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St. Croix River Bluffs IBA

Bald eagle

The St. Croix River and adjacent riparian and upland habitats contains a diverse assemblage of birds that depend on this area. It is a natural north-south migratory corridor. Two Great blue heron colonies in the area had a combined total of 534 nests in 2004. Eleven pairs of Bald eagles were counted nesting along this stretch of the St. Croix during that same time. This is one of the best concentrations of breeding Red-shouldered hawks in the state. Pairs of Louisiana waterthrush can be found in nearly every stream valley dissecting the river bluffs. Prothonotary warblers are common on the St. Croix and reach their northern limit in Minnesota here.

This area can be accessed along MN Highway 95 extending north from Stillwater to the Exel Energy dam at Taylors Falls. A small canoe access located in the village of Marine-on-the-St. Croix allows viewing from the river by canoe or boat. Skiing and hiking trails are located in the state parks and an informal trail can be found at Falls Creek SNA. A bike trial goes from Marine-on-the-St. Croix through William O'Brien State Park and ends at the junction of MN Highways 95 and 97.