Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

12 weeks of winter: Find a "snow angel"

Starting to get a little cabin fever this winter? We've got a list of activities to keep you busy for the rest of Minnesota's longest season! Each week we will share a new nature activity for you to try in order to beat the cold and enjoy the great outdoors.

Make sure you bundle up and use your best judgment on those super chilly days—when the temps dip dangerously low, consider indoor nature activities instead.

We might be getting a little late in the season to have much luck with this week's winter activity—a few days of balmy temperatures can turn a Minnesota winter into spring in no time! But if you happen to live in an area that just got hit with the latest snowstorm, you might have a chance to find an avian-authored "snow angel."

There are many reasons that a bird might leave an imprint on the snow, and they are always fun to find and to imagine what was happening there. Owls will leave imprints in the snow when they fly down to capture prey. A ruffed grouse may need to quickly flap its wings for takeoff, leaving wing beats evident in the snow. Ravens leave snow prints too, though they are pretty random. They may break through the crust of snow and then need to flap for takeoff, or they also enjoy snow bathing! 

The images above by Minnesota Master Naturalist instructor Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus show examples of what to look for when you're out searching for your own snow angels. Happy hunting!


Amy Rager is an Extension educator based in Morris, MN, and oversees the Minnesota Master Naturalist program.

Page survey

© 2023 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.