Kittson County (p. 54-55)


Larry Wilebski is developing two birding sites on his property in the northern part of the county. One is named Shorebird Park, where water levels are sometimes low enough to expose mudflats: from Lancaster, go 7 miles north on Highway 59, then 1.4 miles west on Township Road T-61. The other is Evergreen Acres, a site with planted conifers among a mix of habitats, and with even a small house available for visiting birders: from Shorebird Park, continue 0.6 mile west, 1 mile south, and 0.7 mile west. For more information, contact Larry at (218) 762-4205 or

Yellow Rails and Nelson's Sparrows were found in June 2014 on the east edge of Beaches Wildlife Management Area near the Roseau County line: take County Road 25 east to the T with Roseau County Road 7, go 3 miles south to the curve, then hike 0.5 mile west.


The Wallace C. Dayton area, part of The Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Aspen Parkland Project, has Sharp-tailed Grouse observation blinds, and the new contact number for these is (218) 436 3455.

Also see Marshall County (below) for a link to a map of the new Springbrook Stream flood-control project; one planned access is on Highway 11, 9 miles west of Karlstad or 8 miles east of Donaldson.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Hallock – 2.1 miles south from Highway 175 on Highway 75, then 1 mile west and 0.2 mile north.

Lancaster – From the junction of County Roads 4 and 6 west of town, 0.1 mile northwest on County Road 6, then 0.1 mile north across the railroad tracks, and hike 0.2 mile east on gated road.

Roseau County (p. 55-59)


Birding habitat along the back roads south and west of Roseau River Wildlife Management Area (inset B), including the sedge marshes along County Road 7 (site 4), is not as extensive as before; the remaining grasslands and marshes are now fragmented by brushlands, aspen stands, and agriculture.


The north-south road through the meadows on inset C (site C5) is now signed 360th Avenue. To reach this area (now designated Roseau Lake Wildlife Management Area) from Roseau, it is best to go west 3 miles on Highway 11 to County Road 123 and then north 4 miles. (Also see Norland West impoundment below.)

In recent years, Short-eared Owls have been seen at dusk in fields and meadows northeast of Roseau, most often in late summer/early fall (and probably earlier in the year): look especially along 440th Avenue (5 miles east of Roseau), 2-5 miles north of Highway 11, and along connecting side roads 340th and 350th Streets. (Also see Norland East impoundment below.)

There is access to some coniferous areas in the eastern part of Lost River State Forest. From Warroad: go 1 mile north on Highway 313, 7 miles west on County Road 13, 1 mile north to the edge of the state forest, and zig-zag 3 miles west, 2 miles north, and 1.5 miles west to a T. From here, Lindberg Road goes northeast, Campbell Road goes southwest, and both roads dead end and loop back to the T. (Use caution on these minimum maintenance forest roads.)      

Three new flood-control impoundments attractive to water birds during migration and summer (and similar to those in Marshall and Polk counties – see below) have now been constructed:

     • Norland East is the largest and best of these (site of a 2014 White Ibis record); from Roseau, go 5 miles east on

       Highway 11 to 440th Avenue, 4 miles north to 350th Street, then 1 mile east to the best access point.

     • Norland West is a one-square mile area on the south side of inset C along the east side of County Road 123 / 360th

       Avenue (see Roseau Lake Wildlife Management Area above).

     • Ross impoundment lies along the south side of Highway 11 northeast of Badger, between County Road 3 and

       Highway 308.

Also see Marshall County (below) for a link to maps of these and the Nereson impoundment.

Signage at the Roseau sewage ponds (site 8) indicates that birding access is possible by calling the Roseau Utility Department at 218 463 2351.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Badger – 1.2 miles east on County Road 2 to 290th Avenue, then 1 mile north and 0.4 mile west.

Marshall County (p. 59-61)


Gate keys to access the Westgate and Northgate roads at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge are no longer available to visitors – even though birders had been given access for decades.

In addition to the water impoundments in Roseau and Polk counties, there are now two other flood-control impoundments in the vicinity of Warren. These can attract good numbers of water birds of all kinds (especially waders and shorebirds) during migration and summer:

     • The Agassiz Valley impoundment on both sides of the Marshall-Polk county line is the better site: from Highway 75

       in Warren, go 5.5 miles east on Highway 1 to 280th Avenue, then 1 mile south to 210th Street and the levee road just

       to the east. This levee road goes south to another access at 200th Street, 0.5 mile east of 280th Avenue; there is also

       some access on 190th Street, 1 mile farther south and 1 mile east.

     • The Radium impoundment is northeast of Warren: from Highway 75 in Warren, go 9.5 miles east on Highway 1 to

       240th Avenue, then 3 miles north.

Maps of these and 10 other impoundments in Kittson, Roseau, and Polk counties are now available at:

One of the few sites in western Marshall County to recommend for migrant passerines is Island Park in Warren: from Highway 75, go 4 blocks west on Highway 1 / Bridge Street to Division Street, then 3 blocks south into the park.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Argyle – 0.5 mile north on Pacific Avenue along the west side of railroad tracks, then 0.5 mile west.


Grygla – 1 mile west to 390th Avenue, then 0.2 mile north and 0.3 mile east.

Middle River – 0.5 mile south to 380th Street, west across Highway 32 to first road along west side of railroad tracks, then 0.7 mile south.

Viking – 0.5 mile south, 0.3 mile west on County Road 2, then 0.5 mile northwest on unmarked road.  

Pennington County (p. 62-63)


As of May 2005, the north-south road past the west side of Goose Lake (see inset A) was in good condition and passable its entire length. The mixed habitats of marshes, thickets, and grasslands are still intact here and, except for prairie-chickens, remain potentially good for the species mentioned.

