Skip to main content

Bald eagles are flying back up to Minnesota – earlier than normal

Bald eagles that left for the winter are on their way back.

Bald eagles are already flying back up to Minnesota, and you'll be able to see plenty of them in the coming weeks.

Eagles usually migrate north again when the ice melts. And with a warm February, that's already happening – and small groups of the raptors have already been spotted along the Minnesota River, the DNR said Monday.

This is one or two weeks earlier than usual.

"Eagles tend to vary their migration routes, so it’s hard to say exactly where the eagles are right now," DNR regional Nongame Wildlife specialist Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer explained in the news release. But southern Minnesota residents could start seeing them in larger numbers in the next couple of weeks.

The biggest migrations are usually along the Minnesota River corridor, at the North Shore, and then near Lake Pepin.

And not all eagles go south for the winter, Gelvin-Innvaer explained. Some eagle pairs will stay up north if they can find open water, especially if it's a milder winter.

The DNR has a summer and winter viewing map for bald eagles in Minnesota.

The bald eagle's comeback

The bald eagle's recovery from endangered status is one of America’s greatest wildlife success stories.

Minnesota has more than 1,300 active nests, the DNR estimates, and only two states – Florida and Alaska – have more of the raptors.

The DNR says a big boost has been donations to the Nongame Wildlife Program through the checkoff option on Minnesota's tax forms. Through that option, money has been used to pay for research, surveys and education for more than 900 animal species. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons and trumpeter swans were all nearly gone from Minnesota when that program started 40 years ago – now, each has a strong foothold in Minnesota.

You can learn more about bald eagles – and get an up-close look at one – by visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.

Next Up

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, DFL, GOP reach agreement on state surplus spending

The framework deal includes spending on education, health care, human services and public safety, as well as tax cuts.

Harriet Island flooding, St. Paul

St. Paul to close road in anticipation of Mississippi River flooding

River levels are expected to rise through the week.

Michael Davis

Former Mormon church leader convicted of sexually assaulting boy, 13

It emerged that the church leader was a registered sex offender.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Lost 1-year-old reunited with parents in Brooklyn Park

The girl was found by a concerned citizen around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 8.33.49 AM

For 2nd time, Minnesota farm devastated by deadly fire

Around 1,000 goats and a litter of puppies were killed when a barn caught fire on Friday.

ambulance

Fleeing suspect crashes, killing innocent driver in Brooklyn Park

The suspect fled police in Osseo and was going south on County Road 81.

1497 S Ferry St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - August 2021

Body found tangled with debris in the Mississippi River

The individual's name has not yet been released.

Northtown Mall Carnival

Around 100 kids run from carnival fight into Northtown Mall

Police say a large fight was happening on the ferris wheel before kids fled into the mall.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.29.03 AM

Former state senator Scott Jensen endorsed by GOP for governor

Jensen beat to multiple other hopefuls for the endorsement at Saturday's convention.

storm

NWS already monitoring Thursday for severe weather in MN

Monday-Wednesday should be fantastic weather in Minnesota.

MissingMankatoWomanSideBySide

Body of missing Mankato woman believed to have been found

A canoer found the body in a swamp near Eagle Lake Friday.

Related

Bald eagles are flying back up to Minnesota – earlier than normal

Bald eagles that left for the winter are on their way back.

The Eagle Cam couple might be getting ready for some baby eaglets

Will these lovebirds lay their eggs early again? Or wait until a more typical time period?

The Eagle Cam couple might be getting ready for some baby eaglets

Will these lovebirds lay their eggs early again? Or wait until a more typical time period?

Pelicans are coming back to Minnesota already – but don't get too close

Pelicans are bringing their giant beaks and 9-foot wingspans back to Minnesota.

Pelicans are coming back to Minnesota already – but don't get too close

Pelicans are bringing their giant beaks and 9-foot wingspans back to Minnesota.

The live EagleCam is back online

Check out this 24/7 EagleCam.