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Bird watching: For the birds, just look up

For those who have been admiring Will Stenberg’s bird photos in the Pine Knot News lately but yearn to see some of the same birds in the wild, just grab your binoculars and look out your back window or go for a drive.

Keeping your eyes open for all beauty in nature is a good idea.

“A person has to spend a lot of time in nature and if we aren’t seeing birds, we are also looking for wildflowers,” said Stenberg, who also captures plenty of wildlife in his camera lens, from baby foxes to black bears.

Clueless about birds but want to know more? Bird books are a great idea, but there are also apps to identify birds. “Merlin” by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a good one and can identify using sound, photos or descriptions. Simply download the app and take your smartphone along when you bird-watch.

Following is a list of favorite destinations that Stenberg shared with readers.

Sax-Zim Bog ranks high on the list, but can be hit or miss, he said. There is Jay Cooke State Park, especially on the east end of the park along the St. Louis River. From there, keep heading down Highway Chambers Grove park in the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth. He recommended the trails on the end of Park Point and Wisconsin Point for migrating birds as well as the trails at Hawk Ridge. A little closer to home, the trails on the north side of the river in Cloquet should be good as migrating birds come through.

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