Wildlife and nature viewing tips
Minnesota lies at the crossroads of four major landscapes-prairie grasslands, deciduous woods, coniferous forest and aspen parkland. Each area has distinct habitats for plants and animals and offers unique opportunities for viewing wildlife.
In order to protect our state's diversity of plants, animals, and geological features, we encouraged observation and learning. Please:
- Leave animals, wildflowers, and other plants where you found them so that they may fulfill their life cycle and role in the environment.
- Help keep the land we share in pristine condition by leaving it as when you arrived.
- Leave rocks and other elements in place. They may be providing shelter for an animal or playing some other crucial role in the environment.
How do you find wildlife?
Here are some tips (from "Traveler's Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota," a guide to 120 "hotspots" of Minnesota's best wildlife viewing sites):
Look for any wildlife. Setting your heart on spotting a particular species may lessen your overall experience. Broaden your hopes and you won't be disappointed.
Just a Little Respect
- Respect private property-ask first before entering.
- Leave pets at home-pets and wildlife don't mix.
- Leave feathers, eggs, nests or animals where you find them.
- Don't harass, pursue, touch or feed animals or remove them or their young from their habitat.
- Be courteous to others you meet.
Improving Your Chances
- Bring binoculars, spotting scope or telephoto lens camera.
- Go out at dawn and dusk for the best viewing.
- Be alert, move slowly and quietly. Be patient.
- Search for tracks in the mud or snow and look for gnawed saplings.
- Look near the edges of forests and fields, pond margins and treetops.
- Choose the right place to find the species you want to spot.
- Look for species during the season they are most likely to be found.
- Avoid moving in for a closer look, which might flush an animal from a favorite perch, feeding area, den or nest.
- Do not approach moose, black bear, rattlesnakes or animals acting strangely.