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nest on County Road 11 and hope to mark others as I find them. Currently, there are six locations that I have identified as birding locations, where I have spent time taking photographs and recording my sightings. One of my goals on the website for each of these locations is to document and post at least 100 species that could be found as year-round residents, in migration, or just winter visitors to the area. Most of these locations are Wildlife Management Areas or Forest Management Areas, which are both managed by the DNR. One such location is the Lowell Rice Lake WMA, where on Oct. 30, 2011, I saw approximately 52 trumpeter swans. I have spent the most time bird watching and guiding at the Uppgaard WMA, located on County Road 16 near Crosslake.This WMA is about 110 acres, with great walking trails through many types of habitats that attract a wide variety of birds, from bald eagles to common loons.This site is also the first Landscaping for Wildlife Demonstration area in which many native plantings were used to create additional opportunities for viewing wildlife. During the last few years, I have submitted my bird sightings each week, mostly from the Byway, to can click on the “what to do” (birding) tab to see updates during March through November of each year. If you would like to contribute your own bird sightings, please email them to me at Also, if you would like to see and learn more about the birds found along the Byway, I can be contacted at the above email address to schedule a bird watching tour.These tours have proven to be very popular with resort guests in the area. Once the “Birds of the Byway” webpage was established, my next goal was to use an event to increase the awareness and birding opportunities that the byway has to offer.This last fall, the National Audubon Society accepted the Uppgaard WMA as a new site for the Christmas Bird Counts.This citizen science project is the oldest and longest-running in the world, with the first occurring December 25, 1900. Minnesota first participated in 1905 with a count in Minneapolis and

Photos provided by Judd Brink

Red Wing. I was the organizer and data compiler for the first annual Uppgaard WMA CBC on December 16, 2011 along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway.The count had eight participants and two feeder watchers. A total of 23 species were recorded, totaling 1,012 birds throughout the byway. Having open water at the time contributed to seeing numerous trumpeter swans and an uncommon belted kingfisher.The Uppgaard Christmas Bird Count was a first for the area and for a Minnesota byway. If you would like to participate in next year’s count, contact me at I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with the community and the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association to further promote the awareness and growth of bird watching in the area. I believe that resorts in the area could really benefit from being a part of the site. Having new bird guiding packages and bird watching tours along the “Birds of the Byway,” especially during the peak bird migrations, could create many new adventures and traditions along the Byway. Take the time to enjoy all the sights and sounds of each season that can be found along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway. Happy birding! Please visit the new online guide to the birds along the byway at to see recent birding information. To schedule a bird watching tour or to participate in the 2012 bird count, contact Judd Brink at or (218) 838-4784. J U D D B R I N K is the owner of MN Backyard Birds

offering birdscaping packages using bird feeding stations for your enjoyment. We install and maintain bird feeding stations for commercial and residential customers in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Judd also leads bird-guided walks and tours in the area. He can be contacted at

J u d d

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Outdoor Traditions - Spring 2012  

Don’t Move a Mussel • Return to Glory? • New Tackle,Tricks To Try This Season • Search For Sheds • Wild Stories • Catchy ‘Toons • Birds Of A...