Photo courtesy of Diane Madsen.
Birding in winter in Bloomington
Bird-watchers flock to Bloomington year-round. In winter, birds are easier to see and hear. Fewer leaves are on the trees and bird calls and other sounds carry further in the cold weather. The Minnesota River is a popular place for watching and photographing birds. Abundant City parks with lakes, creeks and marshes provide additional opportunities.
“There’s a lot to see. I just enjoy the beauty of nature,” Bloomington resident Diane Madsen said. “It’s a really cool hobby. It’s kind of taken over my life.”
Madsen goes out five times a week and belongs to four online birding groups to get the latest information on rare birds in the area. Birders are often passionate about their hobby, track bird sightings and compare notes with others. At its basic level, bird-watching is free although some birders have cameras and binoculars which can be costly.
Want to learn more about bird-watching? Bloomington Parks and Recreation has Bird-watching for Beginners as a get-outside activity at blm.mn/rec-online. Bloomington community groups which promote birding in their missions include the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, blm.mn/mvnwr, MRVAC- Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter, blm.mn/audubon, and Urban Bird Collective, blm.mn/ubc.