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View birds at Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Carlos State Park will offer American woodcock viewing Saturdays, March 24 and 31. Join naturalist Alex Watson for a short presentation about American woodcocks, and then a short hike into the woods to listen and watch their display as the sun sets.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Lake Carlos State Park Visitor Center. Participants will hike about one mile (1.5 hours) roundtrip, depending on where male woodcocks set up territory. Viewing the birds requires participants stay still and quiet for periods of time.

The American woodcock, one of North America's most popular game birds, has returned from its winter home in the southern United States nearly two weeks earlier than average. It is famous for its evening mating ritual known as the skydance, which combines singing and a spectacular flying display that impresses female woodcocks as well as human spectators.

Vehicles entering the park need either a daily ($5) or annual ($25) park pass.

Lake Carlos State Park is located 10 miles north of Alexandria on HIghway 29 and 1.5 miles west on County Road 38.

For information, call the park at (320) 852-7200.