Sparky Stensaas:  Bird Guide

Sparky Stensaas is one of our favorite bird guides in Minnesota.  Sparky started
watching birds in Minnesota when he was in junior high, when he identified his first
Northern Flicker.  Since then he has been watching birds and wildlife, and he is now
a professional photographer and bird guide.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1985 with a
Biology/American Indian Studies degree, Sparky worked at a string of naturalist jobs
including at Minnesota's Gooseberry Falls State Park, Jay Cooke State Park and
Hawk Ridge.  He was also a ranger with the National Park Service at Grand Portage
National Monument and a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Over the last decade, he and several other naturalists developed the Stone Ridge
Press, sharing their love of nature and birds with others through photography and
writing.  Sparky has written four books on natural history, including birding.   Though
Sparky’s publishing focuses on Minnesota, he is also exploring the other great wild
areas preserved in our National Parks with Yellowstone National Park being one of
his favorites.  

Sparky has worked as a professional bird guide for over a decade and loves showing
birders the owls and other specialty species  of the Minnesota Winter.
Eric Bruhnke:  Bird Guide

Eric Bruhnke is another one of our excellent guides in Duluth.  Besides
appreciating his bird finding abilities, this young guide has impressed
his peers with his enthusiasm, energy and love for nature and birds.  

After completing his degree in Natural Resources at Northland College,
he has spent the last four years doing non-stop field work,  sharpening
his abilities to help you find the birds you have come to Minnesota to
see.  He has been in the field on a variety of projects including the
Oregon Coast, prairie potholes of North Dakota, and the boreal forests
of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Besides working as a
professional, he also has completed a number of volunteer projects
throughout Lake Superior.

Eric gives regular birding workshops and presentations locally and has
worked at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory throughout the past four fall
seasons, and he is planning to return this fall.  He has also taught two
field ornithology classes.

Most of his bird guiding takes place in the northern half of Minnesota
and Wisconsin, where he takes his clients to locations where Great
Gray Owls are found year-round, where Northern Hawk Owls are
regular winter visitors, where Connecticut and sixteen other warbler
species can be found (and all in one day in the Spring of 2012), and
Boreal Chickadees and Gray Jays breed.  Plus, Eric will help you find
any of those other specialties and surprises you are looking for.
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Minnesota Owls:
Key Staff

Sparky Stensaas

and Eric Bruhnke
Norm Lewis:  Bird Guide and Trip Leader

Norm Lewis has guided numerous birding tours across North America,
including multiple trips to Southeast Arizona, Alaska, Florida, the Rio
Grande Valley in Texas, the Upper Texas Coast, California, Nebraska and
the Platte River Valley, North Carolina, New Mexico and elsewhere.
Indiana is his home state, where his brother taught him about bird

For over twenty years he has led monthly trips across Colorado for the
Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Recently, he has hosted a trip to
Costa Rica, Ecuador and several other of our South American

Norm is always good for a quick and tricky identification. He is always
helpful with a quick lesson on the finer points of bird identification in the

Norm is the Past-President of the Colorado Field Ornithologists and a
Research Associate in the Department of Zoology with the Denver
Museum of Nature and Science.
Norm Lewis is always ready to get in the field and find some good
birds.  He will also assure you have a good time.