Birders are now asked to contact the city of Thief River Falls before accessing the sewage ponds (site 1); the current contact person is Wayne Johnson, phone 218 681 3809, e-mail


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Goodridge – 0.5 mile north to County Road 9, then 1 mile east and 0.4 mile south.

Red Lake County (p. 63)


The productive cemetery for birding is Oak Grove Cemetery on County Road 1, located 1.5 miles east of Highway 32. (The cemetery a mile east of 32 has little birding habitat.)

A large gravel pit pond in the southwestern part of the county is often attractive to migrant water birds: from Highway 32, go 3.5 miles west on Highway 2, then 1 mile north, 0.5 mile east, and 0.2 mile north to the best vantage point.

Amended directions to the wild rice paddies in the northeastern corner of the county: from County Road 1, go 2 miles north on County Road 10, then 2 miles east, and 1.2 miles north on 350th Avenue.  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Oklee – 1 mile west from south edge of town at Seventh Avenue, then 0.1 mile north.


Plummer – West on Central Avenue to 0.2 mile west of the river.


Red Lake Falls – West on Third Street to its end at the edge of town, then 0.5 mile north and 0.2 mile west (ponds have been enlarged with improved birding).

Polk County (p. 64-67)

The former Wetlands, Pines, and Prairie Audubon Sanctuary (site 1), one of the best birding spots in northwestern Minnesota, closed in 2014 after a controversial change in management. Though then renamed the Agassiz Audubon Center, this property remains closed in 2018; call 218 745 5663 for more information.   

There are now five other flood-control impoundments south of the Agassiz Valley impoundment (see Marshall County above) which attract waders, shorebirds, and other water birds (note that in drier years parts of them could be plowed up and cultivated). From north to south:

     • Angus-Oslo impoundment: from the south side of Agassiz Valley impoundment on 190th Street N.W., go 1 mile east

       to 260th Avenue, then 2 miles south, 2 miles east, and 1 mile south to the impoundment's northwest corner at 160th

       Street N.W. and 240th Avenue.

     • Brandt-Angus impoundment: from Warren, go 10.5 miles south on Highway 75 to 120th Street N.W., then 2.5 miles

       east to the impoundment's southwest corner at 270th Avenue (or from Angus-Oslo: 2 miles west, 4 miles south, and 1

       mile west).

     • Brandt impoundment is the most recent addition: 1 mile north of Euclid on Highway 75 to 120th Street S.W., then 2

       miles east (or from Brandt-Angus: 1 mile east to 260th Avenue, 4 miles south, and 0.3 mile east).

     • Euclid East impoundment: 1 mile east of Euclid on County Road 19 (or from Brandt: 1 mile south on 260th Avenue

       and 0.5 mile west).

     • Parnell impoundment: 4 miles south of Euclid on Highway 75 to County Road 17, then 2.5 miles east to 240th Avenue

       (or from Euclid East: 2.5 miles east to 240th Avenue and 4 miles south).   

Also see Marshall County (above) for a link to maps of these impoundments.


Note the county road numbers in this area have been renumbered and can be confusing:

     • County Road 23 goes east from Angus for 5.3 miles, then 3 miles north, and now continues 4 miles east to the

       Pennington County line (where it becomes County Road 8). 

     • At the corner where County 23 turns east, County Road 69 goes west 1 mile, north 1 mile, then west 6 miles to

       Highway 75. 

     • Where County 69 turns west, County Road 68 goes north 2.4 miles to the Marshall County line (where it becomes

       County Road 36).


The Malmberg Prairie west of Crookston (see p. 65) was wet enough in 2005 to attract Yellow Rails; accordingly, Le Conte's and possibly Nelson's Sparrows should also occur here during summer or migration.


There are now prairie-chicken observation blinds at The Nature Conservancy's Glacial Ridge Project / National Wildlife Refuge (see p. 66); call the Crookston Convention and Visitors Bureau at (218) 281-4320 for information. Glacial Ridge N.W.R. (see inset C) now has a headquarters building on Highway 32, 3 miles south of Highway 2. This refuge, which includes portions of the former Crookston Cattle Company (site C5) and other nearby areas, has created some water impoundments along County Road 45 west of Highway 32. A map of Glacial Ridge and other information is now available on-line at

On the Norman County side of inset B: the best birding areas at Prairie Smoke Dunes are only accessible by foot from 310th Avenue (see map at; the access road to the Olson-Agassiz area from County Road 5 was not passable in May 2013; and Greater Prairie-Chickens were present at three locations along County Road 5 in May 2013 (at 1.5, 3, and 6.5 miles west of Highway 32).


The county landfill east of Crookston often attracts good numbers of gulls during migration. On Highway 2, go 6 miles west from Highway 32 (or 8 miles east from Highway 9) to County Road 44, then 1 mile north and 0.3 mile east.

Memorial Drive Cemetery in Crookston is a good site to check for migrant passerines: from the corner of Highway 2 and Fisher Avenue / County Road 11 on the north side of town, go 0.7 mile south to Memorial Drive, then west into the cemetery at the end of the street.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Climax – 0.5 mile south to 390th Street, then 0.5 mile east to unmarked road and 0.6 mile north.

Crookston – With advance arrangements, the Crookston sewage ponds (site 9) are still accessible: the contact person is currently Pat Kelly at the city water/utilities department, telephone (218) 281-5712 or 281-1232.

East Grand Forks – These ponds are no longer in use with no remaining habitat for water birds.


