, then 1 mile south to 210th Street and the levee road just to the east. This road goes south to 200th Street, 0.5 mile east of 280th Avenue; there is also access on 190th Street just east of Wetlands, Pines, and Prairie Audubon Sanctuary (Polk County site 1).

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Argyle – 0.5 mile north on Pacific Avenue along the west side of railroad tracks, then 0.5 mile west.


Grygla – 1 mile west to 390th Avenue, then 0.2 mile north and 0.3 mile east.


Pennington County (p. 62-63)


As of May 2005, the north-south road past the west side of Goose Lake (see inset A) was in good condition and passable its entire length. The mixed habitats of marshes, thickets, and grasslands are still intact here and, except for prairie-chickens, remain potentially good for the species mentioned.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Goodridge – 0.5 mile north to County Road 9, then 1 mile east and 0.4 mile south.


Red Lake County (p. 63)


The productive cemetery for birding is Oak Grove Cemetery on County Road 1, located 1.5 miles east of Highway 32. (The cemetery a mile east of 32 has little or no birding potential.)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Oaklee – 1 mile west from south edge of town at Seventh Avenue, then 0.2 mile north.


Plummer – west on Central Avenue to 0.2 mile west of the river.


Red Lake Falls – west on Third Street to its end at the edge of town, then 0.5 mile north and 0.2 mile west (ponds have been enlarged with improved birding).


Polk County (p. 64-67)


The east-west road to the Wetlands, Pines, and Prairie Audubon Sanctuary (site 1) is now signed 190th Street.


The so-called Melo water impoundment near the Wetlands, Pines, and Prairie Audubon Center can attract a variety of water birds in wet years during summer or migration (in dry years, this location has been plowed up and planted): from the Audubon Center on 190th Street, go 1.5 miles east, 2 miles south, 2 miles east, and 1 mile south.

In addition to the Melo (now named Angus-Oslo) impoundment, there is now another large impoundment on both sides of the Marshall-Polk county line in the vicinity of Warren: see Marshall Co. entry above.

Another Polk County impoundment (named Brandt-Angus) is also proposed and may already be under construction: from Warren, go 10.5 miles south on Highway 75 to 120th Street, then 2.5 miles east.

Two additional water impoundments have now been developed in northwestern Polk County east of Highway 75: the Euclid East impoundment is 1.5 miles east of Euclid on County Road 19; the Parnell impoundment is 4 miles south of Euclid on Highway 75 and 2.5 miles east on County Road 17.   


 Note the county road numbers in this area have been renumbered and can be confusing:


 • County Road 23 goes east from Angus for 5.3 miles, then 3 miles north, and now continues 4 miles east to the Pennington County line (where it becomes County Road 8). 

 • At the corner where County 23 turns east, County Road 69 goes west 1 mile, north 1 mile, then west 6 miles to Highway 75. 

 • And where County 69 turns west, County Road 68 goes north 2.4 miles to the Marshall County line (where it becomes County Road 36).


The Malmberg Prairie west of Crookston (see p. 65) was wet enough in 2005 to attract Yellow Rails; accordingly, Le Conte's and possibly Nelson's Sharp-tailed sparrows should also occur here during summer or migration.


There are now prairie-chicken observation blinds at The Nature Conservancy's Glacial Ridge Project / National Wildlife Refuge (see p. 66); call the Crookston Convention and Visitors Bureau at (218) 281-4320 for information. Glacial Ridge N.W.R. (see inset C) now has a headquarters building on Highway 32, 3 miles south of Highway 2. This refuge, which includes portions of the former Crookston Cattle Company (site C5) and other nearby areas, has created some water impoundments along County Road 45 west of Highway 32.


The county landfill east of Crookston often attracts good numbers of gulls during migration. On Highway 2, go 6 miles west from Highway 32 (or 8 miles east from Highway 9) to County Road 44, then 1 mile north and 0.3 mile east.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Crookston – With advance arrangements, the Crookston sewage ponds (site 9) were still accessible in 2010: the contact person is now Pat Kelly at the city water/utilities department, telephone (218) 281-1232.


Fertile – 1 mile south from County Road 1 East on Highway 32, then 2 miles west on Sand Hill Road and 1.2 miles north.


McIntosh – 0.7 mile east on Highway 2 to 370th Street, then 0.1 mile north to the T and continue 0.2 mile north on the two-track road.


Winger – 0.5 mile south and 0.3 mile west.


Norman County (p. 67-68)


There are now prairie-chicken blinds at Neal Wildlife Management Area, with visits arranged by the Twin Valley Heritage & Arts Center: telephone (218) 584-5658. From the road, prairie-chickens have recently been most easily observed along County Road 28, 1-2 miles north of County Road 39 (see inset A).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Borup – 0.6 mile north on Third Street.


Hendrum – 0.5 mile north from County Road 25, then 0.2 mile east.

Perley – 0.8 mile west from Highway 75.


Mahnomen County (p. 69-70)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bejou – 0.2 mile west and 0.3 mile north.


Becker County (p. 70-71)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Audubon – 8 blocks north from Highway 10 on County Road 13, 2 blocks west on Plover Street, continue 0.3 mile north on County Road 13, then 0.3 mile west. 

Callaway – 0.2 mile south to 280th Street, then 0.4 mile west.


Lake Park – 0.7 mile west from County Road 7 on road along south side of railroad tracks.


White Earth – 0.7 mile west from County Road 21 on County Road 34, then 0.1 mile south.


Clay County (p. 72-74)


Among the gulls attracted recently to the county landfill have been California Gulls on two occasions. On Highway 10, go 4 miles west from Hawley (or 2.2 miles east from Buffalo River State Park) to County Road 23, then 2.5 miles south.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Comstock – 1 mile north on Highway 75 to 150th Avenue, then 0.5 mile east and 0.3 mile south.


Georgetown – 0.5 mile north on Probsfield Street.


Glyndon – 0.5 mile south on Parke Avenue to Seventh Street S.E., then 0.5 mile east to the curve and continue 0.3 mile east.


Hitterdal – 0.7 mile west and 0.2 mile north.


Moorhead (municipal ponds) – 1 mile north from Highway 10 on Highway 75 to N. 15th Street, 0.5 mile east to N. 28th Street, then 0.5 mile north (American Crystal Sugar ponds still off-limits).


Ulen – 1 mile north to 170th Avenue, then 1 mile east.


Wilkin County (p. 74-76)


The roads in the Rothsay area (inset A) and elsewhere in the county are now numbered on street signs: the east-west road by the prairie-chicken lek (site A1) is 190th Street; the parallel road a mile to the south is 200th Street; and the north-south road at the east end of 190th Street is 300th Avenue.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Campbell – southeast on Pacific Avenue along west side of railroad tracks to curve at south edge of town, then continue 0.5 mile southeast.


Rothsay – west on Third Avenue N.W., just south of the giant prairie-chicken.


Otter Tail County (p. 76-79)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Battle Lake – 0.4 mile north from Highway 210 on Highway 78, then 1.2 miles west on County Road 83.


Bluffton – 0.2 mile west from north edge of town on County Road 19, then 0.7 mile west on Bluff Creek Road.


Henning – 0.8 mile northeast from Highway 108 on Highway on 210 to County Road 67, then 0.1 mile west and 0.6 mile north.


Parkers Prairie – 1 block south from Highway 235 on Highway 29 to Lake Street, then 0.8 mile west and south.


Perham (ponds south of Highway 10) – 0.1 mile south from Highway 10 on Highway 78, then 0.7 mile east opposite Fort Thunder Road.


Underwood – 0.5 mile east from County Road 35 on Highway 210, then 0.5 mile south.


Urbank – 0.2 mile west on County Road 38.


Vergas – on northeast side of town, 0.2 mile west from County Road 4 on Highway 228, north on Old Detroit Road to first right, then 0.4 mile northeast.


Douglas County (p. 79-80)


Spruce Hill County Park is 1.6 miles south of County Road 14, not 0.7 mile.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Alexandria – these ponds no longer exist.


Brandon – 1.2 miles east from downtown on Front Street E. and Aldrich Road.


Carlos – 0.3 mile north from County Road 13 on road along west side of railroad tracks.


Evansville – 0.4 mile south on Railroad Street, then bear right to ponds where Railroad turns east.


Kensington – 1.8 miles southeast on Highway 55.


Millerville – 0.6 mile east on County Road 60, then 0.3 mile south and southwest.


Miltona – 0.2 mile northeast on County Road 14 / First Street, then 0.1 mile south and 0.1 mile east on Second Street, and bear left to ponds.


