It’s a safe bet that only a handful of people know the birds of their home state as well as Robert B. Janssen knows the birds of his state, Minnesota. In 1975, he co-wrote Minnesota Birds: Where, When, and How Many, and in 1987, he followed it with Birds in Minnesota. And from 1958 to 1996, he was the editor of The Loon, the quarterly journal of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union.
In 1997, the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Division wanted to know what birds occurred in two state parks east of the Twin Cities. It turned to Janssen, who immediately signed on to survey the properties. He established a method to count birds in spring, summer, and fall at randomly chosen locations within each park, to cover as many habitat types as possible.
The project was a big success and was eventually expanded to all of the state’s 75 parks and recreation areas. Now, after more than a decade of on-the-ground surveys and consultations with park managers, birders, and others, Janssen and the state’s Department of Natural Resources have published the terrific Birds of Minnesota State Parks.
Janssen describes each park and why it’s worth birding. He recommends several areas within each park to look for birds and provides a map showing where the sites are located. Not only does the book tell readers what parks are good for Bohemian Waxwing, Great Gray Owl, Connecticut Warbler, and other northern specialties, it’s also a delight to read. Don’t bird Minnesota without it.
Birds of Minnesota State Parks, by Robert B. Janssen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 288 pages, flexbound, $19.99.
Read more reviews from our June 2015 issue
Author Deborah Cramer dives deep into the Red Knot’s complex story in ‘The Narrow Edge.’
New reference guide makes identifying birds as simple as recognizing family members.
New Kaufman guide essential for nature lovers.
A touching memoir from a hummingbird rehabber in Hollywood.
‘Project Puffin’ tells how a kid from Ohio brought puffins back to the coast of central Maine.
Picture book shows what we most want to know about nesting birds.
In new book, Tony Angell presents personal stories and stunning drawings of owls.
‘Feral Cities’ takes account of the wildlife right on our doorstep.
A field guide to five boroughs of feathered New Yorkers.
A new edition of the Costa Rica guide you can carry in the field.
Book tells fascinating history of the feeders, seeds, and suet in our backyards.
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