How To Bird Watch in the Winter in Central MN
Bird watching is gaining in popularity in Central Minnesota. Jerry Carlson is a longtime fan of the outdoors and that includes bird watching. He joined me on WJON to get into detail on the dos and don'ts when it comes to bird watching. Carlson says the types of birds we see in Central Minnesota varies greatly depending on the time of year. He says he's been tracking the types of birds he and his wife, Collett see.
Carlson says they can always expect to see on a typical winter day the following 6 bird species at their feeders: a chickadee, pine siskin, mud hatch, downy wood pecker, hairy wood pecker and red bellied wood pecker. Others they see often include a gold finch, a purple finch, cardinals, the dark eyed junco, blue jays and the pileated wood pecker. Carlson says they tend to see 10 to 12 different types of birds daily in the winter. He says that number increases to 16 to 18 different types in the spring and summer. Carlson explains it was unusual this past November to see orioles through Thanksgiving. He says they are usually gone by the first of September.
Carlson and his wife have identified 109 different bird species on their wooded property south of St. Cloud. He says there are some birds that don't nest in the area but migrate through that they can see sometimes.
Carlson has suggestions on how to feed birds. He says you should offer feed to birds based on the type of birds you want around. Carlson says birds in the winter need more food because they are expending so much energy just trying to stay warm. He says black oil sunflower seeds is excellent to feed birds and encourages the chips and hearts where the husks are already off because they leave less mess around the feeder. Squirrels, rabbits and deer tend to clean up some of the seed mess around his feeders.
If you'd like to listen to parts 1 and 2 of my conversation with Jerry Carlson it is available below.