This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 14, 2016 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
The weather has finally straightened out, and birds are flocking in. This week most counties are reporting a lot of waterfowl species; turkey vultures have arrived, rough-legged hawks have reached Roseau County, dark-eyed juncos are in the northwest in large numbers as are purple finches. Fox sparrows are being reported in several counties. Large flocks of tundra swans are arriving this week.
In Roseau County, Ron Erpelding and I found at least 12 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS in the Roseau area on April 10. We drove through the burn area northeast of Bemis Hill where we found at least two BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS still there, even though most of the burned trees were now almost fully debarked by the birds and winds.
In Marshall County on the weekend , Ron found COMMON MERGANSER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, TURKEY VULTURE, and a single SNOW BUNTING.
In Pennington County, Ron and I found a RING-NECKED PHEASANT in northwestern Thief River Falls on April 10. Here at home this week, I had TUNDRA SWANS, COOPER’S HAWK, GREAT BLUE HERON, FOX SPARROW, many DARK-EYED JUNCOS and PURPLE FINCHES, and an EASTERN PHOEBE showed up on April 14. At least one of our WOOD DUCK boxes is occupied by a hen who has already laid several eggs.
Sandy Aubol in East Grand Forks , Polk County, had a EURASIAN TREE SPARROW visit her yard on April 8, last reported on April 13. She also reported a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK on April 9, and by April 14 had YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER CEDAR WAXWING, SONG SPARROW, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, a few YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and many DARK-EYED JUNCOS and PURPLE FINCHES. Leon Thoreson near Climax reported MOURNING DOVE, and BROWN CREEPER, among others. He also saw a late SNOWY OWL along the railroad tracks on US 75 two miles east of Eldred on April 10. Ron Erpelding reported several species of waterfowl from the impoundments in the Red River valley including TUNDRA SWAN, COMMON MERGANSER, and GREATER SCAUP. He also observed HERMIT THRUSH, FOX SPARROW, and a few SNOW BUNTINGS.
In Mahnomen County, Ron Erpelding found TUNDRA SWAN, TURKEY VULTURE, and FOX SPARROW.
15 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were observed by Ron at Ada wastewater treatment ponds in Norman County. He also saw TUNDRA SWAN, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GREATER SCAUP, a GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK there.
Dave and Betty Hochhalter reported a COMMON LOON , TRUMPETER SWAN, and MALLARDS on Little Detroit Lake in Becker County on April 13. In his yard, he saw WILD TURKEY, NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN KESTREL, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN CARDINAL, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. I have a secondhand report that Donna Dustin working for Tamarac NWR has banded the first hatch of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS on April 13.
Marshall Howe in Hubbard County reported YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and EASTERN PHOEBE on April 10.
Alma Ronningen in Dent, Otter Tail County reported that the OSPREYS have returned to nest on a pole in her yard. Also seen this week were EASTERN PHOEBE, and PURPLE FINCH. Alice Martin reported NORTHERN FLICKER, FOX SPARROW, a partial albino AMERICAN ROBIN, and one COMMON REDPOLL.
Thanks to Alma Ronningen, Alice Martin, Dave and Betty Hochhalter, Donna Dustin, Leon Thoreson, Marshall Howe, Ron Erpelding, and Sandy Aubol for their reports.
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at [email protected] OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is April 21, 2016.