Winter wildlife in Minnesota state parks

Birding in winter

Minnesota winters provide a stunning backdrop to any wildlife viewing.


Stop by a Minnesota state park for some great programs on winter birding and how to identify animal tracks in the snow. Check out the snow conditions before you go.

November/December - Visit the Weaver Bottoms along the Mississippi River and watch thousands of migrating tundra swans en route to North Carolina and Virginia. From there, head south to Whitewater State Park to check for wintering bald eagles.

January/February - Try reading mammal tracks in the snow. You might find tracks for white-tailed deer, red fox, or coyotes. Open water along rivers provides habitat for Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and bald eagles.

Helpful tips

Red squirrel track

  • Bring binoculars
  • Go out at dawn and dusk for the best viewing
  • Be alert and move slowly and quietly
  • Search for tracks in the mud or snow
  • Look near the edges of forests and fields, pond margins and treetops
  • Try these wildlife and nature viewing tips

Want some more tips? Check out our nature viewing guide.

Events calendar

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02/23/24Updated: Kid's Science Discovery: The Mystery Hike Itasca State Park
02/23/24What is a weasel, anyway? Gooseberry Falls State Park visitor center theater
02/24/24Animal DetectiveFort Snelling State Park
02/24/24Updated: Wildlife Watch WalkItasca State Park
02/24/24Science of SkullsNerstrand Big Woods State Park
02/29/24Lil' Park PEEPS - Hop, Skip, and Jump!Jay Cooke State Park
03/02/24Outdoor Kids: Snow SecretsLake Bemidji State Park
03/02/24Nature Cart with a NaturalistMinneopa State Park
03/06/24Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
03/09/24Winter HikeFlandrau State Park
03/13/24The Science of SkullsFort Snelling State Park
03/16/24Afton Bluebird Nest BoxesAfton State Park
03/16/24Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
03/16/24Morning HikeSibley State Park
03/16/24Skin and BonesSibley State Park
03/16/24The Art of TrackingWilliam O'Brien State Park
03/16/24Animal DetectivesWilliam O'Brien State Park
03/22/24Kid's Science Discovery: Animals of the Forest Walk, Spring Edition!Itasca State Park
03/23/24Animal Tracks and Signs HikeMinneopa State Park
03/23/24Afternoon HikeSibley State Park
03/23/24Animal DetectivesWilliam O'Brien State Park
03/23/24Spring's a Coming! Headwaters WalkItasca State Park
03/28/24Lil' Park PEEPS - Slumbering BearsJay Cooke State Park
03/30/24Junior Rangers - River AnimalsJay Cooke State Park
03/30/24We are Mammals- Children's ProgramWilliam O'Brien State Park
04/06/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
04/11/24Lil' Park PEEPS - Wolf CampJay Cooke State Park
04/13/24Junior Rangers - Feathered FriendsJay Cooke State Park
04/27/24Signs of Spring HikeItasca State Park
05/02/24Lil' Park PEEPS - Bird ExplorersJay Cooke State Park
05/04/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
05/26/24Falcons, Live!Frontenac State Park
06/08/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
06/22/24Prairie Loop Bird Walk Frontenac State Park
07/13/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
07/15/24Eyes on the Skies: Birds as Indicators of Ecosystem Health, Nature of Science SeriesItasca State Park
07/27/24Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
08/10/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
08/24/24Prairie Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
09/01/24Falcons, Live!Frontenac State Park
09/14/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
09/28/24Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
10/19/24Bird Walk - CampgroundFrontenac State Park
11/09/24Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
12/07/24Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park

Please note: Occasionally, due to extreme weather or poor snow conditions, an event may need to be canceled or changed. When in doubt, call the park.

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