Osakis – 1 block west from County Road 3 on Highway 27, then 1 mile south on Clifford Lake Road.


Grant County (p. 80-82)


Black-crowned Night-Herons apparently no longer nest at Egret Island (site B2). However, Cattle Egrets are still there, and they still favor the pasture on the south side of Pelican Lake, along the dead-end road north off County Road 54, a mile west of the county line (see inset B).

The new North Ottawa Impoundment in western Grant County is a large 3-square-mile wetland which is highly attractive to water birds; it is located along the Traverse County line, 1-3 miles north of Highway 9.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Barrett – 0.3 mile south from Highway 55 on Highway 59, then 0.4 mile west.


Elbow Lake – 1.5 miles west from Highway 54 on County Road 25 (see inset A).


Hoffman – 0.3 mile south from Highway 27 on Seventh Street N., then 0.3 mile east on Carolina Avenue.


Traverse County (p. 83-84)


Amended directions to Miller Prairie West: south on County Road 15 for 2 miles from Highway 27, then west 1 mile to the 320-acre tract's northeast corner; turn south for 0.5 mile along the tract's east side, and/or continue west for 1 mile along the north side.


A third area worth birding in the Mud Lake vicinity (see inset A) is White Lake Wildlife Management Area, 2 miles north of the lake on County Road 10 just east of the Red River. There are thickets and planted conifers for migrants, and in dry periods the river's mudflats can attract herons/egrets and shorebirds.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Dumont – 1.2 miles north from County Road 6 on Highway 75, then 0.2 mile east.


Stevens County (p. 84-85)


The Morris Wetland Management District has a 2.5-mile auto tour road which passes by several wetlands (and some planted junipers) and is worth checking especially if water levels are low enough for shorebirds. To reach the headquarters, where maps of the auto tour and other information are available, go east from Morris on County Road 10 (see directions on p. 85 to the sewage ponds) for 3.4 miles.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Chokio – 0.5 mile north from junction of Highway 28 and County Road 13 S.


Hancock – 1.3 miles southeast from downtown on Pacific Avenue / Old Highway 9 along west side of railroad tracks.


Pope County (p. 85)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cyrus – 1 mile east on Highway 28.


Kandiyohi County (p. 87-88)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Sunburg – 0.7 mile south from Highway 9 on Highway 104, then 0.2 mile west.


Raymond – 0.5 mile north from Highway 23 on County Road 7, then 0.5 mile west.


Swift County (p. 89)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Clontarf – 0.9 mile southeast on Highway 9.

Danvers – west on Minnesota Avenue along railroad tracks on south edge of town, then 0.3 mile south on Minnesota and 0.2 mile east.


Murdoch – 0.4 mile northeast on County Road 33 to 110th Avenue, then 0.2 mile north.


Lac Qui Parle County (p. 93-96)


The Nature Conservancy tract west of Appleton along Swift County Road 51 (see inset A) no longer exists.


The road which turns northwest off Highway 119 towards the Marsh Lake dam is now numbered 115th Street S.W. (see inset A); the road which goes southwest and dead-ends at the dam is now numbered 100th Street S.W.


In recent years, both Sharp-tailed Grouse (natural range expansion from South Dakota) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (reintroduced) have established leks in Lac Qui Parle and other adjacent counties. One lek where both species have been seen displaying is along the east edge of Plover Prairie (see site C2 on p. 94); another is in southwestern Swift County: from Appleton, go 3 miles west on Highway 7 to County Road 51, then 1.4 miles south on 51 to 90th Street and west a half mile (see Lac Qui Parle County inset A on p. 95).


Chippewa County (p. 97)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Milan – 0.4 mile east on Highway 40 to County Road 10, then 0.5 mile north and 0.3 mile west.


Renville County (p. 99-102)


Amended directions to the area along the Minnesota River northwest of Granite Falls (see inset C): turn north off Highway 212 on 15th Street (the first street west of the railroad viaduct), go 3 blocks to a T, jog east 1 block to 14th Street, and follow 14th as it turns west onto 306th Avenue along the river; 306th comes out on Highway 212, about 4 miles west of town.


Yellow Medicine County (p. 102-103)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Canby – 0.9 miles northeast from downtown on Highway 75 to County Road 3, then 1.1 miles east. 


Porter – 0.7 mile north on County Road 12 to 170th Avenue, then 0.1 mile west.


St. Leo – 0.5 mile north on County Road 11, then 0.2 mile east.


Wood Lake – 0.5 mile east from County Road 6 on 170th Avenue.


Lyon County (p. 106-108)


The Lincoln-Lyon county line shown on inset B should be located 1 mile to the east.


The Lyon County landfill just north of Black Rush Lake is 1 mile west of Highway 23 on County Road 59 and 0.5 mile north; confirmed records here include California Gull.

Borson's Slough, a wetland in northwestern Lyon County which had been drained several years ago, was restored with marshes and mudflats present in the spring of 2012: from downtown Taunton, go 0.8 mile southeast on Highway 68, then 1.6 miles east on 370th Street.  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Ghent – 0.5 mile north from Highway 68 on County Road 5, then 0.1 mile east.


Minneota – 1.3 miles north from Highway 68 on County Road 3, then 0.2 mile east.


Russell – 3.2 miles northeast from Highway 91 on Highway 23 to County Road 59, then 1.7 miles west and 0.3 mile south. 


Taunton – 0.7 mile southeast on Highway 68 to 120th Avenue, then 0.3 mile north.


Redwood County (p. 108)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Clements – 0.6 mile east on County Road 16, then north on unmarked two-track road.


Lower Sioux Indian Community – 2.5 miles east from Highway 19 / 71 on County Road 2 (see Renville County inset A, p. 101), then 0.3 mile south on Porter Avenue, and 0.2 mile west.


Lucan – 0.5 mile east from north side of town on 250th Street, then 0.4 mile south.


Milroy – 0.5 mile west on County Road 32, then 0.2 mile south. 


Vesta – 0.8 mile east from Highway 19 on County Road 30.


Wanda – 1.7 miles north on County Road 17.


Brown County (p. 109-110)


The correct spelling of the brewery in New Ulm is Schell.

Mound Creek County Park is adjacent to Cottonwood County's Red Rock Falls County Park (see inset B) and has similar potential during migration, plus a water impoundment to attract water birds: from Red Rock Falls, go 1 mile south, 1 mile east, and 0.5 mile north.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hanska – 1 mile east on Highway 257 to 155th Avenue, then 0.5 mile north.


Searles – 0.5 mile west on County Road 24, then 0.3 mile north.


Sleepy Eye – The productive and birder-accessible municipal ponds are 2.5 miles south on Highway 4; the Del Monte industrial ponds on Ninth Avenue S.W. are off-limits.

Watonwan County (p. 111)

Eagle Nest County Park, just north of the Highway 30/60 wayside rest, is another site along the Watonwan River attractive to migrant woods birds: from the wayside rest, go 0.2 mile east to County Road 118, then 0.8 mile north.

The Madelia Game Refuge is now signed as "DNR Wildlife Research", and the entrance is 0.3 mile south of Highway 30/60.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Butterfield – these ponds have been drained and no longer exist. 


Ormsby – 1.8 miles north on Highway 4.


Cottonwood County (p. 111-113)


Another name for Regier Slough (see inset A) is Regehr Wildlife Management Area.

Rock Ridge Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, 203 acres of grasslands with rock outcrops, has similar birding potential to Jeffers Petroglyphs (see inset B): from the northwest corner of the Petroglyphs, continue west for 1 mile along the south side of the prairie.

Great-tailed Grackles appear to have nested at Bat Lake in 2002 and 2003: the west side of the lake is 0.5 mile south, 0.5 mile east, and 0.5 mile south from Delft.

Just east of Windom is Wolf Lake Waterfowl Production Area and the Windom Wetlands Management headquarters, an area with hiking trails, grasslands, and wetlands (sometimes drawn down for shorebirds). From the junction of Highways 60/71 and 62, go 1.4 miles east on 6th Street; en route, also check the conifers in the cemetery on the north side of 6th Street.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Storden – 0.5 mile south on County Road 5.

Pipestone County (p. 116-117)


As they did several summers ago near Cazenovia, Chestnut-collared Longspurs may still breed in northwestern Pipestone County: some were found in 2006 in an Altona Township pasture north of Cazenovia. Because the site is on private land, the exact location was not given, but the best potential habitat may be in the 3 x 3 mile area bounded on the east by Highway 75, on the north by the Lincoln County line, on the west by County Road 15, and on the south by County Road 10.


