Minnesota Birding Resources

In 2008, Minnesota embarked on an five-year ambitious project to count the birds that nest and raise their young here, to accurately chart their numbers. This counting is important because some of Minnesota's songbird populations have fallen by 80 percent in the last 50 years, due in large part to habitat loss.


The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of Minnesota. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of Minnesota. View the guide by clicking here or on the Nifty Fifty link on the left.

You will need the free Flash player to view the guide.

Some birds prefer to stay near the ground, while others are almost always seen high in a tree. Look for the following notations in the species descriptions to determine where the species is most likely to be seen. If a note is not present, the bird does not have a strong affinity for a particular region.

  • Look high.
  • Look mid-story.
  • Look low.

State Information

Minnesota Ornithologists' Union

Minnesota Checklists


Recent Bird Sightings

(800) 657-3700 Statewide + (763) 780-8890

(800) 433-1888 Northwest


Birding Locations

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge


Common Loon

Minnesota State Bird - Common Loon


Minnesota Birding Events


International Festival of Owls
Usually in March
Houston, Minnesota
Phone: 507-896-4668
Immerse yourself in owls at an international festival that started simply as a hatch-day party for Alice the Great Horned Owl. Families will enjoy the live owl programs, owl prowls to call in wild owls, owl crafts and activities, owl calling contest, medallion hunt, owl-themed food, owl merchandise, and Cub Scout program. For the more serious owl aficionados, there is a banquet featuring Norm Smith, a researcher from Boston who has done telemetry studies on Snowy Owls at Logan Airport; the World Owl Hall of Fame award presentations; and a raffle to benefit the Global Owl Project.


Great River Birding Festival
Usually in May

Wabasha, Minnesota
Phone: Mary at 877-525-3248
Imagine exploring the Mississippi backwaters by boat in search of Prothonotary Warblers, back from their long tropical journeys. Hop aboard and ride the rails through the Tiffany Bottoms floodplain forest, an open railcar birding trip you will never forget! Visit with live birds of prey and the people who work to preserve them! We are proud to offer an exciting weekend of quality programs and events and invite you to explore our wonderful communities along the way.

Walk for Wetlands
Usually in October
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, Minnesota
Phone: 952-854-5900
Members of Audubon will be available throughout the trail to help you identify the many different species of birds you will see and explain the importance of wetlands for bird habitat. The walk will prove to be an outstanding learning experience for kids and adults alike. While you are at it, why not gather pledges from your friends and family to raise money for wetlands restoration, enhancement and protection to help ensure we have places like this wonderful refuge for future generations to enjoy.


Other resources and locations

If you have suggestions for additional birding resources in Minnesota, from web sites to your favorite birding location, submit your information using the following form. You can cut and paste large amounts if text into the information field. Birding locations are the most desired, but any good resource on Minnesota birds is welcomed.

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