Important Bird Areas

Northland Arboretum IBA

Minnesota

The Northland Arboretum IBA is located on the north side of Brainerd behind the Westgate Mall and is bordered on the west by the Paul Bunyan Trail. This 634 acre site encompasses land officially designated as the Northland Arboretum (including 160+ acres of The Nature Conservancy) plus state land managed by DNR Fisheries (118 acres) and approximately 80 acres owned and managed by Crow Wing County. Native jack pine and bur oak on sandy soils dominate the uplands. The rare, 200-acre jack pine savanna located at this site is partially managed by The Nature Conservancy. There is also a large wetland area on the east portion of the IBA with a cattail marsh, lowland shrub swamp and mixed lowland forest. There is an active eagle nest located on the state land on the edge of the marsh.

Mission statement: ?The Northland Arboretum, an outdoor nature conservatory, is designed to promote intelligent conservation and high standards of ecology with a year-round display of our region?s flora and fauna, through workshops and seminars and by providing outdoor recreation that appreciates and respects out natural plants and wildlife.? (from Northland Arboretum brochure).

The Northland Arboretum IBA is important for birds because it is green space in a rapidly developing city, with a total bird species list of 136, including 24 vireos and warblers, and 53 likely breeders. This site also has a mosaic of habitats including grasslands and restored prairie, jack pine forest, wetlands, a stream, shrub bog and of special importance, a 200-acre jack pine savanna.

Ornithological Summary

The Northland Arboretum IBA is important for birds because it is green space in a rapidly developing city, with a total bird species list of 136, including 24 vireos and warblers, and 53 likely breeders. This site also has a mosaic of habitats including grasslands and restored prairie, jack pine forest, wetlands, a stream, shrub bog and of special importance, a 200-acre jack pine savanna.

3b) Bird species documented in the Northland Arboretum IBA by habitat type.

Sedge Wetland

Northern Harrier
Sandhill Crane

Native Prairie

Northern Harrier
Common Nighthawk
Eastern Kingbird
Clay-colored Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
LeConte?s Sparrow

Oak/Jack Pine Savanna

Whip-poor-will
Red-headed Woodpecker
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Towhee
Vesper Sparrow
Indigo Bunting

Conifer Swamp

Blue-headed Vireo
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swainson?s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Tennessee Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Lincoln?s Sparrow
White-throated-Sparrow
Dark-eyed-Junco
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin

Floodplain Forest

Red-shouldered Hawk
Black-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-pewee
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Veery
Golden-winged Warbler
American Redstart
Scarlet Tanager

Upland Deciduous Forest

Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Ruffed Grouse
Black-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Whip-poor-will

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-pewee
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Veery
Golden-winged Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Scarlet Tanager

4b) See Appendix A. (Complete bird list for the Northland Arboretum), Appendix B (Wood warblers and vireos documented at the Northland Arboretum, and Appendix C. (Northland Arboretum species list of likely summber/breeding birds).

Conservation Issues

The major threat to the Arboretum is the rapid urbanization occurring around its borders. The cities of Brainerd and Baxter are growing with construction of more new buildings, both residential and commercial, every year around the perimeter of the Arboretum. This increase in impervious surfaces creates more run-off with pollutants that flow into the creek, along with high-water storm events.