There is a new flood-control reservoir bordered by grasslands just south of Ruthton which might be worth checking for marshes or mudflats, depending on water levels. From Ruthton, go 2 miles south on Highway 23, and turn east at the sign for the Minett Krintz Reservoir, just north of the County Road 18 junction.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Holland – 0.2 mile south on County Road 16, then 0.1 mile west.

Woodstock – 0.5 mile east from County Road 18, then 0.5 mile south at Palmer Street.


Rock County (p. 117-119)


The road to the gravel pit ponds just south of Blue Mounds (B2) has now been gated, but birders are still permitted to walk in and scan the ponds as long as they stay on the road. The road east of the ponds leading to the woods along the Rock River is no longer maintained, but walk-in access is still possible. 

The rocky pastures northwest of Blue Mounds (also B2) now comprise Touch the Sky Prairie National Wildlife Refuge; information kiosks and parking are located along 171st Street, 3.2 and 3.7 miles west of Highway 75, and another kiosk with parking is 1 mile to the north along 181st Street.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Jasper – 1 mile south, 0.7 mile west, and 0.2 mile north.


Luverne – Birding access to the sewage ponds at Luverne (site B3) is still available with advance permission from the Luverne Chamber of Commerce; their e-mail address is now luvernechamber@co.rock.mn.us; however, do not attempt to enter the site without advance permission.


Steen – 0.4 mile south on County Road 11.


Nobles County (p. 119-120)


Sunrise Prairie is no longer a county park and is too small an area for birding.


In the recreation area at the south side of Lake Bella (see inset A), be sure to check the extensive stands of planted conifers during migration/winter for roosting owls, crossbills, etc.


Alternate directions to the county park at Indian Lake: from the south side of Lake Bella, go 0.5 mile east, 2 miles north, 5 miles east, and 1.5 miles south. Be sure to check the heavily wooded south end of Indian Lake for migrants: follow the road east through the county park until it ends.


The power plant in Worthington has shut down and been dismantled; therefore, Okabena Lake (inset A) is no longer a potential site for wintering waterfowl.

Herlein-Boote Wildlife Management Area includes a large wetland bordered by thickets and planted conifers which attracts a good variety of migrants and breeding birds: go 0.6 mile northwest from Interstate 90 on Highway 266, then 3 miles west on 240th Street and 0.5 mile north.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Ellsworth – 0.8 mile west from Highway 91 on Seventh Avenue / 330th Street.


Leota – 0.2 mile west from County Road 19 North on County Road 20, then 0.2 mile north.


Lismore – 0.5 mile south from County Road 16 on Highway 91, then 0.3 mile west.


Wilmont – 0.7 mile east to County Road 13, then 0.5 mile north and 0.1 mile east.


Worthington – 2 miles northeast from Interstate 90 on Highway 60 to County Road 36, then east across railroad tracks and 0.5 mile south on Sundberg Avenue (limited visibility and access). Another set of Worthington sewage ponds is located 0.5 mile north from Interstate 90 on Highway 59, then 0.5 mile east on 240th Street.


Jackson County (p. 121-123)


Amended directions to the mudflats in the Heron Lake Outlet stream (shown but not labeled on inset A): from Highway 60, go 1.3 miles south and east on County Road 24 to the junction with a north-south road; from here, one view of the outlet is 0.4 mile east, and the other is 0.3 mile south.


The point for birding in Sandy Point County Park (see inset A) is accessed next to the observation tower, before you reach the end of the park road. There is now access to another good point just north of the park: follow the dead-end road which turns north by the park entrance.


The wooded road along the Des Moines River just northwest of Jackson is now numbered 530th Avenue (see inset C).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Okabena – 0.5 mile south on County Road 9 to 860th Street, then 0.5 mile west and 0.2 mile north.


Round Lake (town in Nobles County; ponds in Jackson County) – south from downtown on Main Street to Sixth Avenue, then 0.5 mile east to curve and continue east on gated road.


Martin County (p. 123-124)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Granada – 0.5 mile south to 140th Street, then 0.5 mile east and 0.3 mile north.




Principal Birding Locations (p. 125)


On the Migration map, "s" is Mille Lacs Lake; on the Summer/Breeding map, "s" is St. John's University, "t" is Lake Osakis, and "u" is Crane Meadows NWR.


Faribault County (p. 126)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Blue Earth – 1 mile south from County Road 16 on Highway 169, 0.7 mile west on 95th Street, then 0.3 mile south.

Delavan – from north side of town, 1 mile west on County Road 15 to curve, then 0.4 mile south.


Frost – south on Main Street to first street north of railroad tracks, then 0.4 mile east.


Wells – the ponds off County Road 29 no longer exist; the ponds off Highway 109 are still present.


Winnebago – these ponds no longer exist.


Freeborn County (p. 127)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hartland – 0.2 mile north on Railroad Street along west side of tracks, then jog west to Pond Road and 0.5 mile north.


Twin Lakes – 2 blocks east on Main Street to River Street, then 0.5 mile southeast.


Mower County (p. 128)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Brownsdale – 1.2 miles north from County Road 2 on Highway 56, then 0.3 mile west.


Elkton – 0.5 mile north to 220th Street, then 0.5 mile east and 0.2 mile south.


Grand Meadow – south on Fourth Street S.E. to south edge of town, then 0.7 mile east.


Lyle – 0.6 mile east from Highway 218 on 105th Street (to north side of the ponds) or on State Line Road (to south side).


Fillmore County (p. 129-131)


The two best areas for woods birds (e.g., Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush) at Forestville State Park (site A1) are along Forestville Creek (near the park's west entrance and contact station) and Canfield Creek (immediately east of the contact station, turn south on the road which dead-ends at the group campground, and hike south on Big Spring Trail).


Henslow's Sparrows have been found in recent summers in the weedy field at Hvoslef Wildlife Management Area (see directions, p. 131).


There are also two good heavily wooded areas just north of Hvoslef WMA:

 • To reach the first, return to County Rd 23, go north 2.6 miles to County Road 12, then east on 12 for 2.3 miles, bear left on the gravel road where 12 curves south, and 1 mile north is the Cabbage Rock / Shattuck Creek area.

 • To reach the second area, return to County Road 12, go left or southeast 0.5 mile, and turn right or south on a minimum maintenance road which leads downhill about 2 miles to the Root River.


Another good area for woods birds is Good Earth Village, a religious retreat near Spring Valley which is open to birders. From the junction of Highways 16 and 63 in Spring Valley (see inset C), go north 2 blocks on County Road 1 to Farmer Street / County Road 8, turn east on 8 past the fish hatchery ponds, and continue another 4.3 miles northeast on County 8 to the Good Earth sign. Follow the driveway to the main lodge where trail maps are available; the best areas are along the south end of the Fish Trail and the north end of the Clover Trail.


Houston County (p. 132-136)


The area in southern Houston County for Northern Bobwhites (site A2) can no longer be recommended. After thorough research, it has been determined that the species has been essentially extirpated from Minnesota as a "wild" bird, with any bobwhites sighted presently or in recent years all presumed to have originated from local game farm releases.


On inset B, County Road 29 leading north out of La Crescent and continuing northwest as Winona County Road 1 is the Apple Blossom Scenic Drive. It is not only scenic, but this road also has places to scan for raptors and other migrants above the Mississippi River, and it passes thickets and fields with potential for such rarities as Bell's Vireo and Henslow's Sparrow. The main stoplight intersection in La Crescent is where Highway 16 / 14 / 61 turns east towards La Crosse. From this intersection, take the frontage road on the west side of the highway (Walnut Street) 1 block north to Third Street, then go 2 blocks west to Elm Street, and then north on Elm which becomes the Scenic Drive.


The marshy wetlands at Mound Prairie (site B5) appeared drier than normal in spring 2004 and were unproductive for water birds. However, a large nearby wetland appears to be potentially as good as Mound Prairie used to be: it is located along the north side of Highway 16, 3.4 miles west of the Highway 44 junction in Hokah.


In the Reno area (site C6), Tundra Swans have been congregating along the Mississippi River by the thousands in recent Novembers, their numbers normally much greater than in the Weaver area of Wabasha/Winona counties. Estimates of the swan numbers here have been as high as 20,000. The best places to scan for them and other waterfowl are between mile markers 9 and 12 along Highway 26, or about 1-3 miles north of Reno.


