Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Whenever I visit my kids and grandkids down south in the Twin Cities, I like to take an early morning sojourn over to the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. This excellent birding spot is only 45 minutes northwest of the Plymouth area, and on a Sunday morning when I left at 5:00 am, traffic was non-existent! There are a number of excellent hikes, but in addition I like driving slow loops of the DNR Wildlife Drive. When one arrives shortly before 6 am, the preserve is mine alone. It was only as I was leaving around 8:15 am that other folks were arriving.

The refuge is in its early Summer finest. If birds have not already paired off, they are actively seeking a mate. The prairie grass and flowers are starting to come into full bloom. Given we do not have yellow-headed blackbirds here in northeastern Minnesota, this bird was my target of opportunity. While there song would never be called melodious, the color of this bird in the early morning light is striking. I enjoyed watching many of these birds sing and enforce their territories at the Urban Pete Nelson Memorial Pool. This spot, 2.7 miles after the start of the DNR Wildlife Drive (i.e. from the spot the return loop meets the Wildlife Drive, not the highway) even has a bench and a grassy knoll. The blackbirds seemed to like the combination of some dry land and marsh.

Sherburne Yellow-Headed Blackbird

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Some Still Photos of the Yellow Headed Blackbirds
Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Yellow-Headed-Blackbird-1 Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Yellow-Headed-Blackbird-2 Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Yellow-Headed-Blackbird-4

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Sandhill Crane Amongst the Blooming Prairie
Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Sandhill-Crane-Wildflowers-3

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Trumpeter Swan Love
Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Tumpeter-Swans-1

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Common Loons
Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Common-Loon-1 Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Common-Loon-2

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Ring Necked Duck
Y3-M06-Sherburne-National-Wildlife-Refuge-Ring-Necked-Duck

2 thoughts on “Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

  1. Hi Rich, I met you today on Scenic 61. Years ago I saw some Yellow headed blackbirds down by Oak lake MN by Kerrick. I never found any info on them so I didn’t know what to call them. There was a flock of them.

    Bill Tasky
    You have a nice web site.

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