With over 400 bird species in Minnesota, including those that have migrated back from their winter homes, summer is a great time to get outside and view our feathered neighbors. Want to learn how to attract birds to your yard? The DNR has developed many books that can help you including: Wild About Birds, Landscaping for Wildlife and Woodworking for Wildlife (visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/books/index.html).
We also have resources for educators, from a loon activity trunk to bird related curriculum, Flying WILD, through Project WILD. Even large business owners can help birds by participating in the Lights Out program. Consider heading out to a free Wildlife Management Area or Scientific and Natural Area and explore some new places. For those who are really into birds, DNR needs your help observing breeding birds and loons.
Get Kids Outdoors Tip
Bird watching is a fun and easy thing to do with kids. You can find many birds right outside your front door with little or no equipment needed. Learn more about the basics of bird watching at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/young_naturalists/birding/index.html. Before you head out learn a few bird calls too. Often you hear a bird but never see it! Check out this really cool interactive Minnesota bird sounds poster at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/bird_songs_interactive.html
Did you know there is a bird that nests and roosts (sleeps) in brick chimneys? Chimney Swifts have just returned to Minnesota from South America. Watch at dusk for fast darting dark colored birds diving into chimneys, unlike bats that would be flying out. Find out more at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/chimney_swift/lifehistory
For more information on DNR education programs and resources visit www.mndnr.gov/education or seek.minnesotaee.org