Fertile – 1 mile south from County Road 1 East on Highway 32, then 2 miles west on Sand Hill Road and 1.2 miles north.

Fisher – 0.8 mile east on Hwy 2 to 340th Avenue, then 1.3 miles south and west to the ponds.  

McIntosh – 0.7 mile east on Highway 2 to 370th Street, then 0.1 mile north to the T and continue 0.2 mile north on the two-track road.

Neilsville – 0.5 mile east on County Road 1, then 0.2 mile south.


Winger – 0.5 mile south and 0.3 mile west.

Norman County (p. 67-68)


There are now prairie-chicken blinds at Neal Wildlife Management Area accessed off County Road 39, with visits arranged by the Twin Valley Heritage & Arts Center: telephone (218) 584-5658. Nearby, prairie-chickens have recently been observed along County Road 28, 1-3 miles north of County Road 39 (see inset A).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Borup – 0.6 mile north on Third Street.

Gary – 1 mile east from Highway 32 on County Road 19, then 0.5 mile south and 0.4 mile east.


Hendrum – 0.5 mile north from County Road 25, then 0.2 mile east.

Perley – 0.8 mile west from Highway 75.

Mahnomen County (p. 69-70)


The woodlands along County Road 3 north of Highway 113 are no longer recommended for Southeast Region specialties. A better site nearby is the Waubun School Section woods on 113: from County Road 3, go 2.4 miles east to the gate at #2541 on the south side of Highway 113.

In northeastern Mahnomen County, Pine Bend Road passes through a good mix of habitats for both migrant and breeding passerines. From Highway 200, go 3.4 miles north on County Road 4, and turn east on Pine Bend Road which curves north for 5.5 miles to the community of Pine Bend.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bejou – 0.2 mile west and 0.3 mile north.

Mahnomen – Amended directions: from the corner of Highways 59 and 200, go 1 block west to Main Street / County Road 10, 1.9 miles south to the cemetery, then bear left (east) and cross the railroad tracks to the gate; for access, the current contact person is Paul Domier at the city utilities department (218 935 2677).

Nay-tah-waush – 0.2 mile west on North Twin Lake Road from the County Road 4 corner, then 1 mile north on Blair Road and east on unmarked dirt road to the ponds.

Becker County (p. 70-71)


In recent years a consistently active Greater Prairie-Chicken lek has been 7 miles north of Audubon in Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge, northeast of the corner of County Road 13 and County Road 106 / 270th Street.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Audubon – 8 blocks north from Highway 10 on County Road 13, 2 blocks west on Plover Street, continue 0.3 mile north on County Road 13, then 0.3 mile west.

Callaway – 0.2 mile south to 280th Street, then 0.4 mile west.


Lake Park – 0.7 mile west from County Road 7 on road along south side of railroad tracks; if road is impassable, go 0.7 mile west from County Road 7 on Highway 10, then 0.5 mile north on 140th Avenue.

Ogema – 1 mile east from Highway 59 on 370th Street.

Ponsford – 0.5 mile north on 485th Avenue, 3 blocks west on County Road 124, 3 blocks north and west to the end of Waboose Avenue, and 0.1 north on dirt road to the ponds.


White Earth – 1 mile west on County Road 34 to fire/ambulance station, then south on driveway behind building.

Wolf Lake – 0.3 mile east on Johnson Street / County Road 40, then 0.1 mile south on unmarked road.

Clay County (p. 72-74)


The prairie-chicken lek along County Road 108 (site A4) is now cropland and mostly inactive; a more consistent lek in recent years has been along the longspur road (site A5) about 1 mile south of the pond.

As shown on the county and inset A maps, the east-west road at the south end of the longspur road (A5) is County Road 26 (not County Road 36 as stated in the text).

Access to the Blazing Star Prairie (site A1) is no longer accessible from County Road 34 on 190th Street; the best access now is by walking east from the two-track road on the north side of Bicentennial Prairie (see inset A).

The dwindling population of Chestnut-collared Longspurs at Felton Prairie may now have reached zero breeding pairs; for the first time ever in 2018 there were no summer reports (and only a few sightings of  a lone migrant in May). The so-called longspur road is now signed as 170th Street.

Spring Prairie Scientific and Natural Area is a new grasslands tract between the Felton Prairie area and Bluestem Prairie. From the corner of Highways 10 and 9, go 3 miles north on 9 to 43rd Avenue, then turn east and this tract will be on the north side of the road in 1-2 miles.  

Among the gulls attracted recently to the county landfill have been California Gulls on two occasions. On Highway 10, go 4 miles west from Hawley (or 2.2 miles east from Buffalo River State Park) to County Road 23, then 2.5 miles south.

The Ulen Project is a recent wetlands restoration by local landowners and Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM). Since 2016, shallow water levels and mudflats have been maintained in spring and have attracted a pair of American Avocets (presumably nesting), plovers, Willet, both godwits, dowitchers, and other shorebirds, plus a good variety of waterfowl. From Ulen, go 4 miles north on Highway 32 to 200th Avenue, and then 1 mile west to the south side of the wetland; the north side of the area on the Norman County line is usually not as good (from 200th, return to Highway 32, go 1 mile north to 210th Avenue and then west).

Besides Ulen City Park (site 8), the area along the Buffalo River east of Buffalo River State Park can also be good for woods birding. From the state park entrance (see inset A), go 3.2 miles east on Highway 10 to County Road 23, then south 1 mile, and turn east just before the railroad tracks on 12th Avenue which passes through the woodlands for the next mile.  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Comstock – 1 mile north on Highway 75 to 150th Avenue, then 0.5 mile east and 0.3 mile south.


