Winter Birding Tips

Winters in northern Minnesota are snowy and cold. Temperatures in late February average from lows of zero to highs of 30 degrees Fahrenheit, with possible wind chills reaching -30 to even -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Come prepared for winter weather. Much of the birding will be from vehicles, and walking will be minimal, but you'll enjoy yourself more if you're dressed warmly!

  1. Dress warmly and in layers. Wool and fleece are excellent options. Long underwear is a must.
  2. Avoid wearing cotton! Cotton holds moisture and lacks insulation when wet. Wool or polypropylene is superior, especially for socks and mittens.
  3. Mittens are better than gloves. Mittens allow your fingers to have skin-to-skin contact to heat each other up.
  4. Hand warmers are lifesavers. Air-activated heat packs can provide warmth for up to 10 hours. Put them in your mittens, your pockets, your boots.
  5. Avoid wearing several layers of socks. This will make your feet sweat, and sweating in frigid conditions is bad news. Instead, wear one pair of thick, wool socks and well-insulated, waterproof boots.
  6. Avoid synthetic materials such as those used in ski pants. These will keep you warm, but they tend to make noise when walking, which can make birding more difficult.
  7. r

Suggested Packing List

Here's a suggested packing list to ensure you come prepared for a fun weekend of winter birding in northern Minnesota. No doubt you'll think of several other things to bring along, but this will get you started:

  • Wool cap with ear protection
  • Scarf or neck warmer
  • Mittens (preferred) or gloves
  • Hand warmers
  • Wool socks
  • Well-insulated, waterproof boots
  • Long underwear
  • Wool pants
  • Turtleneck
  • Fleece pullover
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Optics
  • Camera
  • Your favorite field guide
  • Backpack/waistpack
  • Water bottle/thermos
  • Enthusiasm!

Back to event details »

Owls With Al: Minnesota Birding With Al Batt

February 21-23, 2014
Hibbing Park Hotel—Hibbing, MN

Register for this rendezvous »


$400 per person, include s all programs, field trips, and guiding. Lodging is not included.

Add a meal plan for $95/person.

A $25 non-refundable registration fee is included. The Reader Rendezvous event fee does NOT include lodging or transportation to/from the event.

Lodging and Travel

To make lodging arrangements, contact the Hibbing Park Hotel:

Hibbing Park Hotel and Suites
1402 East Howard Street
Hibbing, MN 55746
Phone: 218-262-3481 or 1-800-262-3481
Fax: 218-262-1906

Ask for the special Reader Rendezvous Group Rate.

Travel note:

The Chisholm-Hibbing airport is just a few miles east of our event site and is the closest metro airport to our event. Rental cars are available.

Register for this rendezvous »