Minnesota has more loons than any other state in the lower 48. Only Alaska has more than Minnesota, and that's because Alaska is so big. No wonder why the common loon is the Minnesota State Bird.

Minnesota Loon Population By The Numbers

Minnesota has the largest population of loons in the lower 48. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates that there are 12,000 common loons in the state.

Why does Minnesota have so many loons?

Minnesota's vast number of lakes makes it a great place for loons to thrive. Loons are found in the northern section of the US from the spring to the fall but migrate south during the summer months.

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Minnesota also has a surprisingly high number of bald eagles.

I knew bald eagles were pretty common in Minnesota, having seen them my entire life. What I didn't realize is how many we have in Minnesota compared to other states. Once again, only Alaska has more bald eagles than Minnesota.

Minnesota is a great habitat for eagles because of how many lakes we have - just like with the loons!

It's estimated that Minnesota has 9,800 breeding pairs of bald eagles. Not counting younger eaglets, that puts the number at nearly 20,000!

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The incredible bald eagle recovery in Minnesota.

DDT poisoning severely hurt the bald eagle population in the United States. There was a massive recovery effort for the birds and they were once on the endangered species list.

Read More: What's The Worst Place To Live In Minnesota?

Now, with responsible conservation efforts, the bald eagle population has recovered remarkably. Wildlife experts actually take bald eagles from Minnesota and bring them to other states to help the recovery there as well.

Minnesota has more bald eagles than loons!

So if you compare the numbers, the surprising result is that there are more bald eagles in Minnesota than the common loon. Who would have thought?

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn