Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, October 30, 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.

As I compile this report, the wind is howling and the temperature dropping as the sky has cleared. It promises to bring the first really hard frost to most of the area. Migration of songbirds is slowing, but the raptor migration is in full swing.

From Douglas County, Benjamin Eckhoff reported on the birds at Lake Carlos State Park this week. At the feeders, some of the species were several woodpecker species including RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and PILEATED WOODPECKERS, a NORTHERN SHRIKE, and PURPLE FINCH. On the lakes and wetlands , he mentioned WOOD DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON LOONS, BALD EAGLES, RED-TAILED HAWKS, NORTHERN HARRIERS, AMERICAN COOTS, and PIED-BILLED GREBES, and on the trails, RUFFED GROUSE, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, COMMON RAVENS, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS.

In Hubbard County Marshall Howe reported BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES , 2 COMMON LOONS, and a BONAPARTE’S GULL on October 24; a NORTHERN SHRIKE , 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD were seen on October 25; 10 PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES were observed on October 29.

Sandy Aubol in Polk County observed SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and MERLIN frequenting her yard and no doubt limiting the number of other species. She has had a late ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, HARRIS’S SPARROWS, and PINE SISKINS there from time to time this week. Today, I saw several NORTHERN HARRIERS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, and a small flock of SANDHILL CRANES between East Grand Forks and the Pennington County line.

In Marshall County, Shelley Steva and I saw a most unexpected NORTHERN CARDINAL along a wooded road through Thief Lake WMA on October 25. The bird was catching butterflies and other insects on the side of the dirt road. Also, at Thief Lake and on the way there, we saw a flock of TUNDRA SWANS, BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIERS, RED-TAILED HAWKS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, SANDHILL CRANES, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. A flock of several hundred SANDHILL CRANES was seen on October 24 along CR 7, but they had moved by the next day, although a lesser number were seen along the western boundary of Agassiz NWR.

In Beltrami County, Shelley and I found a small flock of SNOW BUNTINGS in the far western part of the county.

Thanks to Benjamin Eckhoff, Marshall Howe and Sandy Aubol 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, November 6, 2014.