Northwest Birding Report – March 22, 2018

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 22, 2018 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

Spring seems to have arrived in the northwest, even though we are promised more snow. Weather has been mild and much of our snow has melted. Birds are streaming north , with Rough-legged Hawks, and Horned Larks leading the charge. The first Canada Goose scouts have arrived at least as far north as Pennington County, and I suspect, probably all the way to the Canadian border. There are now large numbers of Rough-legged Hawks in the grassland areas, and a few Northern Harriers are being reported. Trumpeter Swans can be found throughout the northwest, and Bald Eagles are paired up and on the nests. There is still little or no open water in the northern part of the area, although a few smaller streams are opening up in the southern part.

At the North Ottawa Impoundment in Grant County, Wayne Perala found TRUMPETER SWANS, MALLARDS, GREAT HORNED OWL and WESTERN MEADOWLARK on March 18.

In Otter Tail County near the Orwell Dam, Wayne reported TRUMPETER SWANS, TUNDRA SWAN, NORTHERN HARRIER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD on March 18. Alma Ronningen in Dent reported SANDHILL CRANES this week. On March 19, she saw a NORTHERN HARRIER and on the 22nd an EASTERN BLUEBIRD.

Shelley Steva and I were in Becker County on March 18 where we found TRUMPETER SWANS, CANADA GEESE and COMMON REDPOLLS  at Tamarac NWR, and HORNED LARKS everywhere.

HORNED LARKS, TRUMPETER SWANS and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were also seen in Norman County on March 18.

The first report of HARRIS SPARROW in Polk County came from Sandy Aubol on March 19. On March 17, Sandy found CANADA GEESE, TRUMPETER SWANS, BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIER and 30 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at Glacial Ridge NWR.

At Rydell NWR, she reported TRUMPETER SWANS and a single MALLARD at Erskine.

Here in Pennington County, two DARK-EYED JUNCOS showed up in the yard on March 18.

Connie Cox at Itasca SP reported CANADA GOOSE and TRUMPETER SWAN  on March 16. PURPLE FINCHES  were seen at the east entrance to the park, and on March 20, a GREAT BLUE HERON returned.

In Roseau County, Beth Siverhus reported 60 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in the town of Warroad this week, as well as a flock of PINE GROSBEAKS. Elsewhere in the county, a NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported, and in the Beltrami Island State Forest, she observed RED CROSSBILL, RUFFED GROUSE and COMMON REDPOLLS.

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, March 29, 2018

Jeanie Joppru
Pennington County, MN