North Shore and Vicinity Professional Review and Guide
"Lake Superior’s North Shore and the region surrounding it could be viewed as two separate life zones. The interior of the region, behind the steep ridge that guards the lake’s northwest side, enjoys the shortest summers, endures the longest winters, and records the state’s coldest temperatures. The town of Embarrass commonly posts the coldest winter temps of any Minnesota city. This truly is the heart of the boreal region, where spruce and fir dominate, and species such as Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Red Crossbills and White-winged Crossbills, and Evening Grosbeaks are counted as regulars.
On the lake side the climate changes, and the bird list follows—dramatically. Although it gathers a shifting ice pack, Lake Superior seldom, if ever, freezes solid. Its waters remain relatively cold in summer and warm in winter, compared with the climate of the land mass; its vast bulk extends its influence inland, causing cool summers and relatively mild winters with heavy snowfall. Rain and fog are common in spring and fall. The lake attracts late-migrant gulls, loons, and sea ducks in early winter and shorebirds in spring and fall; the shoreline forests around Grand Marais host Whip-poor-wills."