Bike and birding Minnesota’s Parks and Trails

A morning bike ride along the trails and through the parks will offer a chorus of bird songs that will only intensify as the season progresses.

Woodpeckers are the exception to the courting and territorial songs of most birds. Their “song” is a distinctive drumming on anything that will amplify the noise. Around the Three Rivers Park District, over 200 miles of trails in the Twin Cities you can see up to seven woodpecker species through the spring and summer — each with a unique drumming pattern. The largest, the pileated, starts slowly, accelerates through the middle and tapers off at the end with only one or two “drums” per minute. Both males and females drum to claim territory and advertise for a mate. Head to Dakota County Parks and listen for the sound of the not-so-distant drums this spring.