North Metro Mississippi River IBA
This Important Bird Area includes the Mississippi River and its adjacent floodplain forest and uplands extending 27 river miles from the Washington Avenue Bridge adjoining the Mississippi River Twin Cities Important Bird Area in Minneapolis to the mouth of the Crow River in Hennepin County. For the most part, the other boundaries of this Important Bird Area are congruent with the boundary of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. It also includes the Elm Creek Regional Trail, Elm Creek Park Reserve and the Rice Creek corridor, in New Brighton (Ramsey County). This IBA lies within an area that has a very high population density and an area that is one of the fastest growing areas in the Twin Cities area. This IBA affords the public numerous sites to view birds from the many parks and other public access points along the River. There are 13 city parks along the river and all provide good views of birds; that is in addition to the 6 boat launches and 4 canoe access points; and 4 regional parks. Lying within the Mississippi Flyway this IBA is important for waterfowl, other waterbirds, raptors, and Neotropical migrants. The Mississippi River is one of the great bird flyways in the world. This is the migratory corridor for 40% of North America’s waterfowl and shorebirds. A total of 234 species, compiled by various sources, has been documented in this IBA. There are four known heron rookery sites within this IBA. There are scores of double-crested cormorants that roost on islands in the Mississippi River between Coon Creek and the Coon Rapids Dam in the spring during migration. Species of Conservation Concern that use this IBA include Trumpeter Swan, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, American White Pelican, Horned Grebe, Red-shouldered Hawk and Forster’s Tern.