Habitat: Lake and marsh, deciduous woods, alder thickets, fields.
Features: This large wildlife area, managed by the Minnesota DNR, contains a large shallow lake as well as several thousand acres of upland forested ridges. All told, the unit is 55,000 acres in size and provides habitat for 232 different bird species. A small elk herd can be sighted in the vicinity.
Best Times To Visit: April through October.
Birds To Look For: Five species of grebes, American Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, waterfowl including Canvasback and Ruddy Duck, Franklin’s Gull, Sandhill Crane, warblers and grassland sparrows.
Notes For Birding The Area: Follow the road along the south end of the lake. There is a “wildlife viewing mound” along this road. The area is noted for providing nesting and migratory habitat for many waterfowl species. There is a handicapped accessible wildlife observation mound located east of the headquarters and spectacular views of the lake can be had from the mound. Look for shorebirds by the thousands during August.
Contact: Thief Lake WMA, 42280 240th Ave. NE, Middle River, MN 56737, 218-222-3747.