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Bird Checklists of the United States

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Bloomington, Minnesota


Pileated Woodpeckers are shy and infrequently seen. These crow-sized birds are building contractors for other animals. Their roosting holes become homes for squirrels, Wood Ducks, and other cavity-nesting species.

Like most units of the 93-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System, Minnesota Valley attracts an international clientale. Nighthawks, wood thrushes, all of our vireos, three-fourths of our warblers, and another 32 species of land birds that use this refuge spend nine months every year in Latin American tropical forests. Those forests are being decimated. If they disappear, so will many of "our" birds.

Breeding and wintering areas have been identified for most North American birds. Linkage habitats and critical stopover areas are not as well known. Refuge managers use prescribed burns, water level manipulation and other techniques to maintain prairie, marshes and bottomland forests. This habitat matrix attracts about 226 bird species to the refuge each year. One hundred eighteen are known or presumed to nest here.

If you see an unlisted species, or observe changes in seasonal status, please let the refuge know so that we can update our records and future birds lists.


Symbols used are as follows:

Sp — March-May
 S — June-August
 F — September-November
W — December-February

a — abundant: common species that is very numerous
c — common: certain to be seen or heard in suitable habitat, not large in numbers
u — uncommon: present but not always seen
o — occasional: seen only a few times during the season
r — rare: seen every 2 to 5 years
x — accidental: seen only once or twice


