St. James Hotel

Your Guide to the Birds in Minnesota

Minnesota is a birding paradise. Not only are we located on an internationally significant flyway, but we also have a combination of prime bird habitats. The historic St. James Hotel has hosted guests to Red Wing, MN, in luxury since 1875. There are plenty of fantastic bird-watching spots in our hotel’s surrounding area in Red Wing, MN. 


The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is just an hour’s drive from the St. James Hotel, where over 200 species of birds can be found. The Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from St. James Hotel and is recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as a Globally Important Bird Area. The Minnesota Valley River Birding Trail is a little under an hour’s drive from the St. James Hotel and has many fantastic birdwatching spots. Book your stay today to enjoy viewing the many wonderful birds in Minnesota.

Our 9 Favorite Birds in Minnesota

  1. Bald Eagle: This United States emblem is one of the most rare birds and can be found during your stay in Minnesota. In fact, Red Wing, Minnesota, is one of the best places to see Bald Eagles during the winter.
  2. Canada Goose: You can find these birds everywhere in Minnesota. Although these are one of the most common species in Minnesota, something special about them is they mate for life. 
  3. Common Loon: We couldn’t make a list of birds in Minnesota without listing the official state bird. The bones of most birds are light, but Loons have solid bones that give them enough weight to dive 250 feet into the water for food.
  4. Mallard Duck: This is among the most popular birds in Minnesota for waterfowl hunters and birdwatchers. The male mallards are lovely with their emerald green heads and white collars.
  5. Wood Duck: This is a colorful bird you can find  swimming in Minnesota lakes. For a while, they were almost extinct, but conservation efforts have brought their population numbers back up.
  6. Eastern Bluebird: With their beautiful songs and bright blue colors, these are one of the most admired birds in Minnesota. They can be found in every Minnesota county.
  7. Trumpeter Swan: This is one of the most elegant but endangered birds in Minnesota. While it once was a common bird in Minnesota, it became overhunted in the 1800s.
  8. Sandhill Crane: This is one of the most large birds in Minnesota. They are closely related to the endangered Whooping Crane and have been used in conservation efforts to help guide young Whooping Cranes south during the winter.
  9. Snowy Owl: These are gorgeous birds you can find during the winter. A fun fact for Harry Potter fans is that his owl, Hedwig, is a female snowy owl.

Book your stay today at St. James Hotel!

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