Quiet cemeteries make for lively bird watching and a great fall road trip

By Jim Williams Special to the Star Tribune OCTOBER 26, 2023 — 7:35AM

Some of the best places to look for birds in Minnesota are its cemeteries. We have more than 3,700 of them.

Cemeteries have grass and shrubs and trees, often lush landscaping and wooded edges, good bird habitat. Cemeteries offer easy walking. Cemeteries are quiet.

Texas has a field guide to cemeteries chosen as best for birding. Texas A&M University recently published “Cemetery Birding — an unexpected guide to discovering birds in Texas.”

Author Jennifer L. Bristol points out that places designed for the departed can be teeming with life. Cemeteries were some of the earliest public parks in the country, she writes. Both statements remain true.

Begin in Minneapolis with Lakewood Cemetery, 250 acres of gently rolling land holding 4,000 trees, shrubs and specialty plants. It is known as a resting place full of local history, as an arboretum, and as a bird sanctuary that recognizes its appeal with seasonal guided bird walks.

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