This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, January 23, 2014 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.
What a winter it has been so far, and it’s not over yet! As I compile this report, the wind is howling outside and more snow is forecast tonight. That said, there are still birds around. Flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS are common along the roadsides and the first HORNED LARKS are being seen. On a recent trip from Thief River Falls to Moorhead, we found a HORNED LARK in Norman and another in Pennington County, the first of the season for me. Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found SNOW BUNTINGS in Becker, Mahnomen, Norman, Clearwater, Hubbard, Cass, and Wadena counties on the weekend.
In Hubbard County , Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER in the southeast part of the county, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES in the northwest part of the county, and some AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, the only finches they saw all weekend.
Steve Midthune found two SNOWY OWLS in Becker County around Hamden Slough north of Audubon on January 17, but on the 19th, Ron and Herb found only one.
One SNOWY OWL was seen by Karen Suldahl one mile south of Kragnes in Clay County along US 75 on January 19. Zeann Linder and I found a flock of about 75 SNOW BUNTINGS in Clay County on January 18.
We found a NORTHERN SHRIKE along US 75 in Norman County on January 18. A flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS was seen by Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann in Norman County on January 19 – can spring be far behind?
Another SNOWY OWL was found in Mahnomen County by Ron and Herb along CR 6 1.3 miles east of US 59 on January 19. Other species seen in Mahnomen county included a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and 8 GRAY PARTRIDGE. The latter were seen at the northeast corner of the intersection of CR 6 and CR 10.
Heidi Hughes reported a NORTHERN HAWK OWL near the Agassiz Valley project in Polk County on January 19. Zeann Linder and I saw twelve GRAY PARTRIDGE were seen along CR 17 on January 18 .
In Pennington County, Zeann Linder and I found two groups of GRAY PARTRIDGE – 15 along MN 32 south of Thief River Falls, and 4 more along CR 3 on January 18. A NORTHERN HAWK OWL was reported by Randy Knott on January 22 in Sanders Township.
Thanks to all who sent in sightings this week.
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 Thursday, January 30, 2014.