Heron Lake and Vicinity

Heron Lake, Minnesota

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Jackson County’s Heron Lake owns a storied past when it comes to birds and birders. The Sioux referred to this lake as “Hokabena,” “the nesting place of herons.” In addition to Trumpeter Swans, Heron Lake once boasted nesting Whitefaced Ibis and American White Pelican. Those species persevered into this century, but eventually ceased breeding at the lake. This was also a fabled migratory stop for great flocks of Canvasbacks for many decades. Although still a great birding site, Heron Lake has suffered from habitat alteration. Water is both channeled into and pumped out of the lake, causing water levels to fluctuate with the weather. Key birds: American White Pelican, Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Franklin’s Gull, Forster’s Tern, Marsh Wren. Don’t miss: Duck Lake, Lindgren-Traeger Bird Sanctuary.
Birding Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Minnesota

by Jay Michael Strangis (Falcon Guides)

Jackson County’s Heron Lake owns a storied past when it comes to birds and birders. The Sioux referred to this lake as “Hokabena,” “the nesting place of herons.”

In addition to Trumpeter Swans, Heron Lake once boasted nesting Whitefaced Ibis and American White Pelican. Those species persevered into this century, but eventually ceased breeding at the lake. This was also a fabled migratory stop for great flocks of Canvasbacks for many decades. Although still a great birding site, Heron Lake has suffered from habitat alteration. Water is both channeled into and pumped out of the lake, causing water levels to fluctuate with the weather.

Key birds: American White Pelican, Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Franklin’s Gull, Forster’s Tern, Marsh Wren. Don’t miss: Duck Lake, Lindgren-Traeger Bird Sanctuary.

©  Jay Michael Strangis/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Heron Lake
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 1 day
Best Times: Best March-June; September-October
Local Contacts: Timber Lake Wildlife Management Area; Kilen Woods State Park
Local Maps: Minnesota Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Heron Lake and Vicinity

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Apr 2018