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It's Christmas Bird Count Time in Northern MN - They Need You!
The Minnesota Christmas Bird Count has a rich history dating back to the 6th count in 1905. Minneapolis and Red Wing were the locations of that first Minnesota census. The Minneapolis count was conducted by the Kenwood Bird Club, and recorded eight species, while the Red Wing Count - conducted by Charles Borgen and Nels Phillips - recorded seven.


During the next 103 years, the Christmas Bird Count has been conducted uninterrupted in the state and has grown to include almost 70 census circles and involved more than 28,000 particpants. Each and every year greater than 1,000 participants canvas the state to conduct the survey. These participants have logged nearly 77,000 total hours, traveling approximately 548,000 miles. The Minnesota CBC has tallied over 8.5 million birds of 201 species. -from MN Christmas BirdCount website

Steve Weston is the Christmas Bird Count Coordinator for Audobon and the MN Ornithologists Union.

Birders of all abilities are welcome to participate.  There are many across the region including:

  • Dec. 14th 7:15am Bemidji –MN Nice Café
  • Dec. 14th 8am Walker –Outdoorsman Café
  • Dec. 14th 8am Crosby – North Country Café   
  • Dec. 15th  7am Cohasset –Casey’s
  • Dec. 15th Virginia
  • Dec. 16th 7:30am Itasca State Park – Jacob Brower Visitor Center
  • Dec. 18th 8am Rochert – Tamarac Visitor Center


  • Dec. 21st 8am McGregor – Great Christmas Bird Count at McGregor Marsh SNA 8am

  • Dec 21st 7:30am McGregor – Schoolhouse Cafe

  • Dec. 22nd 7:30 Pine River A-Pine Restaurant

  • Dec. 28th Cook

  • Jan 1 8am Pillager Bjerga’s Café

  • Jan 1 Hibbing
Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.