Carleton College Cowling Arboretum Hosts Annual Spring Bird Count

Carleton College’s Cowling Arboretum will host its 12th annual spring bird count on Saturday, May 17 and invites anyone with an interest in bird watching to join in this census of bird species in the Arboretum. No previous experience is necessary. The count will take place from 6 to 9 a.m.; participants will meet at 6 a.m. at the Arboretum Office.

Volunteers will be assigned to one of two teams who will identify and count all birds seen or heard at each of 17 stops. Afterwards, the teams will return to the Arboretum Office to enjoy coffee and muffins and discuss the details of the morning.

Arboretum staff and volunteers record all birds seen and heard from a variety of habitats in the Lower Arboretum as part of the long-term monitoring of the success of the Arboretum’s restoration and management projects. The Cowling Arboretum covers around 880 acres of land adjacent to the Carleton College campus and is used for academic work as well as recreation. With its extensive prairie habitat as well as upland and lowland forests, the Arboretum is a prime location for bird watching, and species inhabiting the area include the endangered Henslow sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), which thrives in tall-grass prairies. Arboretum staff are engaged in a long-term effort to catalog the species of flora and fauna that are found within the arboretum. The current list of species can be found at

The bird count is expected to last around three hours. For more information about this event, contact Cowling Arboretum Director Nancy Braker at (507) 222-4543 or email The Cowling Arboretum Office is located at 710 Three Oaks Drive on the Carleton College campus, accessible from Highway 19 east of downtown Northfield.