Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 13, 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.

Spring is surely coming. HORNED LARKS, SNOW BUNTINGS, BALD EAGLES, and even a couple of swans have been reported this week in the northwest. Somewhat strange is the fact that SNOWY OWLS continue to be reported here in the northwest and also in far southern Minnesota, leading one to suspect that they may not nest this year.

Bob Janssen paid a visit to the northwest this week where he found a live GREAT GRAY OWL in Kittson County along CR 4 east of Lancaster , as well as one that had been shot. He also reported a RING-NECKED PHEASANT along CR 4 west of Lancaster. Many HORNED LARKS and SNOW BUNTINGS were seen in Kittson county along with one migrant AMERICAN ROBIN. At Larry Wilebski’s feeder he saw a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and 6 WILD TURKEYS.

Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found SHARP-TAILED GROUSE dancing north of Clearbrook in Clearwater County on March 9.

In Beltrami County Ron and Herb reported a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at the home of Mike and Katie Haws at Blackduck Lake.

Bob Janssen found a SNOWY OWL in Marshall County along CR 4 on March 11.

In Pennington County, Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found WILD TURKEYS in three separate locations on March 9. Zeann Linder reported that as of yesterday, the MERLINS are back in Thief River Falls.

Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found a SNOWY OWL in Red Lake County on the west side of 210 Ave SE where there is no sign at the intersection a half mile south of MN 92. This bird was relocated later in the day about two-three miles west of that location along a better county road. SHARP-TAILED GROUSE and WILD TURKEYS were seen near the intersection of 170 St and 340 Ave SE. Bob Janssen observed PURPLE FINCH and one COMMON GRACKLE at a feeder in Dorothy.

The first NORTHERN HARRIER was reported on March 13 by Gary Tischer north of McIntosh in Polk County. A BALD EAGLE was at the East Grand Forks nest site on March 8. Sandy Aubol reported that she has seen SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and 25 CEDAR WAXWINGS in East Grand Forks this week. Terry Johnson observed MERLINS in the area on March 9. Bob Janssen found a SNOWY OWL two miles east of Sherack along CR 21 on March 10.

Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found 9 WILD TURKEYS along MN 32 north of the Gary rest area in Norman County, and the SNOWY OWL reported last week was seen on March 8 on the west side of 230 St five power poles south of CR 39.

Matt Mecklenburg saw a SNOWY OWL in Clay County on March 7 along 190 Ave a mile west of CR 11. Presumably this is the same bird also see by Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann 0.2 miles east of 50 St N and 190th Ave.

Kelly Blackledge reported that a TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was seen through the week of March 3 to March 9 near the visitor center at Tamarac NWR in Becker County.

Thanks to Bob Janssen, Gary Tischer, Kelly Blackledge, Matt Mecklenburg, Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann, Sandy Aubol , Terry Johnson, and Zeann Linder 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 20, 2014.