Winter wildlife in Minnesota state parks

Birding in winter

Minnesota winters provide a stunning backdrop to any wildlife viewing.

Minnesota State Parks and Trails Facebook site  Minnesota State Parks Twitter feed  Minnesota State Parks and Trails Instagram site

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 »
01/28/23Wily WoodpeckersFort Snelling State Park
01/28/23Winter Birding: OwlsBlue Mounds State Park
01/28/23Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
02/03/23Artist's Reception - Gordon DietzmanTettegouche State Park
02/04/23Down to the riverFort Snelling State Park
02/08/23How Wildlife survive WinterFort Snelling State Park
02/11/23Animal Tracks and SignsAfton State Park
02/18/23Great Backyard Bird Count HikeSibley State Park
02/18/23Kid's Beginner SnowshoeingLake Bemidji State Park
02/19/23TrackingFort Snelling State Park
02/25/23Snowshoe Hike along the Baptism RiverTettegouche State Park
03/03/23Artist's Reception - Terri HuroTettegouche State Park
03/18/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
03/22/23Skins and SkullsFort Snelling State Park
03/25/23Amphibians and ReptilesBlue Mounds State Park
04/01/23Aminal tracks for kidsFort Snelling State Park
04/02/23Birding for beginnersFort Snelling State Park
04/02/23Down to the riverFort Snelling State Park
04/15/23Minnesota TurtlesFort Snelling State Park
04/22/23Falcons, Live!Tettegouche State Park
04/22/23Falcons, Live!Gooseberry Falls State Park
04/22/23Scats and TracksSibley State Park
04/29/23A walk in the parkFort Snelling State Park
04/30/23Sunset in the parkFort Snelling State Park
05/10/23H.O.P. into the Park: Fishers in Southeast MinnesotaWhitewater State Park
05/13/23Skin and BonesSibley State Park
05/14/23Birding for beginnersFort Snelling State Park
05/28/23Floodplain walkFort Snelling State Park
05/28/23Invasive Naturalist TentFort Snelling State Park
06/10/23Falcons, Live!Tettegouche State Park
06/10/23Falcons, Live!Gooseberry Falls State Park
06/12/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
06/19/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
06/26/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/10/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/17/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/22/23Wildlife Photography Campfire ProgramForestville Mystery Cave State Park
07/24/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
07/31/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/07/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/14/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate State Park
08/21/23Outdoor Nature TotsInterstate 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.