BIRDING

bald eagle

Caribou Highlands Lodge at Lusten Mountain sits in the midst of the annual spring and fall bird migration pathways. In early April, the first of migrating birds began to show up, including bald eagles and falcons. The majority of all migrant birds push through mid- to late-May. Right around Labor Day, the nighthawk migration occurs followed by the songbird movement and then the raptor migration of late September through October. One of the best places in all of the U.S. and Canada to watch fall migrating raptors is along Minnesota’s North Shore.

A Few Sought-After Birds of the North Shore

  • Raptors – eagles, falcons and hawks best seen in September and October
  • Common Raven – look for their V-shaped tails and huge bills seen year-round
  • Shorebirds – wading birds including sandpipers and plovers best seen at river mouths in April – May and August – September
  • Herring Gulls – the big gray-and-white gulls most folks call seagulls seen year-round, less prominent in winter
  • Wood Warblers – many species of these insect-eating birds here when insects are in season, late-May to early-September
  • Winter Ducks – Harlequins and Scoters best seen late-October into January
  • Ruffed Grouse – also known as partridge often heard in the spring when the male drums (repeatedly flaps his wings) and hunted in September and October
  • Loons – common loon, Minnesota’s state bird best seen on Lake Superior during spring and fall migration seen throughout summer on inland lakes, where they nest and feed

Birding Festivals

  • Spring Boreal Birding Festival in late May in Grand Marais
  • Autumn Migration Birding Festival in October in Grand Marais. Details on the events, workshops and how to obtain a Birder’s Guide to Cook County can be found at the website of the event host – the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. northhouse.org

Inquire at the front desk for more information.

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