Minnesota Birding Report

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

Spring is coming at a leisurely pace this week. However the birds seem to know it, as there have been more sightings of returning species this week. Notably , the number of HORNED LARKS has increased, and now we are seeing them in pairs along the roads. Hawks are starting to arrive also.

Benjamin Eckhoff reported HORNED LARKS and NORTHERN HARRIER in Todd County on March 14.

In Douglas County he saw 3 BALD EAGLES and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on March 15, and on the 17th there were a NORTHERN HARRIER and some AMERICAN ROBINS; March 20 he observed a NORTHERN CARDINAL.

Steve Midthune reported five ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS in Becker County hunting over Hamden Slough on March 15.

From Polk County Emily Hutchins last week reported a NORTHERN SHRIKE along CR 45 east of MN 32, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK near US 2 west of MN 32, many HORNED LARKS, and some SHARP-TAILED GROUSE. She also had a secondhand report of booming GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS in that area.

Shelley Steva reported a COMMON RAVEN carrying a large stick in Pennington County on March 6. Gary Tischer reported seeing 6 CANADA GEESE north of Goodridge on March 16.

Shelley and I travelled up US 75 on March 15 where we were delighted to watch a GOLDEN EAGLE make a kill five miles south of Donaldson in northern Marshall County. There was also a BALD EAGLE a mile or so away.

A SNOWY OWL was spotted three miles north of Northcote along US 75 that day, along with many HORNED LARKS and even a few SNOW BUNTINGS.

Thanks to Benjamin Eckhoff, Emily Hutchins, Gary Tischer, Shelley Steva, and Steve Midthune 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 27, 2014.