The road out of Reno to the recreation area campground (site C6) is now named Hillside Road. It is worth following this road north for about another 4 miles to another recreation area campground where Tufted Titmouse and Cerulean Warbler have been found. (Farther north, in about another 4 miles, Hillside Road comes out on County Road 3, a mile west of Brownsville (see inset B).

Winona County (p. 137-141)


The wooded trail at Donehower at mile marker 13 on Highway 61 (site C1) was posted as closed to public entry as of spring 2006.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Rollingstone – 0.5 mile east from County Road 25 S. on Highway 248, then 0.3 mile south.


Wabasha County (p. 141-143)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Zumbro Falls – 0.3 mile east from Highway 63 on Highway 60, then north to second right, east to first left, and 0.3 mile north.


Steele County (p. 146-147)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Medford – from Interstate 35 exit, 0.4 mile south and 1.3 miles west on County Road 12, then 0.4 mile north.


Waseca County (p. 147)


Moonan Marsh is said to be the best wetland in the county, as evidenced by two Common Moorhen broods here in 2006 and Sandhill Cranes recently nesting in the area. From downtown Waseca, go 1.5 miles east on Highway 14 to County Road 4, then about 4 miles northeast to the site, with the best visibility on the east side of 4.


One of the county’s best sites for migrant woods birds is Courthouse County Park: from downtown Waseca, go 3.5 miles south on Highway 13, then 0.7 mile west to County Road 4, then 0.5 mile south to County Road 75, and 0.5 mile west. Another good wooded site is Maplewood Park just east of Waseca on County Road 4, on the southeast side of Clear Lake.


Bell’s Vireos were still present in 2006 at the Senn-Rich Wildlife Management Area on the west side of Highway 13, about 6 miles south of Waseca. Look especially in the southeast corner of the WMA and west of the county’s brush/compost site just north of the WMA.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Janesville – south from Highway 14 on County Road 3 to the 380th Avenue frontage road, then 1 mile west. 


Blue Earth County (p. 148-149)


Kentucky Warblers were also found at Williams Nature Center (site A1) in 2001 and were still present in 2007. The Mankato vicinity (including Seven Mile Creek County Park in Nicollet County in the 1990s) has been the only reliable area for this rare-Regular warbler in recent years.


Louisiana Waterthrush can also be found in Minneopa State Park (also site A1) along Minneopa Creek.

The road along the Minnesota River's woodlands on the Nicollet County side (see inset A) is Judson Bottom Road, which begins on the west side of North Mankato: from Highway 169, turn west on Lookout Drive (the first exit on the north side of the river), go 0.5 mile to the first intersection and turn south on to Judson Bottom Road / County Road 71, and continue west as the road eventually becomes County Road 41 and continues into Nicollet County's inset D.   


The extensive tracts of junipers, rock outcroppings, and grasslands on the Le Sueur County portion of inset A just north and south of Kasota Prairie Scientific and Natural Area (site A2) look just as good as (or even better than) the SNA for birding. Also check for Prothonotary Warblers along the creeks and Minnesota River backwaters in this vicinity, especially just north of the Le Sueur/Blue Earth county line.

Cobb River Waterfowl Production Area has a good mix of habitats which has attracted over 200 species during migration and summer, including Short-eared Owl, Loggerhead Shrike, Henslow's, Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows. There are three access points north of County Road 4, which turns east off Highway 22, 2.5 miles north of Mapleton: along 586th Avenue (1 mile east of 22); along County Road 16 (3 miles east of 22); and along 597th Lane (3.5 miles east of 22).

Sod farms 6 miles east of Mapleton or 6 miles north of Minnesota Lake have attracted Buff-breasted Sandpipers in early fall; they are located just west of County Road 14 along County Road 21. 


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Pemberton – 0.5 mile south on County Road 53 to County Road 168, then 1 mile west to curve and continue 0.5 mile west.

Vernon Center – east from Highway 169 on Main Street to the end, then south around buildings for 0.2 mile.

Nicollet County (p. 150-151)


The two best access points from which to scan Swan Lake (inset D) are on its southeast side: from the junction of Highways 111 and 14 in Nicollet, go 1 mile west on 14 and turn north to the lake at the Nicollet Conservation Club sign; the other access turns north off Highway 14, 1.3 miles farther west. 

As shown on inset D, there are several roads by the west and north sides of the lake, but to scan the lake from these roads involves some trial-and-error since the water levels, shoreline, and access points frequently change. 

One of the best access points for Middle Lake (also on inset D) is just north of Nicolett: from the junction of Highways 99 and 111, go 1 mile north on 111, and hike east and north from here on the two-track road which leads to the southwest side of the lake.


Sibley County (p. 151-152)


Amended directions to the Rush River area (now a county park): from Henderson, go 3 blocks south on 5th Street / County Road 93, southwest on Ridge Road to South Street, west on South Street to the T at 300th Street, then south and west on 300th for 1.3 miles to Rush River Park Road, which leads to the park and additional riparian woodlands farther west. 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Gaylord – The best ponds are 0.6 mile south from Highway 5 / 19 on Highway 22, then 0.6 mile east on 280th Street; smaller and less productive ponds are 1.1 miles east on Highway 5 / 19 to Tower Street, then 0.2 mile south.


Gibbon – the only ponds are off Highway 19 east of town (disregard the other directions to other ponds).


New Auburn – 0.7 mile west from Highway 22 on Fifth Street, then 0.2 mile south.


Le Sueur County (p. 152-153)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cleveland – from west side of town, 0.4 mile northwest on County Road 148, then 0.2 mile north.


Elysian – 0.7 mile east from County Road 11 on County Road 14.

St. Peter (Nicollet Co.) – there is no longer any access to these Le Sueur Co. ponds. 


Rice County (p. 153-154)

During the last few years in late summer/early fall, Buff-breasted Sandpipers have been attracted to the sod farm 7 miles east of Faribault at the junction of Highway 60 and Ibson Avenue.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Lonsdale – 0.5 mile east from Main Street on Highway 19, then 0.2 mile southwest on Industrial Drive and 0.2 mile south on Industrial Park Drive.


Goodhue County (p. 154-157)


Amended directions to Colville Park in Red Wing (site A2): going southeast from Red Wing on Highway 61, turn right at the signs for Highway 262 and "City Park", take an immediate right and turn right again at the Colville Park sign, and turn at the bottom of the hill into the park.


There are some heavily wooded spots for warblers and other migrants in Red Wing along the road past Barn Bluff. Follow the street off Highway 61 (E. Seventh Street) leading to the turn-off for Colville Park (site A2), continue west past Colville to Centennial Street, at the Barn Bluff signs turn right to Fifth Street, and then right again past Barn Bluff until the road dead-ends by the river beyond the power plant.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cannon Falls – 1 mile north on Highway 20, then 0.4 mile west on County Road 17.


Kenyon – 0.5 mile east from Highway 56 on Highway 60.


Dakota County (p. 157-159)


A reliable spot for Prothonotary Warblers has been on the east side of the Vermillion River, adjacent to the public access area on County Road 68 (see inset C).


Amended directions to birding access points around Lake Byllesby (site 2):

• To reach the south side in Goodhue Co., about a mile south of Randolph, follow the public access signs east from Highway 56, which lead you on Scotia Trail and 23rd Avenue for 1.3 miles to a parking area.

 • On the north side along County Road 88 / 292nd Street, hike south past the county park sign and gate, 0.2 mile east of Highway 56. Also, 0.3 mile farther east, turn south into the cemetery and follow the track back to the right.

 • To reach the east side, turn south off County Road 88 on Gerlach Way, 2.2 miles east of Highway 56, which leads to Lake Byllesby Regional Park, which has some good-looking stands of conifers. (Or from the east, go north 1 mile from Cannon Falls on Highway 20, then west on Goodhue County Road 17 / Dakota County Road 88 for 1.5 miles to the park sign.)


Water levels in a wetland along 180th Street just north of Vermillion are often low and attractive to herons/egrets, shorebirds, and marsh birds. From Highway 52 / 56, go 2.7 miles east on 180th Street; or from Goodwin Avenue / County Road 85, go 0.5 mile west on 180th.


The sod farms along Blaine Avenue are the Jirik Sod Farms. Amended directions to the Castle Rock Sod Farms: along the west side of Highway 3, just south of County Road 86 / 280th Street.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hampton – 0.3 miles northwest on Highway 50.


Scott County (p. 159-161)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


New Market – 0.7 mile east on County Road 2, 0.5 mile north on Natchez Avenue/County Road 91, then east 0.5 mile.


