Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 18, 2013 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.

In spite of the snow and wintry weather, migration has been proceeding in the northwest, although some species must surely be suffering. Migrants mentioned in the area this week included CANADA GOOSE, TRUMPETER SWAN, TUNDRA SWAN, WOOD DUCK, MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER, RUDDY DUCK, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GREAT BLUE HERON, SANDHILL CRANE, COOPER’S HAWK, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, AMERICAN ROBIN, and COMMON GRACKLE in addition to those mentioned below. Please note that bare ground is hard to find in the northwest and open water is very scarce.

In Lake of the Woods County, Gary Tischer observed 3 HERRING GULLS on Lake of the Woods on April 10. Two GREAT GRAY OWS were seen along the Long Point Road leading from Williams to the Long Point Resort. On April 11, Bill Blackburn reported 2 GRAY PARTRIDGE, 5 KILLDEER, and some SNOW BUNTINGS at the Agassiz Impoundment in Marshall County. Cliff Steinhauer saw a BALD EAGLE take an AMERICAN CROW out of a flock of 20 on April 17. At Agassiz NWR, Lynda Knutsen reported that the waterfowl are starting to come back, but open water areas are limited; Gregg Knutsen saw a HERRING GULL on the west side of the refuge on April 15 and Sean Lofgren saw an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK west of the refuge along CR 7.

In Pennington County, on April 11, Shelley Steva saw 200 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 50 AMERICAN ROBINS, and five CACKLING GEESE among the CANADA GEESE in Thief River Falls. On the 17th, she reported 6 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 5 COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, 30 HOODED MERGANSERS, and one RING-BILLED GULL below the dam in Thief River Falls. The NORTHERN SHRIKE reported last week was seen again along US 59 south of town. On April 14, Gary Tischer reported 10 TURKEY VULTURES circling over the town.

Shelley Steva observed a RING-NECKED DUCK near Oklee in Red Lake County on April 18. Bill Blackburn reported TRUMPETER SWANS near the Goose Lake IBA in Polk County, and 12 GRAY PARTRIDGES were also there. Sandy Aubol reported TURKEY VULTURES and many BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in East Grand Forks on April 15. At the Audubon Center near Warren, Heidi Hughes reported EASTERN PHOEBE and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on April 16.

Kristy May mentioned AMERICAN KESTREL, SANDHILL CRANES, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, COMMON GRACKLE, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD in Mahnomen County on April 18. Kathy Bresee in Moorhead in Clay County saw a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER there on April 18 along with many other migrants.

In Becker County, Steve Midthune reported TUNDRA SWANS , NORTHERN SHRIKE , and a WILSON’S SNIPE north and east of Lake Park on April 17. Kristy May saw 5 TURKEY VULTURES south of Ogema and a possible LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE on April 17.

Marshall Howe in Hubbard County saw an OSPREY there on April 7. On April 13, he saw a PURPLE FINCH, on April 14, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and on April 17, a NORTHERN SHRIKE. Connie Cox reported 11 WILD TURKEYS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and EVENING GROSBEAKS at Itasca State Park on April 17.

Brad and Dee Ehlers in Otter Tail County reported TURKEY VULTURES, FOX SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in Fergus Falls on April 17. Steve Aversano observed BROWN CREEPER on April 12, PEREGRINE FALCON and HERMIT THRUSH on April 14, and FOX SPARROW on April 18. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was seen on the Ottertail River on April 12, and elsewhere in the county this week, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN. Judy Doll observed GREAT BLUE HERON and RING-BILLED GULL, while Alma Ronningen added SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and OSPREY in the county this week.

Judith Clayton saw 10 WOOD DUCKS and some RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in Douglas County on April 17. Benjamin Eckhoff reported that waterfowl are streaming into Douglas County this week. He mentioned most of the duck species, both swans, and SNOW GOOSE among others. A WESTERN MEADOWLARK was seen on April 14, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on April 16, TREE SWALLOW and BARN SWALLOW on April 17, and FOX SPARROW and SONG SPARROW on April 18. On the 16th, an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was seen at Lake Carlos State Park.

Thanks to all the folks who sent in sightings this week. Please understand that , with so many, only the highlights could be individually mentioned, but keep sending those sightings in. They are much appreciated and will be recorded. 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 25, 2013.