Northwoods Birding By Trail and Canoe

Pack your binoculars and set out on a great birding adventure, where you’ll add to your list, explore unique ecosystems and improve your birding skills in the wildlife-rich Northwoods.
Rating (5)
Program No. 8609RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Join the Trees for Tomorrow birding team on an exceptional birding adventure for beginning and intermediate birders. Explore unique habitats in search of common and rare birds, and add new finds to your life list. The Trees for Tomorrow birding team will show you how to improve your birding skills while walking the area’s finest trails. On canoe outings, observe water birds and their behaviors. Learn how to identify warblers, raptors, waterfowl and other species that call the north woods home. This is a special opportunity to learn about northwoods birds while exploring some of Wisconsin's finest northern birding locations.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Witness loons and eagles while canoeing pristine lakes with minimal human activity.
  • View many colorful warblers that call the Northwoods their summer home.
  • Explore a northern quaking bog – an experience many equate to walking on a giant waterbed – and learn about the special plants and animals that reside in it.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Please note: In case there is still ice on the lakes, birding hikes will replace canoe activities. All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Graced by the Seasons
by John Bates
John Bates is a local author that writes about the natural happenings in the Northwoods. He divides his books into a fall/winter book, and a spring summer book. They are written in order of how things happen throughout the year.
Sharing The Wonder Of Birds With Kids
by Laura Erickson
Chock-full of creative activities, this hands-on guide goes way beyond teaching bird identification. In her light-hearted style, Laura paves the way for children to discover-with a little help from you-the beauty and significance of birds, how their bodies work, why they behave as they do, and why it's so critical for us to protect and care for them. Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids was a National Outdoor Book Awards Winner: Outdoor Education.
Hawk Ridge: Minnesota's Birds of Prey
by Laura Erickson and Betsy Bowen
Written by one of Minnesota’s best-known bird authorities, with images by one of the state’s favorite illustrators, Hawk Ridge is as fun as it is informative. It introduces the state’s raptors, from the rare visitor to the most familiar hawk, noting each species’ signature traits—osprey wings, for instance, are crooked to help them catch fish; vultures urinate on their legs to cool themselves—and their nesting, breeding, and migrating habits. Did you know that Sharp-shinned Hawks banded at Hawk Ridge have been found throughout Central America and even into South America, and also, in midwinter, in Wisconsin? Laura Erickson offers a broad perspective (a bird’s-eye view!), making sense of the raptor’s role in the larger ornithological scheme.
National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America
by Laura Erickson and Jonathan Alderfer
This fun, affordable, beautifully illustrated introduction to birding is like taking a walk with National Geographic's birding experts. Of this book's 192 pages, 160 are devoted to North America's top species, one per page, from the lowly House Wren to the majestic Bald Eagle. Carefully chosen illustrations and photographs capture the key details and typical behavior of each bird, paired with a short list of essential facts and a fun, fascinating, colloquially written "bird-ography" of each bird. (The latter feature is unique to this beginning field guide). Pictures plus facts plus story: a winning combination. With a small trim size and colorful illustrations, this pocket guide is easy on the eyes and easy to stash. A useful color index aids identification; tips throughout show how to observe, track, and identify birds in nature.
For the Birds: An Uncommon Guide
by Laura Erickson and Jeff Sonstegard
Laura Erickson invites more than 250 birds right into your living room. Get to know a wide variety of birds from rare hawk owls, to elusive sedge wrens, to that more southern species, the plastic lawn flamingo. Laura's lighthearted wit and extensive knowledge combine to incite even those with a rudimentary interest (birds fly and lay eggs) into field tracking that hawk owl. You'll be amazed at the enjoyment birds can wing into your day.
Twelve Owls
by Laura Erickson and Betsy Bowen
Meet the saw-whet, the tiniest of Minnesota’s owls, a mere eight inches from the tip of its blunt tail to the top of its rounded head. The simplest way to find one is to listen for the scolding calls of a flock of agitated chickadees. Or, if you’re lucky, you might witness the male throwing all caution to the wind and “co-co-co-co-ing” for a mate, inching forward on every note like the bird in a cuckoo clock. From this fetching little creature to the magnificent great gray, the owls of Minnesota have found the perfect spokeswoman in this book, which is as charming as it is informative. Written with wit and a remarkable command of bird lore by Laura Erickson, well known to public radio listeners and birdwatchers everywhere, Twelve Owls also features enchanting pictures, from the long view to up-close detail, by award-winning artist Betsy Bowen.
The Bird Watching Answer Book
by Laura Erickson
How many feathers does a bird have? Do birds sleep while in flight? Why do Blue-Footed Boobies have blue feet? How do migrating birds know where to go and how to get there? For these and hundreds of other questions, The Bird Watching Answer Book has expert answers. Written by Laura Erickson, science editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this book is the authoritative source for information on birds of all kinds.
101 Ways To Help Birds
by Laura Erickson
This engaging book presents 101 things individuals can do to help both individual birds and bird populations as a whole. It also explains exactly how these actions can make a difference--what wrongs they help correct and what improvements they can bring about. Bird-friendly (and environment-friendly) practices are described in detail: things anyone can do around the home and garden, at work, at the store, in their community, in the outdoors, and on the road. Anyone who appreciates wild birds knows that the animals need our help. This timely guide shows bird-lovers what they can do.

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