Carver County (p. 162-163)


One of the best areas of woodlands along the Minnesota River in the county is around Chaska Lake, where Acadian Flycatcher and Prothonotary Warbler sometimes summer. From Highway 41 in Chaska, take W. First Street to the west edge of town, turn south just before the railroad tracks to the ballfields, and follow the hiking trail behind the ballfields south to the lake and eventually west into the town of Carver.


South of Carver, Orchard Orioles and the local Lark Sparrow can be found in summer. Just west of town, turn south off County Road 40 on County Road 45, and listen for the orioles in semi-open areas between 45 and the river. The best place for Lark Sparrows is beyond the gated east end of Carver Highlands Drive, which turns east at the junction of County Roads 45 and 50.


In addition to the Whip-poor-wills and Prothonotary Warblers mentioned for the gated trail off County Road 40 just east of Highway 25 (see p. 163), there are recent summer records for Bell’s Vireo, Cerulean Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush.


In Carver Park Reserve (site 1), the best deciduous woodlands are said to be along the trails north of Steiger Lake, where Cerulean Warblers have occurred; trail maps are available at Lowry Nature Center.


McLeod County (p. 163)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Silver Lake – 1.5 miles east on Highway 7 to Grain Avenue, then 1 mile north, 0.2 mile west, and 0.4 mile south.


Stewart – from northwest corner of town, 0.8 mile north on Yankee Avenue.

Wright County (p. 164-165)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Albertville – 2 blocks east from Interstate 35 on 60th Street N.E., then 0.2 mile north on Maciver Avenue.

Annandale – 0.7 mile east from Highway 24 on Hemlock Street to Conservation Club Road, then 0.3 mile south; this site was attractive to shorebirds (including a Ruff) in 2010, although the ponds are being discontinued and were dry in 2011.

Cokato – from Highway 12 on east side of town, 1.2 miles northeast on County Road 4, then 0.3 mile east.


South Haven – 0.7 mile south from Highway 55 on Fairhaven Avenue/Pittman Avenue N.W.


Hennepin / Ramsey / Washington Counties (p. 166-176)


Because of increased security concerns, the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant (site A2) is now off-limits to birders; efforts to reestablish access are ongoing.


The pedestrian bridge access from Black Dog Park in Burnsville to the best area in fall-winter for ducks, gulls, and other water birds at Black Dog Lake next to the power plant was recently closed (see inset Aa). However, special arrangements were made for birding access on a few occasions in December 2009; any future access days will be announced on the MOU-net listserve (see http://moumn.org/listservice.html).


In this same Black Dog area, the Park and Ride access to the Scientific and Natural Area along Cliff Road is now named Cliff Fen Park. From the kiosk north of the parking lot, one of the better trails for birding crosses and leads north away from the railroad tracks.

In the "Mississippi River Valley / North of Airport" area, a good site for migrant woods birds is Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul on the east side of the river across from Minnehaha Falls: from Ford Parkway, go south on South Mississippi River Boulevard to the signed park entrance at Hidden Falls Drive. 

The best flooded woodlands for Prothonotary Warblers at Crosby Farm Nature Area (site Ba3) in St. Paul is reached by parking on the south side of Shepard Road just west of Interstate 35E, then hiking downhill on the trail to the first path leading left to the flooded area.

Just east of inset Ba near downtown St. Paul is the undeveloped west unit of Battle Creek Regional Park, a productive woodland for migrants: south of Interstate 94, turn east off Highway 10/61 on Lower Afton Road, go 1 block to Point Douglas Road, and then north until the road ends.


In Hastings, the access to the Rebecca Lake area (site B4) has been renamed Spring Street (formerly Lock and Dam Road). Another access to the river farther west: from Spring Lake Regional Park, return to County Road 42 on Idell Avenue, go west less than a mile to the public access sign at Hilary Path, which leads through a densely wooded area on the river.


Another good area near Hastings to check for migrant and wintering water birds is Point Douglas Park, at the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers: the park is 3 miles east of Highway 61 along Highway 10, immediately before the bridge to Prescott, Wisconsin.


There are three other pedestrian-bridge accesses to the levee along the Mississippi River near Pigs Eye Lake in South St. Paul (inset Bb). Besides the access at Verderosa Avenue (see p.173), one is 1 mile farther north on Hardman Avenue at Grand Avenue, and two are on Concord Street at Bryant Avenue (1 mile north of Grand) and at Butler Avenue (1/2 mile north of Bryant).

In the northeastern corner of Washington County (see inset C), Prothonotary Warblers have been present in recent summers at William O'Brien State Park (site C5): take the first left after the contact station, cross back under Highway 95, continue to the parking area at the end of the road, and look along the Riverside Trail which leads to the east along a back channel of the St. Croix River.

The Falls Creek Scientific and Natural Area a few miles to the north (also C5 on inset C) has recently been poorly signed and difficult to find. Look for the inconspicuous parking area on the east side of Highway 95, 1.2 miles north of the Highway 97 junction – it is opposite the first driveway on the west side of 95 north of Pilar Road. The trail into the area is also inconspicuous: look for the trailhead on the right just after entering the parking area. Besides Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher and Cerulean Warbler are among the Southeast Region specialties which have occurred here.

Just northeast of Wood Lake Nature Center (site Ab6) is Veterans Memorial Park in Richfield, another productive site for migrant passerines: the entrance to the main parking lot is on the west side of the park at the corner of Portland Avenue and E. 64th Street.    


Amended directions to Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis/Golden Valley (see inset Ab): exit Interstate 394 at Penn Avenue S., go west on the frontage road along the south side of 394 for 1/2 mile to the sign for Theodore Wirth Parkway, turn left and then right to follow the parkway north 1/2 mile to the signed Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden / Bird Sanctuary parking lot. Coming from the north, this site is immediately south of Glenwood Avenue.


Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan (see p. 175) is a current favorite of Twin Cities birders in spring and summer, especially for breeding birds. During the last few summers, a few Hooded Warblers and Summer Tanagers have been found (along with Red-shouldered Hawk, Wood Thrush, and other southeastern-type woods birds), plus several singing Mourning Warblers (at the southern edge of their range). To reach the most productive woods for these, start at the parking lot/trailhead at the corner of Cliff Road and Lexington Avenue (1 mile east of Pilot Knob Road), and follow the signed trails which lead generally southwest towards the parking lot/trailhead on Pilot Knob, 3/4 mile south of Cliff Road.


The relatively new Purgatory Creek wetlands area in Eden Prairie is often attractive to waterbirds, sometimes including shorebirds when water levels are low. From the junction of I-494 and Highway 5, go west on 5 to Prairie Center Drive (the first intersection west of 494); then south on Prairie Center to Technology Drive (the first intersection south of 5); turn right and go west about 1/2 mile to St. Andrew's Church on the north side of Technology; park here, cross over to the south side of the street, and follow the asphalt path which leads south to the west side of the wetlands.

North of St. Paul near the junction of Interstates 35E and 694 are the two halves of Lake Vadnais, where warblers (including nesting Pine Warblers) and other migrants can be seen along the road between the lakes. Turn north off Interstate 694 on Rice Street, go east on Vadnais Boulevard (the first street north of 694), and in 0.4 mile turn north on the seasonal road between the lakes (open to traffic from May until late fall).


The website address for the on-line version of “A Guide to Birding Ramsey County,” a 40-page bird-finding booklet with 26 sites, has been changed to https://parks.co.ramsey.mn.us/Activities/Pages/Bird-Watching.aspx.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hamel (inset A) – from downtown (off Highway 55, 3 miles west of Interstate 494), 0.7 mile west on Hamel Road, then south to the gated ponds.


Loretto (inset A) – 0.6 mile east from County Road 19 on Hamel Road, then north to the gated ponds; also continue 0.2 mile east on Hamel, then 0.3 mile and 0.8 north on Tomahawk Trail to other gates (access and visibility limited at all three gates).


Rogers (inset A) – One new set of ponds is on W. French Lake Road (see directions to French Lake on p. 176). Better sewage ponds are still located along Diamond Lake Road west of Highway 101 and just north of the Interstate 94 exit; they are best viewed from the end of Diamond Lake Road itself, not from 137th Avenue N.


Anoka County (p. 176-178)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Bethel – 1.7 miles west from Highway 65 on County Road 24 to road along west side of railroad tracks, then 0.3 mile south.


St. Francis – along east-west section of Highway 47 on south side of town.


