Common Riverway Species
You are likely to see these species on most stretches of the Riverway and during most seasons of year with the exception of winter.
- Over 30 pairs are known to nest on or near the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.
- Large concentrations of eagles heading north are common after ice breakup.
- Eagles are abundant at times with 30-40 birds seen per hour in St. Croix Falls during fall migration.
- You can see occasional year-round resident birds near open water, especially between Highway 8 and the hydroelectric dam.
- Osprey breed within the park boundaries, building nests similar to eagle nests.
- Watch for interactions between ospreys and bald eagles.
Great Blue Heron
- Swimming groups, containing multiple females with broods of their young, are common on the rivers.
- They dive for fish and are sometimes called "sawbills" because of their serrated beaks.
- Several heron rookeries are located on or near the rivers.
- Watch for them stalking prey near the shoreline.
- These large birds gather over the dam in St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls, riding the thermal air currents as they rise.
- They hold their wings in a "V" and tip from side to side as they soar.