Southwest Minnesota Birding
Southwest Minnesota is a land transformed. The former tallgrass prairie has few remnant tracts left, and little of its original natural wetlands remain. However, acre by acre the land is again being transformed - this time in the direction of its original state with several wetlands and prairie grass reclamation projects completed or underway. And although species such as Long-billed Curlew, and Burrowing Owl no longer nest in this region there is hope they may someday return. These three species have all been seen in this area within the last few years. Though their presence may have been accidental it stirs the imagination for what might also be found amid the big bluestem, reed canary grass, and rich riparian woods.
Just outside Canby, MN on the Western edge of ellow Medicine County, Stone Hill Regional Park offers the largest water body in the County. This popular recreation area offers camping, and hiking trails along wooded, river environment as well as through tallgrass prairie acres. This is one fo the more reliable locations in Yellow Medicine County for diving ducks, and a good location for warblers during migration away from the Minnesota River.
This neat little park offers some of the same riparian woodland habitat as Upper Sioux Agency State Park, but if time is too limited to go to the State Park, it offers easily managed birding. Camping is also available. Migration is the best season.
The Savannah Oaks Golf Course in the new addition of Lynd, MN has opened up previously inaccessible land... so long as birders respect the golf game. Yes, its a golf course, however the managers are attempting to be environmentally conscious, and welcoming. Blue Grosbeak, and Lark Sparrow are two species that have appeared to nest in recent years; either in the golf course area, or the undeveloped addition upland of the golf course. The Lynd sewage ponds are near by, and the mowed areas of undeveloped land have attracted Smith's Longspur in the fall on a few occasions.
NOTE: Birders ARE welcome, but MUST be respectful of golfing in order to keep this relationship viable. Please stay on the paved areas, do not cross the fairways, and be respectful of parking considerations of the area residents.
- Lincoln County (10)
- Lyon County (11)
- Prairie Coteau Loop (1)
- Yellow Medicine County (4)
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|Wing Bars and Tail Shape|
|Look for details on the bird's body, wings, and tail. Keep an eye out for wing bars, color patches, and markings on the bird's body, and describe the tail shape in flight.|