Watching birds from the water or on foot is rewarding at the Riverway. Learn why over 240 species of birds are found here and what specialty species you might see.
A Bird Checklist (pdf) features information about nesting species and general locations.
Visit the NPSpecies database for a species list. Select the species in question using the 'Category' drop-down box and enter 'Search'.
Birding Hot SpotsWhile the entire Riverway is a great place to see bald eagles and great blue herons, some areas are worth noting as great birding spots.
St. Croix River from Gordon Dam to Highway 8
St. Croix River from Highway 8 to Boom Site Landing
Birding Throughout the SeasonsSpring: The most spectacular birding is during ice breakup when bald eagles and waterfowl are migrating in numbers. The north-south alignment of the St. Croix is a natural corridor for most other migrants, especially woodland species.
Summer: Early June is the best chance to see what a great breeding area the Riverway becomes. One-hundred and sixty species are known to nest here and early morning paddles are filled with the sounds of birds.
Fall: Watch for kettles (flocks of circling, often rising birds) of migrating hawks and eagles along the southern bluffs of the St. Croix. Trumpeter swans flock together on the rivers. Some swan sport neck collars acquired in state banding activities.
Winter: Trumpeter swans and bald eagles are present near open water. The leaf-less riverine habitats are great places to see resident woodpeckers and songbirds.
Last updated: December 7, 2020