Chisago County (p. 178-180)


The sod farms east of Harris and North Branch are now less extensive than before. The best roads to view most of them, starting from North Branch, are: 410th Street (2 miles north on County Road 30, then 1-3 miles east); 400th Street (1 mile north on 30, then 1-4 miles east); and Jeffrey Avenue (3 miles east on Highway 95, then 1-2 miles north).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Rush City – Because of a new prison across the road from the ponds, birding here would attract attention from security guards and is not recommended.


Shafer – from County Road 21 on north side of town, 0.5 mile west on hiking/biking trail.


Stacy – these ponds no longer exist.


Taylors Falls – 1.5 miles west from Highway 95 on First Street, then 0.2 mile north.

Wyoming – 2.6 miles east and north from downtown on E. Viking Boulevard (large, open, grassy, and mostly dry in 2008).

Isanti County (p. 180)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Dalbo – 0.1 mile west on Highway 47, then 0.1 mile north on unmarked two-track road.

Sherburne County (p. 181-182)

Common Gallinules have often been reported in recent years at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (inset B): look especially at Big Bluestem Pool near mile marker 2.5 along the Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Becker – these ponds have been drained and no longer exist.


Princeton – east from Highway 169 on Rum River Drive / County Road 29 to first stoplight, 0.8 mile south on County Road 2 to  317th Avenue, then 0.4 mile east to 120th Street and 0.2 mile north.


Zimmerman – 0.2 mile south from County Road 4 on Second Street E. to Main Street, then jog left and continue south past Park and Ride lot and composting site to the gated ponds (limited access and visibility).


Benton County (p. 182-183)


The best side roads along the Mississippi to explore for birds associated with pastures, junipers, and planted conifers are in the vicinity of Rice. County Road 2, which extends from the river east to Highway 25 and passes through Rice, has scattered stands of conifers where nesting Pine Warblers and wintering crossbills have been found. Also check for possible Bohemian Waxwings in the junipers in the county park about 1.5 miles south of Rice along County Road 55 (turn south from town on 55 along the west side of the railroad tracks).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Gilman – 0.4 mile southwest from Highway 25 on County Road 3, then north to the ponds.


Rice – 0.7 mile west from Highway 10 on County Road 2, then 0.5 mile south.


Stearns County (p. 183-186)


At St. John's University (inset B), the pine plantation along the former entrance road is more easily accessed from the community of Collegeville via the pedestrian bridge which goes south across Interstate 94. Additionally, there are other conifer stands worth checking in the immediate vicinity of Collegeville.


Also on inset B, Millstream Park is an excellent wooded area for migrants on the west side of St. Joseph: it is signed on the north side of the highway just east of County Road 3.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Avon – 1 mile north from Interstate 94 on County Road 9 to County Road 155, 1 block east to Angelfish Avenue, then 1 mile north.


Belgrade – 3 blocks south from downtown on Washburn Street to School Street, 1 mile east to Farmcrest Road, then 0.8 mile south and 0.5 mile west.


Greenwald – 0.8 mile north on Highway 4.

Kimball – 0.4 mile east from Highway 55 on County Road 44, 0.2 mile south on 83rd Avenue, then 0.2 mile east.

Paynesville – Highway 23 has been rerouted, so that the sewage ponds are now along the north side of 23, 2 miles east of Highway 55.


Todd County (p. 186-187)


In the town of Osakis, the best place to scan Lake Osakis (inset A), is from the public access north of downtown: turn north from Highway 127 on Central Avenue. Clark's Grebes have been spotted here several times.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Clarissa – 1 mile southeast on Highway 71, 0.1 mile west on 340th Street to Lace Wing Drive, then south to the ponds.

Eagle Bend – 0.9 mile east from Highway 71 on Main Street / County Road 22, then continue 0.4 mile east on County Road 78.


Hewitt – 2 blocks west from Main Street on Highway 210, then 0.5 mile north on Pickle Street.

Long Prairie – 1.3 miles north from Highway 27 on Highway 71, then 0.7 - 1 mile west and south to two sets of ponds.


Morrison County (p. 187-189)


Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Wildlife Management Area (inset A) are still under development, with their habitats and birding potential no different than other areas in the vicinity and not specifically recommended.

As mentioned on p. 188, Yellow Rails and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows had been found a few years ago by researchers at undisclosed sites in the county; one of these may have been along Highway 27, 1/2 mile east of the Todd County line, where Yellow Rails were heard in 2005.


It is still possible to arrange access to Camp Ripley: the current contact for information is now Amanda Panek at (320) 616-2714. Since training activity is highest in the summer, May is usually the best month for birding and access.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Flensburg – 0.5 mile east on County Road 1.

Motley – 4 blocks east from Highway 10 on Main Street E.


Pierz – 1 mile south from Highway 27 on Highway 25 to County Road 38, then 2 miles east to 280th Avenue and 1.2 miles south.


Sobieski – 1.7 miles east on County Road 12 to 110th Avenue, then 0.5 mile south and 0.2 west.


Mille Lacs County (p. 189-190)


Some updates to access points on Mille Lacs Lake (see inset A):

 • To reach Mazomannie Point from Bayview, follow 92nd Avenue north to Waseca Street and turn west; it can also be reached by following the road along the shore west from Izaty's Resort.

 • In Wahkon, the lake is best scanned from Wahkon City Park on the north side of town.

 • There are no longer good views of the lake from Malone Island.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Foreston – 2 blocks south from downtown on Washington Avenue, 4 blocks east on South Street, 1 block south on Clearfield Street, then zig-zag 1 mile east-south-east on School Street.


Onamia – 1 mile south on Highway 169 to Quail Road/County Road 22, then 0.5 mile east to curve and continue 0.3 mile east.

Pease – 0.4 mile north from Main Street on the unmarked road immediately east of Central Avenue. 


Wahkon – 1.4 miles south on County Road 17 to the curve, then continue south on the gravel road to the ponds.

Kanabec County (p. 191)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Grasston – 0.7 mile west on Pine Street / County Road 17, then 0.4 mile north on County Road 5.




Pine County (p. 193-195)


For access to Sharp-tailed Grouse blinds near Sandstone, call the local Department of Natural Resources office at (320) 245-6789.


Amended directions to the water impoundment and woods of Chengwatana State Forest: From downtown Pine City, go east on Third Avenue S.E. for 4 blocks to Second Street S.E., and turn right on Second to County Road 9 on the east side of town. Follow County Road 9 north for 3.5 miles to County Road 10, and turn east on 10 for 4.7 miles to Evergreen Road. Turn right on Evergreen, take an immediate left on Forest Road, and follow Forest Road 2 miles east to the water impoundment. This road dead-ends in the deciduous woods a couple miles east of the impoundment.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Askov – 0.5 mile east from Highway 23 on County Road 32 to Pionervej Road, then 0.3 mile south.

Finlayson – 0.4 mile east on Highway 18 to Scotch Pine Road, then 0.4 mile south.

Sturgeon Lake – 0.9 mile west from downtown on County Road 46.


Willow River – 1 mile south on County Road 61 to Long Lake Road, then 0.3 mile west and 0.2 mile north.


Carlton County (p. 195-196)

Spirit Lake Road in Fond du Lac State Forest (inset B) is no longer maintained and now impassable for passenger vehicles.  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Barnum – 3.8 miles west from downtown on County Road 6, then 0.3 mile south.

Cromwell – 0.6 mile west from Highway 73 on Highway 210, then north across railroad tracks.


Kettle River – 0.6 mile west on County Road 12.


Aitkin County (p. 197-201)


There is now an active Sharp-tailed Grouse lek 0.4 miles south of Tamarack, on the east side of County Road 16. Grouse are also active and visible here on some winter mornings.


Another active Sharp-tailed Grouse lek site is on the west side of Kestrel Avenue / County Road 31 north of Tamarack: from Highway 210, go north 1 mile on County Road 6 until it curves left, bear right to continue north on County Road 31, and go 1.6 miles. Grouse can often be seen feeding here on winter mornings around the farmhouse.


There are blinds available from the Department of Natural Resources to view Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Township Road 380 / 450th Street area (A2); for information, call (218) 927-6915 in Aitkin.


The back roads of this county are now numbered or named: Pietz's Road (site A1) is signed 320th Place. The east-west portion of Township Road 380 (site A2) is now 450th Street, and after 380 turns south it becomes 330th Avenue. The Township Road 49 access in Wealthwood to Mille Lacs Lake (site 5) is opposite County Road 51 and is now signed 385th Avenue.


