Seasons Of Wildlife

13LGS cup plant acrobat

Located in the center of North America, far from the influences of marine environments, the climate of Minnesota is highly variable.  The Fergus Falls Wetland Management District enjoys four distinct seasons each year marked by extremes in moisture and temperature.  Within the eastern Great Plains, peak periods of precipitation occur in spring (rain showers and thunderstorms), fall (rain showers), and winter (snow and blizzards).  Annual summer droughts are typical in the prairie environment.  Hot and humid summer days in the 90s contrast with dry, cold winter nights down to -30 degrees F (not including wind chill).  

As the seasons progress, the wild animals you see and hear here must adapt to these extreme variations to survive and reproduce or perish -- without the benefit of HVAC systems.  They are outside 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.  Some migrate, some hibernate, some become temporarily dormant, and others stay here and remain active (resist).  Their presence or absence and specific behaviors help mark the changing seasons and is called phenology.  

This Seasons of Wildlife calendar gives you a peek at wildlife phenology of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District and can assist you in planning your visit to maximize your chances of spotting wildlife.

  • Winter


    Brrr. Minnesota winters are harsh, but wildlife species have evolved a variety of methods to survive.

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  • Spring

    Red winged blackbird

    Minnesota in the spring is all about water—and its transformation. Wetlands filled with snowmelt, ice disappearing from thousands of lakes and streams to open them to the sky once more. Rain and (more) snow. Frost leaving the ground.

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  • Summer

    Bumble bee and monarda

    Summer is the time of routines and learning for wildlife, much like a school year is to human kids.

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  • Fall

    Goose flock

    A time of abundance, preparation, and for many, movement again.  Come to the prairie for a more subtle but equally beautiful display of fall colors, and send off our scaled, feathered, furry friends until spring.

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