Georgetown – 0.5 mile north on Probsfield Street.


Glyndon – 0.5 mile south on Parke Avenue to Seventh Street S.E., then 0.5 mile east to the curve and continue 0.3 mile east.

Hawley – Amended directions: from Highway 10, turn south on County Road 31 / 230th Street on the west side of town, go 1.3 miles and take a sharp left on an inconspicuous two-track road which leads back north past the compost area to the ponds.


Hitterdal – 0.6 mile west to inconspicuous two-track road immediately east of house #25272, then 0.2 mile north.


Moorhead – Municipal ponds still exist behind the water treatment plant: 1 mile north from Highway 10 on Highway 75, then 0.5 mile east on 15th Avenue N., and 0.3 mile north on 28th Street; there is also a series of ponds here from 28th east for 1/2 mile to 34th Street.  (The American Crystal Sugar settling ponds west of 28th and along both sides of Highway 75 remain off-limits.)

Ulen – 1 mile north to 170th Avenue, then 1 mile east.

Wilkin County (p. 74-76)


The roads in the Rothsay area (inset A) and elsewhere in the county are now numbered on street signs: the east-west road by the prairie-chicken lek (site A1) is 190th Street; the parallel road a mile to the south is 200th Street; and the north-south road at the east end of 190th Street is 300th Avenue.

There is a new water impoundment south of Rothsay Wildlife Management Area (inset A): from Rothsay, go 5 miles west on County Road 26 to 290th Avenue, then 1.5 miles south and 0.1 mile east to the north side of the impoundment.  

The best vantage point for Lake Breckenridge (site 3) is now Tom Richels County Park: turn north off County Road 14 a mile east of Highway 75 at 359th Street, and follow the signs to the park.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Campbell – Southeast on Pacific Avenue along west side of railroad tracks to curve at south edge of town, then continue 0.5 mile southeast.


Rothsay – West on Third Avenue N.W., just south of the giant prairie-chicken.

Otter Tail County (p. 76-79)


Inspiration Peak Wayside has extensive deciduous woods which may attract southeastern forest specialties at times, and the peak is as much as 400 feet above the surrounding countryside (an ideal site to scan for raptors and other migrants). From Urbank, go 4.2 miles west on County Road 38, then 0.1 mile north on 435th Avenue to the park entrance.

The heron rookery at Lake Alice in Fergus Falls is no longer active, but there is now another rookery with egrets, cormorants, and a few night-herons in Grotto Park (site of the giant otter statue). From downtown Fergus Falls, follow Lincoln Avenue east across the river where it becomes Sheridan Street and curves south, continue 2 blocks to Vernon Avenue, then 1 block east to Burlington Avenue and south into the park to the rookery along Burlington.  

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Battle Lake – 0.4 mile north from Highway 210 on Highway 78, then 1.2 miles west on County Road 83.


Bluffton – 0.4 mile north and west from Highway 10 on County Road 19, then 0.8 mile west on unsigned Bluff Creek Road.

Dent – Follow County Road 35 a total of 0.6 mile south, west, and south from Highway 108, then west on inconspicuous unmarked road to the gated ponds.

Dalton – 0.1 mile west on Main Street to Cedar Avenue, 0.6 mile northwest to unmarked two-track road, then 0.3 mile north.


Henning – 0.8 mile northeast from Highway 108 on Highway on 210 to County Road 67, then 0.1 mile west and 0.6 mile north.


Parkers Prairie – 1 block south from Highway 235 on Highway 29 to Lake Street, then 0.8 mile west and south.


Perham (ponds south of Highway 10) – 0.1 mile south from Highway 10 on Highway 78, then 0.7 mile east opposite Fort Thunder Road.


Underwood – 0.5 mile east from County Road 35 on Highway 210, then 0.5 mile south.


Urbank – 0.2 mile west on County Road 38.


Vergas – 0.6 mile east on County Road 4, north on Old Detroit Road to first right on 2-track road, then 0.5 mile northeast.

Douglas County (p. 79-80)


Spruce Hill County Park is 1.6 miles south of County Road 14, not 0.7 mile.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Alexandria – The former sewage ponds are no longer in use and have been drained.


Brandon – 1.2 miles east from downtown on Front Street E. and Aldrich Road.


Carlos – 0.3 mile north from County Road 13 on road along west side of railroad tracks.


Evansville – 0.4 mile south on Railroad Street, then bear right to ponds where Railroad turns east.


Kensington – 1.8 miles southeast on Highway 55.


Millerville – 0.6 mile east on County Road 60, then 0.3 mile south and southwest.


Miltona – 0.2 mile northeast on County Road 14 / First Street, then 0.1 mile south and 0.1 mile east on Second Street, and bear left to ponds.


Osakis – 1 block west from County Road 3 on Highway 27, then 1 mile south on Clifford Lake Road.

Grant County (p. 80-82)


Black-crowned Night-Herons apparently no longer nest at Egret Island (site B2). Cattle Egrets possibly still nest there, but they no longer favor the dead-end road north off County Road 54 south of Pelican Lake, a mile west of the county line (see inset B).

The new North Ottawa Impoundment in western Grant County, a large 3-square-mile wetland along the Traverse County line, has been consistently attractive to herons/egrets, shorebirds, and other water birds; it is now considered one of the best birding sites in the entire West Region, as evidenced by recent occurrences of King Rail, Little Blue Heron, Glossy and White-faced ibis, and a total of 30+ shorebird species (including Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Plover, and Whimbrel). Turn off Highway 9 at the county line (6.5 miles northwest of Norcross), jog east 0.1 mile on 230th Street to 340th Avenue, and go 1-3 miles north to the west side of the impoundment; the south side of the impoundment is along 240th Street, the north side along 260th Street, and 250th Street bisects the area in between.