Amended directions to the Rabey tree farm: The best way to bird this area is to hike south from Highway 200 on the snowmobile trail, 0.3 mile west of Elliot Forest Road (which is at mile marker 186). Boreal Chickadees and Cape May Warblers can also be found right along both sides of Highway 200.


The on-line version of the Aitkin County Naturally bird-finding guide (recommended in a previous update) is no longer available; the book is still currently sold at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge.


Crow Wing County (p. 201-202)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Emily – 1.4 miles west from Highway 6 on County Road 1, then 0.4 mile north on Yost Road.


Pequot Lakes – 1 mile south from County Road 11 on Highway 371, then 0.4 mile east.


Cass County (p. 203-205)


Some updates to access points on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 1):

 • Forest Road 2163, the road to Birches and Tamarack Point public accesses, is now named Tamarack Point Road.

 • In Bena, there are access points at the end of South Winnie Road / County Road 140 and just west of town at Nodak Lodge.

 • Forest Road 2074, the road to Richard's Townsite public access, is now named Richard's Road.

 • There is another access via Painted Turtle Drive, about 3 miles up West Winnie Road.

 • The road to the public access about 5 miles up West Winnie Road is now named Trapper's Drive.


Pelican Island on Leech Lake can be accessed by boat from any of the three public accesses off Highway 200 (see p. 203). Recent records here include Parasitic Jaeger, Whimbrel (among other shorebirds), and even an amazing Elegant Tern! The island is off-limits from May through August to protect the gull and tern nesting colony.


On the east side of Leech Lake, shorebirds are often seen at Sugar Point's beach and rice paddies: from Highway 200, go north about 12 miles on County Road 8, then west 4 miles on County Road 73, and turn right on County Road 136 for 1.5 miles to Sugar Point.


Local birders especially recommend two roads farther east of Leech Lake for breeding warblers and other boreal forest specialties:

 • One is County Road 135 and its mile-long tamarack bog (good for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, etc.); from Boy River, go 2 miles north on County Road 63, then east 3-4 miles on 135.

 • The other is County Road 129 and its 6 miles of varied habitats between Highway 200 and County Road 7 (good for 20 species of breeding warblers, Le Conte's Sparrow, etc.); turn south on 129 from Highway 200, either 6.5 miles east of Highway 84 or 7 miles west of Remer.


In the region where prairie-chickens were formerly resident near Oshawa (site 5), both Yellow Rail and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow were found in 2006. From Oshawa, go 3 miles west on Highway 87, and listen on the north / Hubbard County side of the road just east of the Highway 64 junction. (Note that the small prairie-chicken population in Cass/Wadena/Hubbard counties is reportedly nearly extirpated, except for one small Wadena County lek.)


In southern Cass County, the sod farms along County Road 1 can attract Buff-breasted Sandpipers and other shorebirds in early fall: from County Road 24 go south on 1 for 7 miles, or from Highway 210 go north on 1 for 10 miles. 


Also in southern Cass County, there are deciduous woodlands along County Road 36 (and connecting side roads) where such southeastern species like Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Northern Cardinal occur. County 36 turns south off Highway 210, 4 miles east of Pillager, goes 2 miles south, 2.5 miles east, and 2 miles north back to 210.


The current staff at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve east of Hackensack is especially knowledgeable about Cass County birding: from Hackensack, follow the signs to Deep Portage (east on County Road 5, then south on County Road 46), and inquire at the front desk for information, both on the Reserve and throughout the county.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cass Lake – 4 miles south from Highway 2 on Highway 371 to County Road 143 / 144th Street, then 0.6 mile east and 0.2 mile north.


Hackensack – from the junction of Highway 371 and County Road 5, go 0.4 mile south to Whipple Avenue, then 0.4 mile east to the gate and sign just south of the curve.


Longville – east from Highway 84 on Aspen Lane just north of downtown.


Pillager – 0.5 mile south from Highway 210 on County Road 1, then 0.7 mile west on Hazel Avenue.


Remer – 1 block south on First Avenue, then 1.1 miles southeast on Etna Avenue.


Walker – 2 miles south from Highway 200 / 371 on Highway 34 to 73rd Street N.W., then 0.7 mile east.


Wadena County (p. 205)


In 2006, there was still one small Greater Prairie-Chicken lek near Burgen Lake within the otherwise extirpated population in Cass/Wadena/Hubbard counties. Look and listen along County Road 18, 5-7 miles north of Nimrod.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Menahga – 3 blocks south from downtown on Highway 71 to County Road 31, 1 mile east to County Road 147 / 139th Avenue, then 0.5 mile south.


Verndale – 0.9 mile west from downtown on Highway 10, then south across the railroad tracks and 0.3 mile west along south side of tracks.


Hubbard County (p. 206)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Akeley – from south side of town, 0.7 mile east from Highway 64 on County Road 12, then 0.3 mile south.

Nevis – 0.3 mile east from Highway 34 on 210th Street, 0.5 mile south on Woodland Drive, then 0.4 mile east.


Park Rapids – 2 miles south from Highway 34 on Highway 71, then 2.4 miles west on 160th Street.


Clearwater County (p. 206-208)


The large and excellent water impoundment along the Clearwater River (see inset B) still attracts summering and migrant water birds, although in 2009 there was no Yellow Rail/Nelson's Sparrow habitat. The access road turns north off County Road 5 just east of the river and Red Lake Indian Reservation sign: the impoundment starts after 3 miles, there is a good wetland (often with mudflats) just northwest of the corner at 5 miles, and the road dead-ends at 6 miles. Keep in mind the road is within the reservation and might be off-limits to non-natives, although there are no signs restricting access.

Elsewhere in inset B, the habitat is not as interesting as in previous years, with accessible sod farms and rice paddies limited to County Road 5 about 1 mile north of County Road 11, and possibly north of County Road 60 in the northwest corner of the inset map.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bagley – 0.6 mile south on Highway 92 to County Road 32, then 0.7 mile east and 0.3 mile north.


Clearbrook – 2 miles east from County Road 5 on County Road 4.


Beltrami County (p. 209-212)


A new and excellent interpretive boardwalk provides foot access into the Big Bog off Highway 72 (site 1): turn west at mile 45.2 at the sign for Big Bog State Recreational Area Boardwalk, which is 5.7 miles south of the Lake of the Woods County line or 8.5 miles north of the Tamarac River bridge in Waskish. Northern Hawk Owls nested here in 2006.


Some of the access points from which to scan Upper Red Lake (see inset A) no longer exist. Four locations still provide access:

 • Just north of Waskish along the north side of the Tamarack River; 

 • 0.2 mile south of the Tamarack River; 

 • On Sunny Beach Road: turn west on County Road 111 about 4 miles south of Waskish, go west 1 mile to where 111 turns south, and continue west 1.3 miles on Sunny Beach Road; 

 • At the public access 3 miles west and 1 mile north of Shotley.

Lake of the Woods County (p. 212-216)

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Baudette – 4 blocks north from Highway 11 on 1st Avenue N.E. (the access road to the border), bear left just before the customs station, and follow this unmarked road across the railroad tracks.


Koochiching County (p. 216-218)


County Road 13, the first back road recommended for exploration, was especially productive in 2004: American Three-toed Woodpeckers and Spruce Grouse were both seen 2-3 miles south of Lindford / County Road 1; Black-backed Woodpeckers and Boreal Chickadees were also reported elsewhere along this road.

The east end of the Wisner Forest Road is at Highway 65 (as shown on the county key map), not Highway 6 (as stated in the text). The Holmstrom Spur Forest Road is misspelled: it should be the Holstrum Spur Forest Road.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Littlefork – 2 miles east on Highway 217 to County Road 8 junction, continue 0.1 mile east on 217 to Township Road UT169, then 0.4 mile north.

Northome – 2.3 miles east from Highway 46 on Highway 1, then 1 mile north.


Itasca County (p. 218-219)


County Road 148, which leads to one of the access roads on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 2), is now named Williams Narrows Road, and the road which turns left off 148 to the lake is now named Bowen's Road. This road dead-ends at Bowen Lodge, which has allowed birders to scan the lake from their property.


Amended directions to the fish hatchery ponds at Island Lake: turn east off Highway 46 on Rearing Pond Road, 0.7 mile south of the county line.


The website address with birding locations and other information in Itasca County has been changed to http://itascacnfbirding.com.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bigfork – 0.4 mile east from Highway 38 on Golf Course Lane / County Road 261, then 0.3 mile north to Pine Tree Drive and east to the ponds.


Deer River – 0.9 mile north on Highway 6, 1 mile east on County Road 128, then 0.5 mile north on the gated access road.


