This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 4, 2019

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 4, 2019 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

Spring has surely arrived in the northwest this week as evidenced by the melting snow (all be it slowly), and the increased bird activity in the region. Horned larks are now pairing up, but still looking for bare ground for their nests. Many of the fields are now showing some bare patches, but much snow remains. With freezing temperatures most nights, the roads are still relatively good, but warmer days and nights predicted this week will surely change that so caution is advised. Raptors are the most common migrants this week with rough-legged hawks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, and American kestrels coming into all area of the northwest. Canada goose and dark-eyed junco numbers are increasing.

Scott Laudenslauger found an AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER in the Beltrami Island State Forest 3.8 miles east of the intersection of the Faunce Road with the Rapid River Road. Note that the road is getting muddy and is not safe to drive if it is not frozen.

I was in Roseau yesterday, April 3 where I found a really dark ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, so dark that I at first thought it was a crow. When it lifted off, I was able to see the beautiful underwing pattern. Also seen were RED-TAILED HAWKS, additional ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, NORTHERN HARRIERS, and AMERICAN KESTRELS.

Here in Pennington County, DARK-EYED JUNCOS have appeared at the feeders.

Several WILD TURKEYS were seen on March 31 in Norman County.

CEDAR WAXWINGS were seen in Moorhead by Matt Sorum on March 30.

The BRAMBLING that caused so much excitement in the winter was seen by Judy Johnson on March 30 at the previous location in Becker County. Beau Shroyer has only seen it a few times in the last month.

SWAMP SPARROW was reported by Jason Swelstad in Otter Tail County on March 31.SANDHILL CRANES, GREAT BLUE HERON, and DARK-EYED JUNCOS were also reported in that county. Waterfowl is streaming into the county now that the open water is becoming more widespread. The SNOW GOOSE migration is coming into Otter Tail County now and included some GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Wayne Perala reported the greater white-fronted geese south of the Orwell Dam on March 30.

The big SNOW GOOSE migration in Grant County was the big news this week when tens of thousands of snow geese appeared in northwestern Grant County. The huge flock includedGREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, CANADA GEESE, and ROSS’S GEESE. There are still some of them near or at the N. Ottawa impoundment, but these geese in spring migration have an urgency to get to the breeding grounds, so they can be expected to be greatly reduced in numbers there within a week or two. Already folks are saying that the huge flocks are not as common. You will have to drive around to find them as they move a lot, and are pretty jumpy when they see vehicles. Also there are numerous species of migrating ducks, although more in the impoundment than not. Also in Grant County can be seen TUNDRA SWANS, WESTERN MEADOWLARKS, and all the raptors mentioned at the top of this report.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s numbers 218-847-5743or 218- 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Jeanie Joppru

Pennington County, MN