Northwest Birding Report March 29, 2019

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Friday, March 29, 2019 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 finally arrived, and the melt is going slowly as we would have wished. With that said, migration is slowly picking up, but there is still much snow to melt so bare ground is at a premium throughout most of the area. Open water is still rare. That said, waterfowl including snow geese, and Canada geese are moving in by the hundreds in the southern part of our area. Most counties reported several raptors such as rough-legged hawks, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrels moving north. Passerines included members of the blackbird family including red-winged blackbirds, and common grackles. Horned lark numbers appear to be increasing and they are being seen along all the roadsides looking for bare ground.

Wayne Perala was at the N. Ottawa Impoundment in northern Grant County on March 26th where he reported a large influx of migrating SNOW GEESE, CANADA GEESE, and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Six ROSS’S GEESE were seen on the ground and more were migrating overhead. SANDHILL CRANES, NORTHERN PINTAIL, REDHEADS, WOOD DUCKS, and NORTHERN SHOVELERS were at the impoundment.

In Otter Tail County Wayne also reported SNOW GOOSE and AMERICAN KESTREL. Alma Ronningen mentioned COMMON GRACKLE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, AMERICAN ROBINS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and TRUMPETER SWANS. At the Prairie Wetlands Learning center, Teresa Jaskiewicz reported many of the same species as well as TUNDRA SWAN, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER, WESTERN MEADOWLARK, HORNED LARK, and RING-BILLED GULL. At her home she had EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. SANDHILL CRANES were reported north of Perham by Cleone Stewart on March 27.

Becca Engdahl reported a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that has been in the area of Kabekona Lake in Hubbard County all winter.

A TURKEY VULTURE was spotted by Shawn Goodchild in Becker County on March 26.

In Polk County, Sandy Aubol reported the first COMMON GRACKLE, MOURNING DOVE, and FOX SPARROW this week. Leon Thoreson saw an AMERICAN KESTREL along US 75 on March 26. In or near his yard near Climax he reported KILLDEER, MOURNING DOVE, HORNED LARK, and GRAY PARTRIDGE this week. Allyson Engelstad observed TRUMPETER SWANS on Golden Pond at Rydell NWR on March 24. Emily Hutchins saw NORTHERN HARRIER, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL, WESTERN MEADOWLARK, and SNOW GOOSE in Polk County this week.

Here in Pennington County, Gary Tischer observed the first MOURNING DOVE of the season on March 28th. A DARK-EYED JUNCO appeared at our feeder on March 27th.

In Marshall County, Gary Tischer saw NORTHERN HARRIER on March 27th and AMERICAN KESTREL on March 28. Cliff Steinhauer saw his first of the season RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD on March 27.

Beth Siverhus reported BALD EAGLE, BARRED OWL, EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL, and PINE SISKIN in western Itasca County this week.

She saw two NORTHERN SHRIKES in northern Beltrami County this week.


Three GREAT GRAY OWLS were reported by Connie Berg north of Roseau this week. Other species seen in Roseau County this week included TRUMPETER SWAN, CANADA GEESE, BALD EAGLE, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, and in Warroad, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, NORTHERN CARDINAL, PURPLE FINCH,  and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.

In Lake of the Woods County, Beth Siverhus saw ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER, BALD EAGLE, and a few SNOW BUNTINGS. Gretchen Mehmel reported that a few SPRUCE GROUSE were being seen along the forest roads. AMERICAN ROBINS were also seen.

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 Friday, April 5, 2019.

Jeanie Joppru

Pennington County, MN