Winter wildlife in Minnesota state parks

Birding in winter

Minnesota winters provide a stunning backdrop to any wildlife viewing.

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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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09/29/22Jr. Naturalist: Animal SignItasca State Park
09/30/22It's Fall on the Mary Lake Trail- Weekly WalkItasca State Park
10/01/22Frontenac State Park 65th Anniversary CelebrationFrontenac State Park
10/01/22Towering Pines, Bike/Car TourItasca State Park
10/01/22Jr. Naturalist: Animals of the Old Growth Forest WalkItasca State Park
10/02/22Down to the riverFort Snelling State Park
10/07/22Fantastic Feather Facts - Nature CartGooseberry Falls State Park
10/08/22Autumn Nature Walk: Woods, Wings & Wildlife Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
10/12/22H.O.P. into the Park - Wonderful World of FeathersWhitewater State Park
10/15/22Birding for beginnersFort Snelling State Park
10/15/22Bats: Please Don't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSt. Croix State Park - Amphitheater
10/16/22Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
10/20/22Mystery Animal: Investigation StationInterstate State Park
10/21/22The Bold and the Bald: Eagles!Fort Snelling State Park
10/22/22Changing with the Seasons WalkInterstate State Park
10/29/22Nature WalkFort Snelling State Park
10/30/22Fall: A season of changesFort Snelling State Park
11/12/22A walk in the parkFort Snelling State Park
11/13/22Birding for beginnesFort Snelling State Park
11/13/22Abandoned HomesFort Snelling State Park
11/18/22Rivers and CrittersFort Snelling State Park
11/26/22Animal Tracks for kidsFort Snelling State Park
11/27/22Getting ready for winterFort Snelling State Park
12/10/22Skins and SkillsFort Snelling State Park
12/10/22Coming of winterFort Snelling State Park
12/10/22Winter bird feeding tipsFort Snelling State Park
12/21/22Fight, flight, good nightFort Snelling State Park
12/23/22Winter EcologyFort Snelling 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.