Northwest Birding Report – April 18, 2019

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 18, 2019 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:


After the snow storm of last week, the weather in the north has really turned around, and it seems that we are to get spring after all. Most of the winter’s snow has melted and a little green can be seen in a few places.

Birds are streaming back. All the usual raptors are here, and there are a lot of rough-legged hawks on their way north. With the rivers opening up, waterfowl are increasing in numbers with almost all the common ducks being reported in the southern part of the area. Most species of  blackbirds are here. Dark-eyed juncos are still monopolizing the feeders, but there is good representation of purple finch, common redpoll especially in the northern part of the area,  and pine siskins. The first sparrows are starting to come in.

From Grant County, Wayne Perala reported many waterfowl in the North Ottawa Impoundment area including most of the common ducks  and waders.

In Douglas County, Jason Swelstad reported a FIELD SPARROW  on April 14.

Jason also saw a FIELD SPARROW  in Otter Tail County that day. Becca Engdahl observed a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE  there on April 18. Various people have reported that  the waterfowl have arrived in Fergus Falls this week, and the nesters at the Grotto have returned. GREAT EGRETS, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS are all there. Other species seen this week in the Fergus Falls area include COMMON LOON, OSPREY , KILLDEER, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, EASTERN PHOEBE, NORTHERN CARDINAL, HERMIT THRUSH, WINTER WREN, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and FOX SPARROW. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was seen on April 13th.

On April 13, a VARIED THRUSH  was seen  along CR 37 near Detroit Lakes in Becker County.  Stacy Salvevold reported two NORTHERN FLICKERS ( RED-SHAFTED subspecies) in Becker County and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was seen at Tamarac NWR on April 18. Mary Sundby saw a TURKEY VULTURE  in Detroit Lakes this week, and Cleone Stewart reported that the OSPREY have returned to the power poles along US10 east of Detroit Lakes.

A PRAIRIE FALCON was seen by Emily Hutchins at the Thorson Prairie WMA in Polk County on April 18. Also seen were a variety of ducks and SANDHILL CRANES by the 100’s. WESTERN MEADOWLARKS, SONG SPARROWS and  TRUMPETER SWANS  were also in the county.

A group of 15 TURKEY VULTURES  were seen in the trees by Tammy Swick along Greenwood St. in Thief River Falls, Pennington County, on April 18.  On April 12th, a flock of 40 -50 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS  came to the yard looking for the crabapples that the starlings have already eaten. After the snowstorm, last weekend the river opened up and the CANADA GEESE, WOOD DUCKS, HOODED MERGANSERS and a pair of COMMON MERGANSERS showed up the next day. A huge flock of AMERICAN ROBINS  came to town last weekend also. FOX SPARROW and BELTED KINGFISHER  arrived on April 15.

Heidi Hughes reported an EASTERN MEADOWLARK  at the Agassiz Valley Impoundment in Marshall County on April 18th. Beth Siverhus saw a GREAT EGRET flying over Agassiz NWR on April 14th.

In Beltrami County, Beth saw a NORTHERN HAWK OWL along MN 72 between Waskish and Keliher on April 14th. Becca Engdahl reported a NORTHERN SHRIKE in Beltrami County on April 16th.

In Roseau County this week, Beth Siverhus reported that all the usual raptors appeared to be everywhere in the county. With a lot of ice still around, the waterfowl have not really arrived in the far northern part of the county, but other species sighted included SANDHILL CRANE, BALD EAGLE, KILLDEER, NORTHERN CARDINAL, PURPLE FINCH, DARK-EYED JUNCO, COMMON REDPOLL, HOARY REDPOLL, PINE SISKIN and WESTERN MEADOWLARK. She saw a GOLDEN EAGLE south of Warroad this week. AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS  arrived on April 18th.

WOOD DUCK  was seen in Lake of the Woods County this week.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at <> OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s numbers 218-847-5743 or 218- 847-9202.

Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Jeanie Joppru
Pennington County, MN