Birds of Minnesota. Laura Kienlen Andy Bushell. 21 Common Birds. Common Loon (Gavia immer) Food Sources: Fish and aquatic insects
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Male (left) Female (right)
Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)
Found in the summer in all biomes
Eats insects and is about 5 inches long
Likes shrubby gardens near water.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)
Found in the summer in the Northern Coniferous Forest and can be seen in migration through all of Minnesota.
They are 5-6” long and their diet consists of insects and berries.
Male Female ->
Black-crowned night heron (Nyctiorax nycticorax)
About 22-27” with a 3 ½ foot wingspan. They eat fish and aquatic insects and are most active during dawn/dusk. Can be found in parts of the Prairie Grassland and Eastern Deciduous Forest biomes.
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
About 38” with a 4 ½ foot wingspan. They eat fish, aquatic insects, frogs, and crayfish. They spear fish with their sharp bill and can be found in parts of the Prairie Grassland and Eastern Deciduous Forest biomes.
Eats seeds, insects, fruit, and leaf buds and can be found in
the Northern Coniferous Forest biome. About 16-19”.
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Eats insects, seeds, and fruit. The male is about 30-36” in length and the female about 20-25”, both including the tail. They can be found in Prairie Grassland and Eastern Deciduous Forest Biomes.
Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)
Found in the Prairie Grassland biome of the state. This bird is about 17” and eats insects and seeds. It is well known for its incredible mating dance.
This bird resides in the Prairie Grassland biome and is about 17-20” long with a wingspan of about 3 ½ feet. Prairie falcons eat other birds. They chase them in the air, then capture them on the ground. They also eat small mammals and the young eat insects. They make a “kree-kree-kree” call.
Being the rarest bird of prey in Minnesota, Peregrines live near cliffs, bluffs, and city skyscrapers and bridges during the nesting season. They are found in a small part of the Coniferous Forest, but mostly in the Eastern Deciduous Forest. They are about 16-20 inches long and make a “cuck cuck cuck” sound. Peregrines mainly prey on ducks, pigeons, and other birds. They sometimes eat small mammals or insects such as beetles, dragonflies, or butterflies.
Eastern Screech Owl
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
About 20-24” with a 3 ½ foot wingspan. Diet consists of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. This owl hunts during the day and has no horns or ear tufts. Found mostly in the Northern Coniferous Forest and sounds like a dog barking before it hoots “who-cooks-for-you”.
Eastern-Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
About 9” with a 20” wingspan. Can be either gray and white or a rusty color depending on the color of its surrounding habitat. Found in the Eastern Deciduous Forest or Prairie Grassland biomes and eats large insects, small mammals, birds, and snakes. The only small owl with ear tufts and is active at dusk making a noise like a screeching call.
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
About 20-25” with a 3 ½ foot wingspan.
They eat mammals, birds, snakes, and insects.
Has ear tufts and is know as the “Flying Tiger”.
Can be found in every biome in the state and makes
the common “Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo” call.
Male (left) Female (right) Great Horned Owl
Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Can be found in every biome in the state and eats insects, fruit, seeds, and can actually be hand fed. About 5” long and has the very common summer calls of “Chika-dee-dee-dee” and “Fee-bee”.
Boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus)
These birds are mostly found in the Northern Coniferous Forest and are about 12.5 to 14.5 centimeters in length. Their call sounds husky, and is often referred to as “tsik-a-dee-dee” and they mainly eat insects and seeds.
Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Can be found year round in the southeastern part of the state, and mostly found in the Eastern Deciduous Forest biome, but can be found across the whole state during the summer. About 8 ½ inches in length and eats seeds and insects and also enjoys living by shallow water.
Yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
About 9-11” in length and eats seeds and insects. Larger than the Red-winged blackbird and summer in the Prairie Grassland and Eastern Deciduous Forest biomes. They have a low hoarse call and like deep water marshes as opposed to the shallow preferred by the Red-winged blackbird.
Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
About 4 ½ inches in length, smaller than the White-breasted nuthatch. Found in the Northern Coniferous Forest and eats insects, seeds, and from feeders. Will often wedge a seed in a crack of a tree in order to get the seed open.
White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
About 5-6 inches in length and feeds on insects, seeds, and at feeders. The bill is slightly upturned and the bird will crawl down the tree in search of food. The common summer call “Whi-whi” can be heard. Can be found year-round in all biomes, but mostly the Eastern Deciduous Forest and Prairie Grassland.