Bird Watching On Vacation

I love watching for birds while traveling on vacation.

Of course, snapping a picture out the window of a car moving at 70 miles per hour doesn’t work.  So, while I spotted 3 pheasants in the fields of Iowa, no pictures of them.

Perhaps a funny story about my sighting instead?

Me, gazing out window: I think I just saw 2 prairie chickens!!

Husband, driving: You probably saw pheasants.

Me: Well, they looked like chickens and had some red on them.

Husband: Male pheasants have a red ring.

Me: Looks up the birds on the bird app.  Prairie chickens aren’t a choice.  Stubborn as I am though…went ahead and googled “prairie chicken pictures”

Me, a few minutes later: Yep, I saw pheasants.

(And apparently, I need some prairie chicken identification skills).

A few more minutes pass….and…

Me: I saw another pheasant!

Now…on to…

Birds spotted in the Duluth, Minnesota Area:

Lots of Seagulls! And loons…harder to photograph as they seemed to always be flying over head or a way out in the waters…


Now, I’ll need some help as I forgot my bird books and the phone signal didn’t want to cooperate much.

Spotted these in the lake near Two Harbors, Minnesota: And found this pretty bird diving under the waters of the Gooseberry Falls State Park:

Along the shores of a smaller Minnesota lake:

Red-winged Blackbirds

Let’s pretend abstract photos were my intention here…

And flying overhead:

In addition to the many seagulls and occasional loons I spotted flying overhead, I also spotted geese. Fairly certain they were Canada geese. ****

Also spotted but not pictured because they were mostly sighted from the car:  turkey vultures, tons more red-winged blackbirds along our route, pretty sure a bald eagle flew over the car near a lake just outside of St. Paul, blue herons, robins, and sparrows.

(And while not bird-watching related, I also spotted 30 different state license plates plus 1 Canada plate!)

Since we’ve been home, I’ve mostly noticed grackles (think the nest in our front Maple tree belongs to them), robins, sparrows, and I’ve heard the cooing of a dove though I’ve not seen it.

Linking up my post with The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’. Be sure to check out her site for lots of beautiful bird pictures!


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16 thoughts on “Bird Watching On Vacation

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. Yes, they do. Wish we could have pulled over so I could have captured those pheasants on film but I don’t suppose that would have been very safe (or legal).

  1. Frank

    Ha .. we all have ID issues from time to time. An interesting and varied list of sightings on your travels.

    The ducks with long bills look like Mergansers.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! I need to spend more time seeking out waterfowl so I can do a better job of identifying them.

  2. Phil Slade

    Don’t worry Jean. Bird IDing is a skill learnt over many years. The main thing is that you enjoy seeing and watching them.

    That’s not just a gull – it’s a Ring-billed Gull!

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. I’ve always loved watching the birds, perhaps it’s hereditary as my father always watched the backyard birds and I have all his bird books (many were falling apart from use). Now I’m wondering if all those gulls were Ring-billed gulls or just the one I happened to photograph. Sounds like I’ll have to take another trip soon 😉 Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

    1. Jean Post author

      There’s certainly no, “wait, pull over so I can see those birds again!” while speeding along I-35. Not that I wasn’t tempted, ha!

  3. Betty Crow

    You sure found a variety of birds. Love that first shot of the gulls over the water. I’m having an ID issue myself this morning. Have a wonderful day!

  4. Marie-OR

    Oh I hate it when I don’t ID right! 🙂 It’s easy to do though, especially with a drive-by sighting! Love the photos, and especially enjoyed the red-winged blackbird. I FINALLY got one halfway decent photo of one a month ago!

    1. Jean Post author

      The red-winged blackbirds sure seem like they’re going to stay still UNTIL you try to snap a photo!

  5. Eileen

    Hello, I agree with Phil. The main thing about bird watching is to enjoy the birds. I love all the gulls, pretty views of the water. The Mergansers are a favorite too. Enjoy your day and new week ahead! Thanks for visiting my post.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! It was nice being so close to the water and having such nice views. Hope you have a great week ahead as well!

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