Pine Ridge County Park (site 4) is still worth birding at times but is not as interesting as in former years, primarily due to the removal of many of the conifers. Often more interesting now for migrant passerines is nearby Niemackl Lake County Park: from Herman, go 4 miles southeast on Highway 9 to the signed park entrance on the left.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Barrett – 0.3 mile south from Highway 55 on Highway 59, then 0.4 mile west.


Elbow Lake – 1.5 miles west from Highway 54 on County Road 25 (see inset A).


Hoffman – 0.3 mile south from Highway 27 on Seventh Street N., then 0.3 mile east on Carolina Avenue.

Wendell – 1.2 miles southeast on Soo Avenue / 250th Avenue, then east to ponds on road along north side of railroad tracks.

Traverse County (p. 83-84)


Amended directions to Miller Prairie West: south on County Road 15 for 2 miles from Highway 27, then west 1 mile to the 320-acre tract's northeast corner; turn south for 0.5 mile along the tract's east side, and/or continue west for 1 mile along the north side.


A third area worth birding in the Mud Lake vicinity (see inset A) is White Rock Wildlife Management Area, 2 miles north of the lake on County Road 10 just east of the Red River. There are thickets and planted conifers for migrants, and in dry periods the river's mudflats can attract herons/egrets and shorebirds.

The best wetlands along County Road 2 east of Browns Valley are 7-9 miles east of Hwy 28 (between County Road 3 and 600th Avenue), where there were multiple sightings of White-faced Ibis in 2016. Farther east, there is also a good set of wetlands along a four-mile stretch of County Road 9: from 600th Avenue, continue 6 miles east on County Road 2 / 510th Street, then 1 mile south and 2 miles east to County Road 9, and follow 9 for 1.5 miles north, 1 mile west, and 1.5 miles north.   


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Dumont – 1.2 miles north from County Road 6 on Highway 75, then 0.2 mile east.

Stevens County (p. 84-85)


The Morris Wetlands Management District's 2-mile auto tour road passes by wetlands where water levels are sometimes low enough for shorebirds. The district's visitors center where maps and other information are available is on County Road 10, 3.3 miles east of Morris (turn east at the junction of Highways 9 and 59); the auto tour road starts 0.5 mile farther west.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Chokio – 0.5 mile north from junction of Highway 28 and County Road 13 S.


Hancock – 1.3 miles southeast from downtown on Pacific Avenue / Old Highway 9 along west side of railroad tracks.

Pope County (p. 85)


The northeast part of Lake Minnewaska (inset A) is best scanned along Lakeshore Drive from Minnesota Avenue in Glenwood until Lakeshore joins Highways 28 / 29 farther west in 2.3 miles (or 5.6 miles east of Starbuck). The exotic waterfowl at the former game farm on the north side of Highways 28 / 29 a mile southwest of here (or 4.6 miles east of Starbuck) are now gone; however, the pond there is still shallow enough at times to have mudflats for shorebirds (park across the highway along North Ridge Drive).

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cyrus – 1 mile east on Highway 28.

Lowry – New ponds relocated on 150th Street: 1.4 miles south from Highway 55 on Highway 114, then 1 mile west.

Villard – 2.9 miles west on County Road 28 on north side of town, 3.2 miles south on 190th Avenue, and 0.7 mile east on two-track road along south side of paved biking trail.

Kandiyohi County (p. 87-88)


A new site for Blue Grosbeaks was found in 2018 just southwest of Atwater: from Highway 12, go 3 miles south on County Road 2 to County Road 23, then 1 mile west to 180th Street, and north to the area with gravel pits on both sides of 180th.   

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Blomkest – 3 miles north from Highway 7 on County Road 11, then 0.4 mile west.


Sunburg – 0.7 mile south from Highway 9 on Highway 104, then 0.2 mile west.


Raymond – 0.5 mile north from Highway 23 on County Road 7, then 0.5 mile west.

Roseland – 1 mile north from Highway 7 on County Road 5, then 0.5 mile east.

Swift County (p. 89)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Clontarf – 0.9 mile southeast on Highway 9.

Danvers – West on Minnesota Avenue along railroad tracks on south edge of town, then 0.3 mile south on Minnesota and 0.2 mile east.


Murdoch – 0.4 mile northeast on County Road 33 to 110th Avenue, then 0.2 mile north.

Big Stone County (p. 90-92)

Thielke Lake (site B1) has not been as good for grebes, shorebirds, and other water birds in recent years, probably due to high water levels.

An extensive shallow wetland which is often attractive to herons/egrets and shorebirds is adjacent to the northwest side of Artichoke Lake (site 3): it is along the west side of County Road 25 just south of the lake's public access on 25, and it is also visible along County Road 10 where it turns west from 25.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Odessa – 1.0 mile south from Highway 75 / 7 on County Road 21, then 0.3 mile southwest to the ponds on the unmarked road at the curve in the road.

Lac Qui Parle County (p. 93-96)


The Nature Conservancy tract west of Appleton along Swift County Road 51 (see inset A) no longer exists.


The road which turns northwest off Highway 119 towards the Marsh Lake dam is now numbered 115th Street S.W. (see inset A); the road which goes southwest and dead-ends at the dam is now numbered 100th Street S.W.


