Minnesota Birding Report

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 19, 2015  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.

robinAlthough we are cooler today than earlier in the week, spring seems to be finally on the way. The skies are full of hopeful geese looking for open water, and the fields are full of horned larks, and migrating Lapland longspurs. The first singing robins are shouting from the crabapple trees, and woodpeckers have started courting. Raptors are visible soaring in the skies again, and the first kestrels have been reported.

In Lake of the Woods County, Gretchen Mehmel this week observed a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER  near Norris Camp.

Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann saw one NORTHERN HAWK OWL , one SNOWY OWL, a NORTHERN SHRIKE, a flock of LAPLAND LONGSPURS, and a large flock of SNOW BUNTINGS  in northern Roseau County on March 13. At least 10 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS  were also seen in the area and in several counties to the south as well.

In central and northeastern Marshall County, Ron and Herb found BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIERS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, a NORTHERN SHRIKE, and an AMERICAN KESTREL on March 13.

Here in Pennington County, several observers have seen the two EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES  in Thief River Falls this week. Zeann Linder reported hearing a MERLIN in the city on March 15.

Twelve BALD EAGLES  were seen by Anita Vettleson within a mile two miles southeast of Oklee in Red Lake County on March 12. Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found a NORTHERN CARDINAL  in Red Lake Falls on March 14.

Joanne Johnson saw two SNOWY OWLS  in the Sherack area of Polk County on March 15. Sandy Aubol reported two more- one on CR 20 and one on CR 23.  At the Agassiz Valley Impoundment she noted CANADA GEESE, some GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, MALLARDS, and NORTHERN PINTAIL. A GOLDEN EAGLE  was seen on a power pole along CR 23 east of Angus. Other species seen in Polk County included NORTHERN HARRIER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK , AMERICAN TREE SPARROW and HORNED LARK. Bruce Flaig reported a flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and about 12 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS in southern Polk County.

Kelly Larson in Clearwater County this week reported a calling NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, drumming RUFFED GROUSE, and a strong movement of waterfowl to the rice paddies along the Clearwater River . Other species seen included ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, BALD EAGLES, one AMERICAN KESTREL, a NORTHERN HARRIER, a SHORT-EARED OWL and an EASTERN BLUEBIRD. Connie Cox at Itasca State Park reported TRUMPETER SWANS and CANADA GEESE  gathering on whatever open water they could find.

This week in Hubbard County, Marshall Howe reported HOOEDED MERGANSER, GRAY JAY, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and PINE SISKINS at the Lake Alice Bog. Near Dorset he saw a few COMMON REDPOLLS, a HOARY REDPOLL, a few DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and a NORTHERN CARDINAL. Near Park Rapids he saw an AMERICAN KESTREL.

From Douglas County, Benjamin Eckhoff reported large flocks of geese, and  a spreading out of other waterfowl as lakes and rivers begin to thaw. Species reported included CANADA GEESE, TRUMPETER SWANS, COMMON MERGANSER, COMMON GOLDENEYE, many BALD EAGLES, and COMMON REDPOLLS.

Thanks to Anita Vettleson, Benjamin Eckhoff, Bruce Flaig, Connie Cox, Gretchen Mehmel, Joanne Johnson, Kelly Larson, Marshall Howe, Sandy Aubol, Zeann Linder, Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann 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 26, 2015.