One of the best things about spring is the return of the migratory birds. It’s probably one of the first tell-tale signs that the weather is warming—the sounds that begin to wake us up as spring arrives. The sounds of birds chirping are both a welcome sound and sometimes rather annoying. After all, what do birds have to be so excited about at 6am? Either way, one joy of living on the Mississippi River is birdwatching.

The Mississippi Flyway is the migration route followed by 40% of all waterfowl and shorebirds in North America. Vast wildlife refuges, state forests, federal forests and parks protect the habitat and food sources these birds depend on. Bald Eagles, Warblers, and Hawks are just a few of the birds you can expect to see on the Upper Mississippi. Seeing as Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” you can expect to see quite a few different bird habitats.

Not unlike the snowbirds we often discuss, actual migratory birds are common in Minnesota for many of the same reasons many of us head south for the winter. The crazy Minnesota temperature and weather swings tend to be just as irritating to the bird population as it is to the Minnesota residents. There are many different birdwatching hotspots throughout Minnesota and to find more information about that click here. That said, there are plenty of opportunities to birdwatch right from you windows as the snowbirds, feathered and otherwise, begin to return home.