In recent years, both Sharp-tailed Grouse (natural range expansion from South Dakota) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (reintroduced) have established leks in Lac Qui Parle and other adjacent counties. One lek where both species have been seen displaying is along the east edge of Plover Prairie (site C2). Another is in southwestern Swift County: from Appleton, go 3 miles west on Highway 7 to County Road 51, then 1.4 miles south on 51 to 90th Street and west a half mile (see Lac Qui Parle County inset A on p. 95).

The Greater Prairie-Chickens introduced at Chippewa Prairie (site A6 in Chippewa County) are now extirpated.

Chippewa County (p. 97)

Wildwood Park in Montevideo includes extensive woodlands and backwaters on the Chippewa River: from downtown, go north on 1st Street to Canton Avenue, 1 block west to Parkview Drive, north under the Highway 29 viaduct to the picnic grounds, then bear right on Forest Street and continue north to the undeveloped park.

Besides Shakopee Lake, two other wetlands can be worth checking: one is 8 miles north of Montevideo along the east side of Highway 29; the other is east of Granite Falls, 1.5 miles north from Highway 212 on Highway 23 and then 1 mile west on 140th Street.

Two new Blue Grosbeak sites were found in 2017 by gravel pit ponds west of Maynard: from downtown,  go 4.2 miles west on Spicer Avenue / 80th Street to 20th Avenue, and 1 mile south to one site; the other is 5.2 miles west from downtown to 10th Avenue, then north about 1/2 mile.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Milan – 0.4 mile east on Highway 40 to County Road 10, then 0.5 mile north and 0.3 mile west.

Renville County (p. 99-102)


Amended directions to the area on the Yellow Medicine County side of the Minnesota River northwest of Granite Falls (see inset C): turn north off Highway 212 on 15th Street (the first street west of the railroad viaduct), go 3 blocks to a T, jog east 1 block to 14th Street, and follow 14th north to its end at 306th Avenue, and 306th comes out on Highway 212, about 4 miles west of town.

The water levels, access, and visibility at the Renville sugar beet ponds (site 5) have not been as good for birds and birders in recent years.

Blue Grosbeaks were found at five sites near Danube in 2014; as is often the case and for reasons unknown, all were at or near gravel pits. Look especially between 1 mile east and 2 miles west of town, between Highway 212 and 840th Avenue (1 mile north of 212).

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Franklin – 1 block south of 5th Street on County Road 5, then 0.2 mile west on unnamed street.

Morton – 1 block south from Highway 19 on Main Street to W. 1st Street, then 0.4 mile west to the end of the street.

Yellow Medicine County (p. 102-103)


Miedd Lake, across the road from Spellman Lake, has become the best wetland in the county in recent years for waders (including ibis), shorebirds, and waterfowl: from Highway 23 in Hanley Falls, go 6.4 miles west on County Road 18, then 1.5 miles south on 450th Street, and 0.2 mile west on 185th Avenue to the unmarked road going south along the east side of the lake.     

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Canby – 0.9 miles northeast from downtown on Highway 75 to County Road 3, then 1.1 miles east. 


Porter – 0.7 mile north on County Road 12 to 170th Avenue, then 0.1 mile west.


St. Leo – 0.5 mile north on County Road 11, then 0.2 mile east.


Wood Lake – 0.5 mile east from County Road 6 on 170th Avenue.

Lincoln County (p. 104-106)

The grassland tracts in the vicinity of County Roads 1 and 15 are now mostly fragmented and not as interesting as in previous years.

The woodlands on the north side of Highway 14 at Hole-in-the-Mountain County Park are often better than those in the main part of the park. From the main park entrance on Highway 14 (0.8 mile west of Highway 75), go 0.8 mile west on 14 to the Horse Trail and Campground sign, turn north and then immediately back east for 0.3 mile to a narrow umarked dirt road on the left, which leads downhill back to the park entrance on Highway 14.    

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Tyler – Amended directions: from Highway 14 on the west side of town, go 0.8 mile north on County Road 18 to the T-intersection with County Road 7, jog left here and then right to continue north on County Road 113 for 0.6 mile to the ponds.

Lyon County (p. 106-108)


The Lincoln-Lyon county line shown on inset B should be located 1 mile to the east.


The Lyon County landfill just north of Black Rush Lake is 1 mile west of Highway 23 on County Road 59 and 0.5 mile north; confirmed records here include California Gull.

Borson's Slough, a wetland in northwestern Lyon County which had been drained several years ago, was restored with marshes and mudflats present in the spring of 2012: from downtown Taunton, go 0.8 mile southeast on Highway 68, then 1.6 miles east on 370th Street.

There is a nice mix of habitats (including a large stand of coniferous trees) at Southwest Minnesota State University's Environmental Learning Area in Marshall which can be worth birding at all times of year. To reach the eastern entrance by the conifers: from the intersection of Highways 23 and 68, go 0.5 mile north on 23 to Tiger Drive, then west to the sign and trailhead at the end of the drive. To reach the south entrance: from the corner of Highways 68 and 23, go 4 blocks west on 68 to Mustang Trail, then north 0.2 mile to the signed trailhead on the left.      


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Garvin – 0.5 mile west from Highway 59 on 2nd Street.

Ghent – 0.5 mile north from Highway 68 on County Road 5, then 0.1 mile east.


Minneota – 1.3 miles north from Highway 68 on County Road 3, then 0.2 mile east.


Russell – 3.2 miles northeast from Highway 91 on Highway 23 to County Road 59, then 1.7 miles west and 0.3 mile south.


Taunton – 0.7 mile southeast on Highway 68 to 120th Avenue, then 0.3 mile north.

Redwood County (p. 108)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Clements – 0.6 mile east on County Road 16, then north on unmarked two-track road.


