Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Zimmerman, Minnesota

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For anyone who has seen elk herds in the oak brush openings and on the aspen parkland slopes of Colorado, it’s not hard to picture elk in Minnesota. Explorer Zebulon Pike wrote about the herds he encountered in 1805. The first map of the Minnesota Territory, in 1850, named the Elk River and Elk Lake, just east of what today is the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. Many people associate elk with the forested mountains of the West, but they actually are a prairie animal, whose high-pitched breeding whistle (or bugle) evolved as a means of communication over open country, where such sound frequencies carry farthest. Key birds: Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Whip-poor-will, Western Kingbird, Northern Shrike (winter), Lark Sparrow, Dickcissel, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow. Don’t miss: Refuge Auto Tour Route (Sandhill Cranes, late October). This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.
Birding Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Minnesota

by Jay Michael Strangis (Falcon Guides)

For anyone who has seen elk herds in the oak brush openings and on the aspen parkland slopes of Colorado, it’s not hard to picture elk in Minnesota. Explorer Zebulon Pike wrote about the herds he encountered in 1805. The first map of the Minnesota Territory, in 1850, named the Elk River and Elk Lake, just east of what today is the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. Many people associate elk with the forested mountains of the West, but they actually are a prairie animal, whose high-pitched breeding whistle (or bugle) evolved as a means of communication over open country, where such sound frequencies carry farthest.

Key birds: Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Whip-poor-will, Western Kingbird, Northern Shrike (winter), Lark Sparrow, Dickcissel, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow. Don’t miss: Refuge Auto Tour Route (Sandhill Cranes, late October). This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.

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

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Zimmerman
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 1 day
Best Times: Best mid-April-early June; October-mid-November
Local Contacts: Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
Local Maps: Minnesota Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

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Apr 2018