While hunting grouse in the fall is the most popular of small game hunting activities in Minnesota, there is another way to experience the elusive bird in the Spring. Between mid April and the end of May grouse perform their mating ritual referred to as "drumming." It's when the male grouse shows off his stuff by standing on a fallen log and flaps his wings vigorously which makes a distinctive sound that can be heard by humans and the female grouse as well. Hiking trails in the Rainy Lake area near International Falls have abundant places where the grouse can be heard. While their feathers blend into the woods around them, making them almost invisible, their drumming reveals their whereabouts. Hunters can note these locations for better success in the fall and nature lovers can enjoy the effort of catching site of a male doing his best to attract a mate. This is hiking with a purpose. Maps of hiking trails can be obtained at area lodges as well as the Voyageurs National Park.
Birds can make the winter season more entertaining; the snow is a pleasant backdrop to their flights of fancy. Providing food for birds will bring them to your yard, and it will aid in the birds' survival.
Chickadees and cardinals are permanent residents. Winter visitors of boreal regions are unpredictable.
Species that fly far from their normal ranges to find food:
Winter Bird Feeding: large seeds, small seeds, and suet.
Birds that enjoy sunflower seeds:
Peanuts are enjoyed by:
Seeds and mixes
Millet is enjoyed by:
Suet in winter offers an energy boost to birds when they need it most.
Use onion sacks, wire mesh feeders or placed on open platforms.
Peanut butter may be smeared on pine cones for a yummy treat!
Use a heating element to keep water from freezing. Bird baths with heating elements can be found at bird-feeding supply stores.
Keep feeders closer to the windows to prevent collisions. Reducing the gap makes it harder for birds to build up speed.
A few years ago, a different kind of family moved onto a quiet street near the Minneapolis airport. For weeks, the parents hustled and bustled to build their home. Sometimes they yelled to each other loudly. They always ate outside but never cleaned up afterward. People in nearby houses welcomed the family anyway. They got used to the family’s strange habits. What else could they expect? The new neighbors were bald eagles.Eagles and other raptors are birds of prey, which means they hunt for fish, mice, smaller birds, or other prey to eat.Raptors have always been symbols of wild places. Native people and early settlers living in the Midwest often saw these powerful birds soaring and swooping over forests, grasslands, and waterways. Today you might expect to see eagles, hawks, falcons, and other raptors when you go camping or ca-noeing or hiking in state parks and forests. Did you know raptors are also at home in urban places—cities, towns, and suburbs? Don’t be surprised if you spot a bald eagle skimming over a city lake to grab a fish. Keep an eye out for a Cooper’s hawk feeding chicks in its nest in a tree alongside a busy street. You might even see a peregrine falcon—the world’s fastest creature—perched atop a church steeple. In this story, you’ll learn more about these three raptors: bald eagle, Cooper’s hawk, and peregrine falcon.