Reserves in Minnesota

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Agassiz Wildlife Refuge Minnesota

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge (Marshall County)

A large, expansive refuge good at all times of the year, this is one of northwestern Minnesota's most interesting birding areas. Look for Yellow Rail, Sandhill Crane, Franklin's Gull, Sedge Wren and Mourning Warbler. Agassiz is also an excellent place to bird during migration, especially for shorebirds. Felton Prairie (Clay County)
Famous for its nesting Chestnut-collared Longspurs, Felton is also a good spot to look for prairie birds such as Swainson's Hawk, Upland Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Sedge Wren, Loggerhead Shrike and numerous sparrows.Several tracts owned by the Nature Conservancy are located in this general area as well.
The Great River Birding trail follows the Mississippi River through five states from its headwaters in Itasca State Park to Cairo, Illinois. The river is a major flyway, and a wide variety of waterfowl and songbirds can be seen, especially during spring and fall migrations.
This list contains 280 species which have been observed on the Refuge.

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

Big Stone has lakes, pools, meadows, fields, woods and marshes. Take the auto tour road (best by bicycle) and you can find water birds, prairie birds and woodland birds. This is a park that is best visited in migration or early summer. Western vagrants are always a good possibility, and there are many good nesting species here as well. Watch also for Cattle Egret, Swainson's Hawk, Marbled Godwit, Sedge Wrens and many Sparrows.

Blue Mounds State Park

A habitat most unlike the rest of Minnesota, the park has cactus, a herd of buffalo and a feel to it more like states found farther west. So it is not surprising that Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Western Kingbird, Say's Phoebe and Mountain Bluebird have all been seen here. And nowhere in the state is Blue Grosbeak easier to find than here.

Roseau Bog (Roseau County)

This area, and the Lost River State Forest just to the east, are good birding spots for such species as nesting Wilson's Phalarope (below) and Sharp-tailed Sparrow. In winter look for a possible Gyrfalcon, Northern Hawk Owl, Snowy Owl and winter finches. Resident birds include Great Gray Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee.


Sax-Zim Bog

Some say this is the place to bird in Minnesota. Indeed, species difficult to find elsewhere are often much easier in "the bog." Upland Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Great Gray Owl, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Connecticut Warbler and LeConte's Sparrow all nest here. In winter look also for Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Northern Shrike, Snow Bunting, crossbills and redpolls.

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