Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 6, 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.

It begins to look as if winter is finally loosening its grip on Minnesota as today we have had above freezing temperatures for awhile. As the sun set, snow was again falling, but we can hope that the very cold temperatures are at an end for this year. We are finding evidence that the birds believe that as more HORNED LARKS, larger flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS, and a few LAPLAND LONGSPURS have been reported this week.

Notably, folks are out looking for snowy owls and finding them. In the interest of those that are still looking for them, I will list those that have been reported to me for the last two weeks. Barb and Denny Martin were in the area on the last weekend of February and found several SNOWY OWLS. Two were at Hamden Slough NWR in Becker County along CR 13. In Clay County on March 4, a SNOWY OWL was found by Bob Ekblad a half miles east of 170 St on 190 Ave two miles south of the Norman County line. In Norman County one was found along CR 14 about three miles from the one in Clay County. Barb and Denny Martin on February 27, found a SNOWY OWL at CR 39 and 210 St a miles east of US 75. They found one in Mahnomen County at the intersection of 160 Ave and 130 St about two miles east of Bejou on February 27. Another was found in Mahnomen County by Bob Ekblad two miles west of Waubun on March 4.

From Douglas County, Benjamin Eckhoff reported sightings at Lake Carlos SP. They included BALD EAGLE, BARRED OWL, PILEATED WOODPECKER, and PURPLE FINCH. Elsewhere in Douglas county this week were CANADA GEESE, TRUMPETER SWANS, WOOD DUCK, MALLARD, HORNED LARKS, and many SNOW BUNTINGS.

In Norman County on February 27, Barb and Denny Martin reported several GRAY PARTRIDGE including 28 along 140 Ave north of the Neil WMA and 4 along CR 179.

A GREAT HORNED OWL was heard by Barb and Denny behind the casino in Mahnomen County on February 27.

In Pennington County, they reported LAPLAND LONGSPURS along MN 1 near Goodridge on February 28. Some more were seen northeast of Karlstad in Kittson County on that day.

Hal and Ronda Sanders reported seeing 4 TRUMPETER SWANS for the last several weeks in Beltrami County at Tree Island County Park.

A GREAT GRAY OWL was seen by Barb and Denny Martin in Roseau County at 390 St and 530 Ave about 5 miles west of Cr 313 two miles south of the Canadian border. They also reported that the LEWIS’S WOODPECKER was seen at Roosevelt in Roseau County on both February 28 and March 1.

Gretchen Mehmel saw a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER at Norris Camp in Lake of the Woods County on March 4.

Thanks to Barb and Denny Martin, Benjamin Eckhoff, Bob Ekblad, Gretchen Mehmel, Hal and Ronda Sanders 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, March 13, 2014.