Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, February 20, 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.

This has been a cold snowy week in the northwest, but there are signs that the cold is easing, bringing in the chance for more snow. We are running out of places to store it, and the deer are raiding the bird feeders pretty heavily. Some spring migrants are starting to show up, probably wishing they had not.

On a small road trip with a couple of friends on February 15, we visited Norris Camp in Lake of the Woods County where we found GRAY JAYS, BLUE JAYS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and two PINE GROSBEAKS.

The best sighting on February 15 was a GREAT GRAY OWL which was spotted alongside Roseau CR 4 a quarter mile east of CR 9. Other species seen in Roseau County included many SNOW BUNTINGS.

From Clearwater County, Connie Cox reported TRUMPETER SWANS at Itasca State Park on February 14.

Marshall County sightings on February 15 included AMERICAN CROWS, COMMON RAVENS, and several flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS.

Shelley Steva reported that AMERICAN CROWS are returning to the area as she saw several in Thief River Falls in Pennington County on February 17. On the 15th, a small flock of LAPLAND LONGSPURS were seen along MN 1 east of Goodridge.

Emily Hutchinson reported seeing flocks of up to 100 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE along US 2 near MN 32 on February 14 in Polk County. Sandy Aubol on that day reported GREAT HORNED OWL, AMERICAN ROBIN, 30 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, a NORTHERN CARDINAL and 26 AMERICAN GOLDFINCH in East Grand Forks.

From Douglas County, Benjamin Eckhoff reported on February 19 on sightings at Lake Carlos State Park. Included were CANADA GOOSE, MALLARD, TRUMPETER SWANS, three BALD EAGLES, PILEATED WOODPECKER, PURPLE FINCH and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. Elsewhere in the county were WOOD DUCKS, COOPER’S HAWK, AMERICAN ROBIN, and HORNED LARKS.

Thanks to Benjamin Eckhoff, Connie Cox, Emily Hutchinson, Sandy Aubol , and Shelley Steva for their reports.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at ajjoppru@mncable.net 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, February 27, 2014.