This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, May 17, 2018 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website: https://www.visitdetroitlakes.com/birding-report
Migration is proceeding here in the northwest, but best reports come from along the rivers and lakes. It is extremely dry here, although we are getting a little rain today. Strong winds, mostly from the north and west have also hampered migration. It had warmed up, but tonight it is in the fifties with a strong wind. All the sparrows seem to have made an appearance, the resident raptors are all here, but warbler migration is slow, except along the Red River. The big warbler wave seems to have reached Becker County as Sandy Aubol mentioned having a 15 warbler day late this week at Tamarac NWR. We are looking for them here in Pennington County any day now, if they don’t fly right over us. Summer tanagers seem to be popping up everywhere as they were reported in Otter Tail, Hubbard, Becker and Polk Counties in the northwest, and in several more southerly counties as well this week.
In Grant County at the North Ottawa impoundment, Wayne Perala observed a pair of AMERICAN AVOCETS mating on May 12. We are hoping for nesting.
From Otter Tail County, Jason Swelstad reported a SUMMER TANAGER in Fergus Falls on May 11. Gary and Marion Otnes, reporting on May 14, listed YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, RED-EYED VIREO, EASTERN KINGBIRD, ORCHARD ORIOLE, GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, TENNESSEE WARBLER, WILSON’S PHALAROPES and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in the Fergus Falls area.
In Hubbard County north of Park Rapids on May 13, Marshall Howe reported a male SUMMER TANAGER in the process of molting with the front half of the bird red, while the rear half was still yellow.
An anonymous birder reported on e-Bird another SUMMER TANAGER, this time in Becker County on May 10. Steve Midthune found BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS east of Tamarac NWR, and WHITE-FACED IBIS at Bisson Lake in Hamden Slough NWR on May 17. Dave and Betty Hochhalter reported their first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD in Detroit Lakes on May 10.
The BALD EAGLES that nest north of East Grand Forks in Polk County now have chicks in the nest. Sandy Aubol in East Grand Forks has a male SUMMER TANAGER, an EASTERN TOWHEE and a SPOTTED TOWHEE all visiting her yard. All were there as of last weekend. Many migrating sparrows including WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, HARRIS’S SPARROW and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW are coming to her feeder, and a few warbler species including YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER were there also.
In Red Lake County, Anita Vettleson observed and photographed a very late SNOWY OWL perched on a pole near Oklee on May 12.
This week in Pennington County, I have seen several TURKEY VULTURES. On May 11, a BROWN THRASHER, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, PALM WARBLER, HOUSE WREN, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT arrived. BOBOLINK, LARK SPARROW and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD came to the yard on May 13, and YELLOW WARBLER was seen on May 14.
Beth Siverhus was at Agassiz NWR in Marshall County on May 10 where she found WILSON’S PHALAROPES, MARBLED GODWITS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS and two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS.
Becca Engdahl reported a female PAINTED BUNTING in Bemidji at Susan Wachtler’s feeders on May 13. Do not visit unless you contact the homeowner first.
Beth Siverhus reported a CASPIAN TERN in Warroad, Roseau County on May 17.
Other species seen in Roseau County this week included NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, and YELLOW WARBLER. A CATTLE EGRET and a BONAPARTE’S GULL were seen in Roseau on May 10th. Mike Thiele reported RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD in Warroad on May 11.
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, May 24, 2018.
Pennington County, MN