Birding on the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway

Trumpeter Swans have returned to nest on Rice Lake along Co Rd 11 for a 4th year.  This year they have 5 cygnets

Get outdoors among our 'feathered friends'. Bring the kids along and spark their interest in birding at an early age. Birding is a hobby to enjoy for a lifetime. So keep an eye to the trees and shrubs and you'll see birds almost anywhere you look.

Download our popular Birds of the Byway Birding Tour Guide and Checklist to bring along on your next outing along Paul's Scenic Byway! Or Contact Us to request a brochure.

Birds of a feather... Local birding guide, Judd Brink-MN Backyard Birds, has over 25 years of experience birding in MN and the Midwest. Visit his website to learn more. Send your bird sightings to Judd for posting. Read Judd Brink's article in the Spring 2012 issue of Outdoor Traditions, courtesy-Brainerd Daily Dispatch. Watch Brink's birding videos.

The 2nd largest recreational activity in the country, birding is growing in the region.

If you set out to find a place on this continent with the highest counts of different breeding bird species, a place with exciting viewing in every season of the year, you’d need look no further than right here in Brainerd Lakes Area of North Central Minnesota.

Here you’ll find a unique coming together of prairie, evergreens and deciduous forests– all centered around the Mississippi River. This is one of the world’s major flyways for migrating birds. This diverse blend of geography– with its lakes, streams, forests and wetlands– and our four-season weather pattern results in a combination unlike any other in the world.

It’s not unusual for a keen-eyed birder to log more than 100 different species in an eight-hour day. The luckiest may spot a northern goshawk or an American woodcock, found in woodland openings. Seeing either of these species, let alone both, is an experience of a lifetime.

This inviting scenic area, long a vacation destination for those looking for family resorts and angling opportunities, also offers an abundance of wildlife and nature-oriented experiences.

As geese head south in their great V-formations, they seem to pull winter in behind them. Along with snow and frost, you’re likely to see bald eagles; great horned and barred owls; woodpeckers including the hairy, downy, red-bellied and pileated; gray and blue jays; ravens; nuthatches; snow buntings; and finches. Watch for tree sparrows, juncos, pine siskins and evening grosbeaks.
Passing Through
The open spaces of our beautiful area offer unique viewing opportunities as seasons change. Each fall and spring, you can view an immense variety of birds, including some species that may only be seen as they pass through the area during their annual migration.
Conifer forests of pine, spruce, and fir represent much of central Minnesota, either as pure stands or mixed with several species. Look for red-breasted nuthatches, pine warblers, evening grosbeaks, Swainson’s thrushes, and solitary vireos in this type of habitat.
Contact Us to request a full color Birds of the Byway brochure and map, includes Tour Guide Checklist.