Lower Sioux Indian Community – 2.5 miles east from Highway 19 / 71 on County Road 2 (see Renville County inset A, p. 101), then 0.3 mile south on Porter Avenue, and 0.2 mile west.


Lucan – 0.5 mile east from north side of town on 250th Street, then 0.4 mile south.


Milroy – 0.5 mile west on County Road 32, then 0.2 mile south.

Morgan – 1.2 miles northwest on Highway 67. 

Redwood Falls – 7 blocks east from the river on Highway 71 / 19 to Swain Street, 4 blocks north to Walnut Street, jog 1/2 block west to Peabody Road, then 0.5 mile north.

Revere – 0.7 mile east on Highway 14, then 0.3 mile south on Garden Avenue.


Vesta – 0.8 mile east from Highway 19 on County Road 30.


Wanda – 1.7 miles north on County Road 17.

Brown County (p. 109-110)


Acadian Flycatchers and other Southeast Region specialties have been recently found northwest of New Ulm along the KC Road on the south side of the Minnesota River, about a mile east of Horseshoe Lake (see inset B): look especially on the south side of the road just east of 210th Avenue.

The best habitat for migrant and nesting woods birds at Flandrau State Park (site C1) is in the vicinity of the primitive campground: take the first right after the contact station, and continue past the main campground to the area just before the gated end of the road.

The correct spelling of the brewery in New Ulm is Schell.

Mound Creek County Park is adjacent to Cottonwood County's Red Rock Falls County Park (see inset B) and has similar potential during migration, plus a water impoundment to attract water birds: from Red Rock Falls, go 1 mile south, 1 mile east, and 0.5 mile north.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Evan – 0.2 mile northwest on Highway 68.

Hanska – 1 mile east on Highway 257 to 155th Avenue, then 0.5 mile north.


Searles – 0.5 mile west on County Road 24, then 0.3 mile north.


Sleepy Eye – The productive and birder-accessible municipal ponds are 2.5 miles south on Highway 4; the Del Monte industrial ponds on Ninth Avenue S.W. are off-limits.

Watonwan County (p. 111)

The county's best wetlands area in recent years is located just south of Madelia, where there are extensive marshes and often mudflats (with records of 25+ shorebird species). From the Highway 15 exit in Madelia, go 2.7 miles south on Highway 60 to 320th Street and turn east along the north (or best) side of the wetlands; the south side of the area can be accessed a mile to the south along 330th Street.  

Eagle Nest County Park, just north of the Highway 30/60 wayside rest, is another site along the Watonwan River attractive to migrant woods birds: from the wayside rest, go 0.2 mile east to County Road 118, then 0.8 mile north.

The Madelia Game Refuge is now signed as "DNR Wildlife Research", and the entrance is 0.3 mile south of Highway 30/60.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Butterfield – These ponds have been relocated: 1.7 miles north of Highway 60 on County Road 5, and visible from the cemetery north of the ponds.

Lewisville – 0.8 mile north on Highway 15 / 30 to 380th Street, then 0.3 mile west.


Ormsby – 1.8 miles north on Highway 4.

Cottonwood County (p. 111-113)


Another name for Regier Slough (see inset A) is Regehr Wildlife Management Area.

Rock Ridge Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, 203 acres of grasslands with rock outcrops, has similar birding potential to Jeffers Petroglyphs (see inset B): from the northwest corner of the Petroglyphs, continue west for 1 mile along the south side of the prairie.

Just east of Windom is Wolf Lake Waterfowl Production Area and the Windom Wetlands Management headquarters, an area with hiking trails, grasslands, and wetlands (sometimes drawn down for shorebirds). From the junction of Highways 60/71 and 62, go 1.4 miles east on 6th Street; en route, also check the conifers in the cemetery on the north side of 6th Street.

There are two sites of interest near Storden (other than its sewage ponds): Dutch Charley County Park along County Road 6, 3 miles west and 3.2 miles north of Stordon (woodlands for migrant passerines); and the waterfowl production area on 320th Street, 1 mile south and 2.5 miles east of Stordon (Great-tailed Grackles in 2016-17).   


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Storden – 0.5 mile south on County Road 5.

Murray County (p. 113-115)

Among this county's many wetlands, three others can be especially worthwhile:

1) The flooded area on both sides of the Lyon-Murray County line, 2.5 miles east of Highway 91 (20+ shorebird species on one day in May 2017, including Western Sandpiper).

2) Slaughter Slough – 2.5 miles east from Currie on Highway 30, then 1.5 - 3.0 miles north on 225th Avenue (Tricolored Heron and White-faced Ibis in April 2017; also extensive grasslands here).  

3) Hiram-Southwick Wildlife Management Area, also called Big Slough – turn south off Highway 59 on unmarked 173rd Avenue, 2.2 miles southeast of Highway 30 junction in Slayton, or 4.2 miles northwest of Avoca (extensive marshes along 173rd).    

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Avoca – 1.5 miles south on Park Avenue / 210th Avenue.

Currie – There are now two sets of sewage ponds: the newer ponds are 1.5 miles east from Main Street / 200th Avenue on Highway 30, then 0.3 mile north; the original ponds are 1 mile east on Highway 30 and 0.2 mile north.

Dundee – At the Murray-Cottonwood county line, go 0.6 mile south from Highway 62 on 300th Avenue; or from Dundee (Nobles County), go 0.3 mile east on 1st Street to 300th Avenue, then 0.4 mile north.   

