Roberts Bird Sanctuary Is Eden for Ornithophiles

A rare bird in a busy city

Between daylight saving time and temps hitting the 40s, today is as good a time as ever to get outside. One of our favorite spots in Minneapolis to get fresh air is one we never noticed until the pandemic hit—despite walking past it a dozen times.

The Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary is a 31-acre avian habitat in Lyndale Park. The wetland, wet prairie, and forest preserve sits just above North Beach on Lake Harriet and south of Lakewood Cemetery, with a main entrance adjacent to the Peace Garden parking lot.

Photo: Richard Carr // Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary

The nature sanctuary was established in 1936 and renamed in 1947 for Thomas Sadler Roberts, a professor of ornithology at the University of Minnesota and director of the Museum of Natural History (now the kiddo-friendly Bell Museum). More than 200 species have been identified here, including Northern cardinals, pileated and hairy woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, red-winged blackbirds, golden-crowned kinglets, juncos, American goldfinches, wild turkeys, and barred owls. April and May is ideal for spotting spring migratory birds, especially warblers. We’ve also seen deer and raccoons during our strolls along the park’s elevated wooden boardwalks.

The preserve is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Naturalists from the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis and Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary lead guided walks here from April through October. BYO binoculars and a field guide or ask to borrow theirs. 🐦🐦🐦

Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary
Lyndale Park, 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis, MN; 612-230-6400.