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

Scroll table right to see more »
06/04/23Birding in the Big WoodsNerstrand Big Woods State Park
06/04/23A Bird Walk for EveryoneWild River State Park
06/04/23Ask a Naturalist: Geology of the Big WoodsNerstrand Big Woods State Park
06/07/23Lore of the Loon Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
06/07/23Loons & RecreationGooseberry Falls State Park
06/08/23"In Flight Meal"Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
06/08/23Birding WalkLake Carlos State Park
06/09/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
06/09/23Bats: Please Don't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSt. Croix State Park
06/10/23Falcons, Live!Tettegouche State Park
06/10/23Falcons, Live!Gooseberry Falls State Park
06/10/23Birding at Bear HeadBear Head Lake State Park
06/10/23Prairie Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
06/10/23Prairie HuntersSibley State Park
06/10/23Down to the riverFort Snelling State Park
06/10/23Woodpecker WondersNerstrand Big Woods State Park
06/10/23Special Event: Outdoor Recreation Day Father Hennepin State Park
06/10/23Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
06/10/23Bird is the Word: Intro to OrnithologyFort Ridgely State Park
06/10/23Loons & RecreationGooseberry Falls State Park
06/11/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
06/11/23Secrets of Skulls: Investigation StationInterstate State Park
06/11/23Loon Lessons with Dr. James ParukLake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
06/11/23Skull DetectivesWild River State Park
06/11/23Birding for Beginners- HikeWilliam O'Brien State Park
06/11/23Kids' Activity: Wildlife BINGO Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
06/12/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
06/14/23H.O.P. into the Park: Climate Change Considerations in Habitat RestorationWhitewater State Park
06/15/23Antlers and the Animals Who Wear ThemTettegouche State Park
06/16/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
06/16/23Eyes to the Skies Nature CartInterstate State Park
06/16/23Friday Night Hikes on Bluestem PrairieBuffalo River State Park
06/16/23Nature Cart with a NaturalistFlandrau State Park
06/16/23Black Bears- Drop-in Nature TableLake Carlos State Park
06/17/23Birding at Bear HeadBear Head Lake State Park
06/17/23Prairie HuntersSibley State Park
06/17/23Hike the NightSibley State Park
06/17/23I Speak Bird- HikeWilliam O'Brien State Park
06/17/23Guess Who?Big Bog State Recreation Area
06/17/23When Animals Make TracksSt. Croix State Park
06/17/23Calls of the NightFlandrau State Park
06/17/23Animal TracksNerstrand Big Woods State Park
06/17/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
06/17/23Birds the Word- Story Time Lake Carlos State Park
06/17/23The Common Loon, Evening TalkItasca State Park
06/18/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
06/18/23Wild Fathers of NatureWild River State Park
06/18/23Park Invaders Nature CartNerstrand Big Woods State Park
06/19/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
06/23/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
06/23/23Bears Among UsLake Bemidji State Park
06/24/23Pine Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
06/24/23Prairie HuntersSibley State Park
06/24/23Hike the NightSibley State Park
06/24/23Junior Naturalist: Be a Bird SleuthInterstate State Park
06/24/23Birding at Bear HeadBear Head Lake State Park
06/24/23Bird is the Word: Intro to OrnithologyMinneopa State Park
06/24/23Bird Walk: Birds of Southwest MNCamden State Park
06/24/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
06/25/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
06/26/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
06/30/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
06/30/23Friday Night Hikes on Bluestem PrairieBuffalo River State Park
06/30/23Nature Cart with a NaturalistFlandrau State Park
07/01/23Ecosystem Exploration HikeSavanna Portage State Park
07/01/23Prairie HuntersSibley State Park
07/01/23Hike the NightSibley State Park
07/01/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
07/02/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
07/04/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
07/04/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
07/06/23Thrilling Thursday: Bird BalladeersGlendalough State Park
07/07/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
07/08/23Prairie Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
07/08/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
07/08/23Tall Tale TriviaSibley State Park
07/10/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/14/23Friday Night Hikes on Bluestem PrairieBuffalo River State Park
07/15/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
07/17/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/21/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
07/22/23Wildlife Photography Campfire ProgramForestville Mystery Cave State Park
07/22/23Morning Bird WalkCharles A. Lindbergh State Park
07/22/23Tall Tale TriviaSibley State Park
07/23/23Birding for beginnersFort Snelling State Park
07/24/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/28/23Friday Night Hikes on Bluestem PrairieBuffalo River State Park
07/28/23Morning Bird HikeSibley State Park
07/31/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/03/23Thrilling Thursday: Animal EnigmasGlendalough State Park
08/05/23Pine Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
08/06/23Down to the riverFort Snelling State Park
08/06/23Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
08/07/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/11/23Friday Night Hikes on Bluestem PrairieBuffalo River State Park
08/14/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/16/23A walk in the parkFort Snelling State Park
08/17/23Thrilling Thursday: Animal EnigmasGlendalough State Park
08/19/23Prairie Loop Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
08/20/23Ripe EdiblesFort Snelling State Park
08/20/23Animal tracks for KidsFort Snelling State Park
08/21/23Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/26/23Ecosystem Exploration HikeSavanna Portage State Park
09/03/23Falcons Live!Frontenac State Park
09/23/23Sand Point Bird WalkFrontenac State Park
10/07/23Sand 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.