Winter wildlife

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.

Purchase a vehicle permit today and get a year of unlimited visits to all of Minnesota's state parks and recreation areas.

Helpful tips

  • 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


Red squirrel trackNovember/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.

Want some more tips? Try these: Nature, wildlife viewing & birding.

Events Calendar


Itasca State Park

Spring's a Coming! Hike


Afton State Park

All About Bluebirds


Lake Maria State Park

Wildlife photography - Loons


Jay Cooke State Park

L'il Park PEEPS - Spring Animals


Afton State Park

Timberdoodle Dance


Gateway State Trail - 10th St parking

Bird Watching


Fort Ridgely State Park

Nature Walk


Fort Ridgely State Park

Nature Walk


Brown's Creek State Trail

Bird Walk


Sibley State Park

Full Moon Walk


Itasca State Park

Spring Bird Migration on the North Country Trail


Gooseberry Falls State Park

Spring into Gooseberry


Gateway State Trail

Farm Pond Shorebird & Waterfowl Watch

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.