Northwest Birding Report – Friday, May 8, 2020

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Friday, May 8, 2020 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

This has been a busy week for migration. Birds are streaming in, and every day has brought new ones to the area. Weather has been cold, but mostly sunny but the grass is turning green anyway. In the northwest, part of the area, there has been little rain so roads are mostly in good condition. Caution is always advised in spring, however, as the road conditions can change quickly and variably.

Many of the sightings have come from the southern part of the area. Charlene Nelson has kept me posted of the migration in Grant County. So far she has listed HOUSE WREN, LEAST FLYCATCHER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, OVENBIRD, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, HARRIS’S SPARROW, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, GRAY CATBIRD, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. Terry Brokke found WESTERN MEADOWLARK and SAVANNAH SPARROW near the North Ottawa Impoundment on May 2nd. Various observers have seen WHITE-FACED IBIS at the North Ottawa Impoundment in recent days.

Kim Martinson reported a WESTERN TANAGER in Wilkin County on May 5th.


Warblers are starting to arrive in Otter Tail County this week. Several folks have reported BALTIMORE ORIOLES and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS in Fergus Falls this week. An EASTERN TOWHEE was seen on May 6th by Noah Heidorn in Fergus Falls. A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen by Wayne Perala west of the Orwell Dam on Ma6y 3rd, and he found a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at Inspiration Peak on May 4th. Other species reported in Otter Tail County included TREE SWALLOW, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, HARRIS’S SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, and INDIGO BUNTING.

Lee Kensinger reported EASTERN PHOEBE, PALM WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Dunton Locks County Park in Becker County on May 6th, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER in Detroit Lakes on May 7th. David Baer saw an OSPREY in the county on May 6th.

Dennis Weisenborn observed a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH in Moorhead, Clay County, on May 5th.

In Polk County, Chad Plencner reported a CATTLE EGRET at Climax on May 4th.

Sandy Aubol has a wide variety of sparrows coming to her yard as of May 3rd. They include WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, HARRIS’S SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW, and LARK SPARROW. A COOPER’S HAWK took note of that also. On May 4th, she had ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, and SWAINSON’S THRUSH.

Heidi Hughes found a WHITE-FACED IBIS at the Agassiz Valley Impoundment in Marshall County on May 2nd.

In Pennington County, Krystal Kozicki reported and photographed a PAINTED BUNTING at her feeder in Thief River Falls on May 2nd. As far as I know it has not been seen since. This week at our feeders we have had a full complement of sparrows. On the Red Lake River, a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was seen on May 2. A LARK SPARROW has been hanging around the yard since May 6th.

A PURPLE MARTIN has returned to Beltrami County this week.

Renee Colden saw a SUMMER TANAGER in Roseau, Roseau County on May 1st.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week at Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, May 14, 2020.

Jeanie Joppru
Pennington County, MN