Minnesota Wildlife and Nature Stories

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picture of the Cherry on Spoon sculpture in Minneapolis, part of the Minnesota wildlife series

Welcome to Minnesota wildlife.

In total, the Minnesota bird list has about four hundred and fifty species. A group of those fit into what’s called the Boreal forest birds category.

The concept of Boreal birds often takes on two different meanings. In the widest sense of the phrase it refers to all the birds that depend on the northern boreal forests of Canada and the northern part of the United States for breeding.

The Boreal Songbird Initiative estimates there are approximately three hundred species that meet this wide criteria.

A smaller group of birds use the northern boreal forests of Canada and the northern part of the United States for breeding. Unlike other migratory species, these species have a southern range that barely crosses the Canada-United States border.

As the video shows, these birds cover many common types of birds, from water birds, to game birds.

Northern Minnesota, and especially the northeast corner of the state occupied by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, are prime boreal forest territory for the state.

Audubon calls it an area of birding importance due to its hosting one hundred and sixty five breeding species, including two dozen warbler species.

Because warblers are neotropical migrants, most birders catch a glimpse of them during migration. On the other hand, the area is also home to a handful of boreal bird species in the more restricted category.

  • Loon
  • Black-backed Woodpecker
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Gray Jay or Canada Jay
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Spruce Grouse
Birding in northern Minnesota means seeing the state bird, the Common Loon, an iconic boreal forest bird. Approximately three quarters of all Common Loons breed in the region.

Additionally the video shows Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse and other species that migrate no further south during the winter months. The Minnesota bird atlas notes that some boreal birds with the boreal surname such as Boreal Chickadee and Boreal owl, are still state rarities.

Other species in the video, the Nashville Warbler and Chipping Sparrow, for example, migrate from southern areas to their northern breeding grounds. During migration, they travel and stop in many southern states.

As the site grows, more information covering Minnesota will be added. Until then, press any of the following buttons to learn more about Minnesota nature.