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Northern Ecology

Boreal Birding Workshop

Course Overview

Spring in northeastern Minnesota is truly alive with life. After a winter of cold and white, there is a veritable explosion of all things feathered. The Boreal Birding Workshop is field focused, offering students a rare opportunity to immerse in this world and develop an appreciation for the wide range of bird species that thrive in the region’s range of habitats. Students will explore many of the area’s classic destinations (i.e. multiple state parks, the Susie Island overlook, High Falls, Oberg Mtn) and will emphasize both visual and voice identification skills. Typically 10-15 species of warblers, including Blackburnian and Black-Throated Blue Warblers, are recorded.  Boxed lunches (included in materials fee) will also be provided on Days 1 and 2 to maximize flexibility in the field. Note, due to Covid-19, students will need to drive themselves or carpool to a variety of locations. In the event that shared van transportation becomes possible, we will notify students who can opt in for an additional fee.

The workshop will be led by instructor Josh Watson, a Cook County local and accomplished birder. Conditions permitting, he will be joined by his mentor and instructor emeritus Bob Janssen, who has been an active Minnesota birder for almost 60 years. As time and weather allow, classroom sessions on northeastern Minnesota birds may be included. This course is part of the annual Northern Landscapes Festival.

Due to the early start of this class, please plan to check-in at North House on the day preceding at 5pm for a brief introductory session.

Materials Fee

  • Includes a boxed lunch each day

Required Tools

  • Field notebook
  • Your favorite birding field guide (available for purchase @ North House School Store)Binoculars
  • Layered, warm, light colored clothing (sweatshirts, jackets, long pants)
  • Hat
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Rain Gear
  • Sturdy footwear for hiking (trails may be wet from dew and rain)
  • Insect repellant, and/or insect head net
  • Sunglasses for bright outdoor sun
  • Sun-block
  • Water bottles
  • Small backpack to hold the above


Fri, Jun 3rd, 2022  –  Sat, Jun 4th, 2022

Course Details

Hours: 7am-4pm
Tuition: $220.00
Materials fee: $30.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Joshua Watson
Joshua Watson
Grand Marais, MN

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Boreal Birding Workshop