Pipestone County (p. 116-117)


As they did several summers ago near Cazenovia, Chestnut-collared Longspurs may still breed in northwestern Pipestone County: some were found in 2006 in an Altona Township pasture north of Cazenovia. Because the site is on private land, the exact location was not given, but the best potential habitat may be in the 3 x 3 mile area bounded on the east by Highway 75, on the north by the Lincoln County line, on the west by County Road 15, and on the south by County Road 10.


There is a small flood-control reservoir bordered by grasslands just south of Ruthton which might be worth checking for marshes or mudflats, depending on water levels. From Ruthton, go 2 miles south on Highway 23, and turn east at the sign for the Minett Krintz Reservoir, just north of the County Road 18 junction.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Holland – 0.2 mile south on County Road 16, then 0.1 mile west.

Pipestone – Birders may access the sewage ponds (site 2) by contacting the city's Water & Wastewater Department in advance at 507 825 3324; the current contact person is Joel Adelman.

Woodstock – 0.5 mile east from County Road 18, then 0.5 mile south at Palmer Street.

Rock County (p. 117-119)


The road to the gravel pit ponds just south of Blue Mounds (B2) has now been gated, but birders are still permitted to walk in and scan the ponds as long as they stay on the road. The road east of the ponds leading to the woods along the Rock River is no longer maintained, but walk-in access is still possible.

The rocky pastures northwest of Blue Mounds (B2) now comprise Touch the Sky Prairie National Wildlife Refuge; information kiosks and parking are located along 171st Street, 3.2 and 3.7 miles west of Highway 75, and another kiosk with parking is 1 mile to the north along 181st Street.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Jasper – 1 mile south, 0.7 mile west, and 0.2 mile north.


Luverne – Birding access to the former sewage ponds at Luverne (site B3) is still available with advance permission from the Luverne Chamber of Commerce: e-mail, phone (507) 283 4061. After contacting the Chamber (and please do not enter the site without permission), park on the north side of County Road 4 at a small pull-out 0.1 mile west of the Gold'n Plump plant (do not enter or park on their property), cross over the railroad tracks, and enter the ponds through the fence opening by the northwest corner of the Gold'n Plump parking lot.


Steen – 0.4 mile south on County Road 11.

Nobles County (p. 119-120)


Sunrise Prairie is no longer a county park and is too small an area for birding.


In the recreation area at the south side of Lake Bella (see inset A), be sure to check the extensive stands of planted conifers during migration/winter for roosting owls, crossbills, etc.


Alternate directions to the county park at Indian Lake: from the south side of Lake Bella, go 0.5 mile east, 2 miles north, 5 miles east, and 1.5 miles south. Be sure to check the heavily wooded south end of Indian Lake for migrants: follow the road east through the county park until it ends.


The power plant in Worthington no longer exists, although an aerator at Okabena Lake (see inset A) can result in open water for late fall-early spring water birds.

Herlein-Boote Wildlife Management Area includes a large wetland bordered by thickets and planted conifers which attracts a good variety of migrants and breeding birds: go 0.6 mile northwest from Interstate 90 on Highway 266, then 3 miles west on 240th Street and 0.5 mile north.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bigelow – 0.5 mile north to 330th Street and west across the railroad tracks.

Ellsworth – 0.8 mile west from Highway 91 on Seventh Avenue / 330th Street.


Leota – 0.2 mile west from County Road 19 North on County Road 20, then 0.2 mile north.


Lismore – 0.5 mile south from County Road 16 on Highway 91, then 0.3 mile west.


Wilmont – 0.7 mile east to County Road 13, then 0.5 mile north and 0.1 mile east.


Worthington – The best access to the ponds along Highway 60 is 0.9 mile northeast of Interstate 90: turn east here, drive in 0.2 mile and park, and ask at the office for permission to walk in. If no one is present to grant you access, another access with limited visibility is 2 miles northeast from Interstate 90 on Highway 60 to County Road 36, then east across railroad tracks and 0.5 mile south on Sundberg Avenue.

Another set of Worthington sewage ponds is located 0.5 mile north from Interstate 90 on Highway 59, then 0.5 mile east on 240th Street.

Jackson County (p. 121-123)


Amended directions to the mudflats in the Heron Lake Outlet stream (shown but not labeled on inset A): from Highway 60, go 1.3 miles south and east on County Road 24 to the junction with a north-south road; from here, one view of the outlet is 0.4 mile east, and the other is 0.3 mile south.


The point for birding in Sandy Point County Park (see inset A) is accessed next to the observation tower, before you reach the end of the park road. There is now access to another good point just north of the park: follow the dead-end road which turns north by the park entrance.

The Christiania Waterfowl Production Area has been a good wetlands/grasslands area in recent years, as evidenced by the Black-necked Stilt nesting record, plus sightings of American Avocet, Hudsonian Godwit, Least Bittern, Cattle Egret, and White-faced Ibis. From Interstate 90, go 12.3 miles north on Highway 75, and turn north on 520th Avenue for 1 mile.


The wooded road along the Des Moines River just northwest of Jackson is now numbered 530th Avenue (see inset C).


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Okabena – 0.5 mile south on County Road 9 to 860th Street, then 0.5 mile west and 0.2 mile north.


Round Lake (town in Nobles County; ponds in Jackson County) – South from downtown on Main Street to Sixth Avenue, then 0.5 mile east to curve and continue east on gated road.

Martin County (p. 123-124)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Dunnell – 0.5 mile south on Highway 4, then 0.2 mile east.

Granada – 0.5 mile south to 140th Street, then 0.5 mile east and 0.3 mile north.

Boldface type indicates new revisions in 5 counties since the previous update (October 2018).

Gerry Hoekstra photo