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon o - o -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c c - ___ Horned Grebe u - r - ___ Red-necked Grebe r - r -
PELICANS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican u - u r
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant c c c r
HERONS AND BITTERNS Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* o o o - ___ Least Bittern* u u u - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c r ___ Great Egret* c c c - ___ Green Heron* u u u - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* u u u -
VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture u u u -
SWANS, GEESE AND DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Greater White-fronted Goose r - r - ___ Snow Goose o - o - ___ Canada Goose* c c c c ___ Tundra Swan u - u r ___ Wood Duck* c u c r ___ Gadwall c - u o ___ American Wigeon c - c - ___ American Black Duck u r u u ___ Mallard* a a a a ___ Blue-winged Teal* c u c - ___ Northern Shoveler c o c - ___ Northern Pintail o - u r ___ Green-winged Teal u - u r ___ Canvasback u - u r ___ Redhead u r o r ___ Ring-necked Duck c - u r ___ Greater Scaup r - r - ___ Lesser Scaup c - u r ___ Bufflehead c - c - ___ Common Goldeneye c - c c ___ Hooded Merganser* c o u - ___ Common Merganser c - c c ___ Red-breasted Merganser o - o - ___ Ruddy Duck* u r u -
HAWKS AND EAGLES Sp S F W ___ Osprey o - o - ___ Bald Eagle* c u c u ___ Northern Harrier o - o - ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u - u o ___ Cooper's Hawk* u o u o ___ Northern Goshawk - - r r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* r - r - ___ Broad-winged Hawk o r o - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c c c u ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - o o
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel* c c c u ___ Peregrine Falcon* u u u u
UPLAND GAME BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Wild Turkey* u u u u
RAILS AND COOTS Sp S F W ___ Virginia Rail* u u u - ___ Sora* c u u - ___ Common Moorhen r r r - ___ American Coot* a a a r
CRANES Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane r - - -
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover r - r - ___ Killdeer* c c c - ___ American Avocet r - r - ___ Greater Yellowlegs u - o - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u r o - ___ Solitary Sandpiper c - u - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c u u - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper o - o - ___ Least Sandpiper u r u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper o - o - ___ Dunlin r - r - ___ Stilt Sandpiper o - o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher r - - - ___ Common Snipe* o r r r ___ American Woodcock* u r o - ___ Wilson's Phalarope r - r -
GULLS AND TERNS Sp S F W ___ Franklin's Gull r - o - ___ Bonaparte's Gull o - o - ___ Ring-billed Gull a u a o ___ Herring Gull u - u u ___ Thayer's Gull - - o o ___ Iceland Gull - - o o ___ Lesser Black-backed Gull - - - r ___ Glaucous Gull o - - o ___ Caspian Tern o r o - ___ Forster's Tern* u u u - ___ Black Tern* u u u -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* u u u u ___ Mourning Dove* c c c o
CUCKOOS AND ROADRUNNERS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* o o o - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo^ o o o -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* r r r r ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Snowy Owl - - - r ___ Barred Owl u u u u ___ Long-eared Owl - - - o ___ Short-eared Owl - - r r ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl - - - r
NIGHTHAWKS AND NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* u u u - ___ Whip-poor-will r - r -
SWIFTS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift* c c c -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* u u u -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* u u u r
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* u u u - ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c u u u ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker* u o u - ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Northern Flicker* c c c r ___ Pileated Woodpecker* u u u u
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher o - o - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee u u u - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher r - r - ___ Alder Flycatcher r - r - ___ Willow Flycatcher u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher c u u - ___ Eastern Phoebe* u u u - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* u u u - ___ Eastern Kingbird* u u u -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike o - o u
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Bell's Vireo* r r r - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* u u u - ___ Blue-headed Vireo u - u - ___ Warbling Vireo c c c - ___ Philadelphia Vireo r - r - ___ Red-eyed Vireo c c c -
JAYS, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* a a a a
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark - o - -
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin* o o o - ___ Tree Swallow* c c c - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* c u u - ___ Bank Swallow* u c u - ___ Cliff Swallow* u u u - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
CHICKADEES AND TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* a a a a
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o r o o ___ White-breasted Nuthatch* c c c c
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper u - u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ House Wren* c c u - ___ Winter Wren o - o - ___ Sedge Wren* u u u - ___ Marsh Wren* u u u -
KINGLETS AND GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u - u u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - u - ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* u u u -
THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird* u u u - ___ Veery o - o - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush o - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u o ___ Wood Thrush o o o - ___ American Robin* a a a u
MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* c c c - ___ Brown Thrasher* u u u -
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c c
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing* u u u o
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler r r r - ___ Golden-winged Warbler r r r - ___ Tennessee Warbler c - c - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler c - c - ___ Northern Parula o - o - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler u r u - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Cape May Warbler o - o - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler r - r - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler a - a r ___ Black-throated Green Warbler u - u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler u - u - ___ Pine Warbler r - r - ___ Palm Warbler c - c - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - u - ___ Cerulean Warbler r r r - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u - u - ___ American Redstart* c c c - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* o o o - ___ Ovenbird u o u - ___ Northern Waterthrush u - u - ___ Connecticut Warbler r - r - ___ Mourning Warbler o - o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - u - ___ Canada Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat r r r -
TANAGER Sp S F W ___ Scarlet Tanager* u r u -
SPARROWS, BUNTINGS AND GROSBEAKS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Towhee o o o - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c c ___ Chipping Sparrow* c c c - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow* c u c - ___ Field Sparrow* c u c r ___ Vesper Sparrow* o o o - ___ Lark Sparrow o o o - ___ Savannah Sparrow* u u u - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* o o o - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow r - r - ___ Fox Sparrow u - u - ___ Song Sparrow* c c c r ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u - ___ Swamp Sparrow* u u u - ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c r ___ Harris' Sparrow o - - - ___ White-crowned Sparrow u - u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c c
CARDINALS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak* c c c - ___ Indigo Bunting* c c c - ___ Dickcissel* o o o -
BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink u u u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a u ___ Eastern Meadowlark u u u - ___ Western Meadowlark r r r - ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* u u u - ___ Rusty Blackbird o - o r ___ Brewer's Blackbird o - o - ___ Common Grackle* a a a o ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* a a c o ___ Orchard Oriole r r r - ___ Baltimore Oriole* u u u -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Purple Finch o - o o ___ House Finch* a a a c ___ Red Crossbill - - - r ___ White-winged Crossbill - - - r ___ Common Redpoll r - r o ___ Pine Siskin o - o o ___ American Goldfinch* c c c c
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* a a a a
ACCIDENTALS TO THE REFUGE Sp S F W ___ Eared Grebe x x - - ___ Western Grebe x - - - ___ Snowy Egret - x - - ___ Little Blue Heron x - - - ___ Cattle Egret x - - - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron x - - - ___ Tricolored Heron x - - - ___ White-faced Ibis x - - - ___ Whooper Swan x x x x ___ Mute Swan x x x x ___ Trumpter Swan x - x - ___ Cinnamon Teal x - - - ___ Harlequin Duck - - x - ___ Surf Scoter x - - - ___ White-winged Scoter x - x - ___ Long-tailed Duck x - - x ___ Mississippi Kite x - - - ___ Golden Eagle x - - - ___ Merlin x - - - ___ Prairie Falcon - - x - ___ Gray Partridge x x x x ___ Ruffed Grouse x x x x ___ Northern Bobwhite x x x x ___ King Rail - x - - ___ American Golden-Plover x - x - ___ Piping Plover x - x - ___ Willet x - x - ___ Upland Sandpiper x x x - ___ Hudsonian Godwit x - x - ___ Marbled Godwit - x - - ___ Ruddy Turnstone x - x - ___ Sanderling x - x - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper x x - - ___ Baird's Sandpiper x - x - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper x - x - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher x - x - ___ Black-necked Stilt x - - - ___ Red-necked Phalarope x - x - ___ Glaucous-winged Gull - - x - ___ Great Black-backed Gull - - - x ___ Black-legged Kittiwake - - - x ___ Common Tern x - x - ___ Great Gray Owl - - - x ___ Western Kingbird x x x - ___ Loggerhead Shrike x x x - ___ White-eyed Vireo x - - - ___ Tufted Titmouse x x x x ___ Carolina Wren x - x - ___ Rock Wren x - - - ___ Bohemian Waxwing x - x x ___ Louisiana Waterthrush x - - - ___ Hooded Warbler x - - - ___ Summer Tanager x - - - ___ Henslow's Sparrow - - x - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - x - - ___ Lapland Longspur x - x - ___ Snow Bunting - - - x ___ Hoary Redpoll - - - x ___ Evening Grosbeak - - - x

For additional information, and to report unusual bird sightings, please contact:
                 Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
                 3815 E. 80th Street
                 Bloomington, Minnesota 55425-1600
                 Telephone: 612/335-2323 Visitor Center
                            612/335-2299 Recorded Information

Equal Opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlfe Service is avaiolable to all individuals regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should contact:
                  U.S. Department of Interior
                  Office for Equal Opportunity
                  1849 C Street, NW
                  Washington, D.C. 20240

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Minnesota Valley, National Wildlife 
     Refuge Bird Checklist. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Minnesota Valley, National Wildlife 
     Refuge Bird Checklist. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govmnvalley.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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