Grand Rapids – 4 blocks south from Highway 2 on Highway 169 to First Street S.E. / River Road, 1.6 miles east and southeast to 23rd Avenue S.E., then 0.2 mile south.


Nashwauk – 1.1 miles east from Highway 65 on Highway 169.


Warba – 0.5 mile west on Highway 2, then 0.2 mile north on County Road 10.


St. Louis County (p. 220-231)


Unfortunately, the fields along the Sky Harbor Airport runway at Park Point in Duluth (site A1) have now been fenced off and are inaccessible. Also unfortunate are indications that the Duluth harbor area (site A2) may become less accessible to birders, as evidenced by new signs, fences, and security guards in the Port Terminal area and at the grain elevators and railroad yards along Garfield Avenue.


Bayfront Park is located in Duluth's harbor area just west of the Great Lakes Aquarium: free parking and access on Railroad Street west of Fifth Avenue W. (see inset A). Its waterfront landscape with planted shrubs and open areas of gravel and weeds often attracts field birds (larks, pipits, longspurs), warblers, sparrows, and other migrants; recent records include Brant and Mountain Bluebird.

During the Interstate 35 reconstruction project, the Erie Pier area in Duluth (site A2) was off-limits to birders in 2010 and 2011, and it is still uncertain if access will be reinstated now that construction has been completed. Discussions are ongoing with the Duluth Port Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers to permit access, which had been the policy for several years. 


In some recent years, spring or fall, the St. Louis River has been low enough to expose mudflats for shorebirds in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Duluth (see p. 225). The entrance road into Morgan Park at the stoplight on Highway 23 / Grand Avenue is now named Arbor Street: turn here and then left on Beverly Street (the first left after the church), follow Beverly to the ballfield and small park by the river, and follow the path by the playground equipment through the trees down to the railroad tracks near the mudflats.


As mentioned in the Superior, Wisconsin section (p. 226), that side of the harbor is better in some winters for Gyrfalcons and Snowy Owls. Besides the vicinity of the harbor, also check Superior's municipal airport (follow Tower Avenue south from downtown to 46th Street) and the fields adjacent to Murphy Oil Refinery (from the airport, continue south to 56th Street, then east and northeast on Stinson Avenue).


The Superior, Wisconsin landfill is now closed to birding access (both driving and hiking) as of January 2005 because of liability concerns. Gulls flying over or resting on the slopes can still be seen from the road outside the gate. If the road is plowed east of the landfill, follow it to the first left which leads to so-called Gull Bluff, where gulls are often distantly in view roosting on the lake.


A new fence around the Lakewood Pumping Station (site B6) now excludes birding access around the building, including the former site of the fall migration censuses. However, access to the woods and settling ponds behind the building is still available from the gravel parking area on the east side of Lakewood Road across the street from the church.


A so-called safe harbor has recently opened at McQuade Road, 2 miles northeast of Lakewood Pumping Station (see inset B). Its combination of a small harbor with rocky breakwaters, mixed woods bordering the parking lot, and open areas of grass, weeds, and gravel along the lakeshore is an attractive site for migrants.


In the Sax-Zim Bog (inset C), a quite visible Sharp-tailed Grouse lek has been active the last few years near Meadowlands along the east side of County Road 29, 1.5 miles north of County Road 133. Non-displaying grouse (along with Le Conte's Sparrows, Bobolinks, both meadowlarks, and other field birds) can also be seen along the side roads adjacent to County Road 29 in this vicinity. Sharp-taileds sometimes frequent the brushlands farther northeast along 29: from the lek, go 1.5 miles north, 2 miles east, and 2 miles north.

The access and habitats at the Embarrass wetlands area (site 9) have recently been restored, and the site is now designated as the Darwin Meyers Wildlife Management Area. 

There are blinds available from the Department of Natural Resources to view Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Orr and Palo areas; for information, call (218) 744-7448 in Eveleth.

The North Shore Birding Trail is a new 64-page bird-finding guide to 52 sites between Duluth and Grand Portage, distributed by Adventure Publications (www.adventurepublications.net).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Floodwood – 0.7 mile west from Highway 2 at the BP gas station on Ninth Avenue / Floodwood Road, then 0.2 mile south on Triplett Road to the gated access road.


Tower-Soudan – in Soudan, 1.2 miles northwest from Highway 1 / 169 on Main Street / McKinley Park Road.


Winton – 0.5 mile north from Highway 169 on County Road 88, then 0.5 mile east on gated road opposite Pioneer Road.


Lake County (p. 231-240)


In Two Harbors, the cemetery along Highway 61 on the west side of town often attracts fall migrant geese, Black-bellied and golden-plovers, pipits, longspurs, and Snow Buntings; also note the small settling pond near the southwest corner.


There are more than two ponds at the golf course in Two Harbors (inset A) with potential for shorebirds: they are a short walk east and mostly north of the parking lot. Later in fall, these ponds sometimes attract Snow Geese, with an occasional Ross's or Greater White-fronted among them.


There are now sewage ponds in Castle Danger: from Highway 61 go 0.6 mile west on County Road 106 / W. Castle Danger Road, turn right on Bunker Hill Road, and in 1.1 miles the road ends at the large gated/fenced ponds. Equally interesting is the extensive adjacent clearing with scattered brush, rocks, and small muddy pools; such open habitat with good potential for migrant shorebirds, sparrows, and other field birds is scarce in this part of the state.


Iona's Beach (site 3) is more clearly marked on Highway 61 by the "Twin Points Public Access" sign.


Just northeast of Silver Bay on Highway 61 (mile 54.9), the weedy and brushy clearing around the AmericInn Motel is a good place to look for migrant pipits, sparrows, longspurs, Snow Buntings, and the like. This is a half mile before you reach East Lakeview Drive (mile 55.4), which leads to two water treatment plants, not one: continue past the first one until the road dead-ends at the plant at the edge of the Northshore Mining property.


Three navigation aids on inset B: 1) The construction at the intersection of County Roads 2 and 15 is now complete: to continue north on 2, you must still jog east, as shown on the inset B map and as signed on the road. 2) Forest Road 102 at the east end of the Whyte Road (B5) is also named the Snake Trail, and it comes out south of Isabella on Highway 1 at mile 330 (see inset D). 3) The Mitawan Lake Road turns north off Highway 1 immediately east of mile 319.


In recent years, birders have been having the best luck with American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers along the Spruce Road itself (inset C), about 1/4 mile beyond the Endless Waters Road corner.


North of Isabella (see p. 238), the forest road which connects to Forest Roads 173 and 373 is numbered 369, not 396 (it is correctly shown on inset D).


The configuration and numbering of the roads leading to the west side of Tettegouche State Park (site 7) have been changed again:

 • From Beaver Bay, follow County Road 4 / Lax Lake Road north to the junction with County Road 5, turn left to stay on Lax Lake Road as it joins County Road 15 / Forest Road 11, and turn right (north) on County Road 31 to stay on Lax Lake Road to the Tettegouche access, 0.7 mile beyond Lax Lake.


 • From Finland, turn right (southwest) off Highway 1 on County Road 31 / Lax Lake Road.


Cook County (p. 240-246)


Grandview Park in Lutsen at mile 93.7 on Highway 61 is a new location from which to scan Lake Superior.


The Gunflint Trail / County Road 12 has been rerouted through Grand Marais, and now intersects Highway 61 on the east side of town. To reach the Gunflint Trail from the west side of town, follow W. Fifth Avenue north to the stop sign at the Gunflint Trail, and turn left.


The Lima Mountain Trail is marked with a sign on the Lima Grade Road (site C5), just north of the south tip of the "triangle"; Black-throated Blue Warblers nest along the hillsides about a half mile up this trail. Black-throated Blues, along with Philadelphia Vireo and Bay-breasted Warbler, have also been found in some recent summers along the Lima Grade Road about a mile north of the triangle.

Another consistent area for Black-throated Blue Warblers is off the Gunflint Trail about 29 miles north of Grand Marais: just southeast of the Trail Center Restaurant, go 1.8 miles northeast on County Road 21 (formerly numbered 65) to the trailhead parking area on the right, hike uphill on the trail across the road to the overlooks at West Bearskin and Moss Lakes, and listen in the area between the two overlooks.


APPENDIX A (p. 247-248)


Documentation for unusual sightings should now be sent to the MOU Records Committee, c/o the MOU’s website (http://moumn.org, and follow the link to Reporting Birds / Enter RQD Documentation).