Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 3, 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 an interesting week. We have been teased by a beautiful weekend followed by a blizzard that dumped anywhere from a foot to 20 inches of snow on the northwest. The strong southeast winds seem to have spurred some species to continue north. Probably all the CANADA GEESE, BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIERS, RED-TAILED HAWKS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, AMERICAN KESTRELS, and WESTERN MEADOWLARKS are a bit sorry that they didn’t hunker down where it was browner and warmer.

From Douglas County, Florinus Kooyman reported all of the above species including 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS in the county and a BARRED OWL hooting in daytime at Lake Carlos State Park on March 29 before the storm.

Marshall Howe observed AMERICAN ROBINS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in Hubbard County on March 30. On April 2, he saw PIED-BILLED GREBE and COMMON MERGANSERS in Park Rapids, and a WOOD DUCK in Dorset.

Steve Midthune reported WESTERN MEADOWLARKS north of Audubon in Becker County on March 29. Kelly Blackledge reported that AMERICAN WOODCOCKS returned to Tamarac NWR on April 2.

Sandy Aubol in East Grand Forks, Polk County had a COOPER’S HAWK in her yard on march 29. Several SNOWY OWLS were seen by Heidi Hughes near the Audubon Center on March 30. Emily Hutchins reported a MERLIN south of Crookston on April 1. Other species seen that day included AMERICAN ROBINS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and HORNED LARKS in addition to the raptors listed at the top of this report. More than 30 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were spotted along US 2 near Glacial Ridge. Leon Thoreson reported 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 8 SNOW BUNTINGS, 12 HORNED LARKS, and a MOURNING DOVE feeding in his yard near Climax after the storm.

In Marshall County, Matt Mecklenburg found 10 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS near the intersection of 380th and 300 Ave on March 30.

Matt also reported that the LEWIS’S WOODPECKER was still at the previously reported location in Roosevelt in Roseau County on March 30. He found a GREAT GRAY OWL along MN 11 just west of Roosevelt that day.

In Lake of the Woods County, Matt reported RED CROSSBILLS 1.5 miles west of Norris Camp on March 30. Several GRAY JAYS were also seen.

Thanks to Emily Hutchins, Florinus Kooyman, Heidi Hughes, Kelly Blackledge, Leon Thoreson, Marshall Howe, Matt Mecklenburg, Sandy Aubol, 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, April 10, 2014.