Northwest Birding Report – Thursday, April 23, 2020

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 23, 2020 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 in the northwest. Today, the temperature was tickling 70 degrees with little or no wind all day. Birds were very busy and a few new ones seem to have arrived. Many of our dark-eyed juncos were absent today, and a few sparrows came in. The blackbirds and lots of American robins and northern flickers are all here. The latter in particular are here in droves and seem to be everywhere today. All the snow is gone but for a few small patches in sheltered areas.

From Grant County, Charlene Nelson reported YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on April 11th and EASTERN PHOEBE on April 18.Various observers reported from the North Ottawa Impoundment: all the waterfowl seem to have arrived, and some shorebirds and waders are showing up. Notable among those were three AMERICAN AVOCETS on April 11th.

Wayne Perala found a HUDSONIAN GODWIT near the Orwell Dam in Otter Tail County on April 19th. The first CLIFF SWALLOW was reported on April 15th by Dave McRoberts. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET were observed by Terry Brokke on April 16th.

In Hubbard County, Marshall Howe reported YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on April 9th, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER on April 10th and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET on April 13th.

EASTERN PHOEBE was seen by David Baer at Tamarac NWR on April 10th and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET on April 11th. A FOX SPARROW was reported by Marietta Keenan in Becker County on April 14th.

A SWAINSON’S HAWK was found by Patrick Beauzay in Clay County on April 11th. The MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD previously reported in Clay County was still being seen as recently as April 13th.

A female PURPLE FINCH was observed by Susan Matson-Thorsrud in Twin Valley, Norman County,  this week.

Within the last two weeks, Zeann Linder has observed a MERLIN in Thief River Falls, Pennington County. Ross Haugen saw a BELTED KINGFISHER along the Red Lake River near Thief River Falls on April 20th, and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on April 22nd. Two COMMON MERGANSERS were seen in the river on April 13th, a SONG SPARROW  was in the yard on April 14, BROWN CREEPER on April 20th, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS on April 21st and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW on April 23rd. Yesterday, there were many flocks of SANDHILL CRANES flying north over Pennington County.

A MERLIN was reported northeast of Warren in Marshall County this week. I found a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and a NORTHERN HARRIER at Agassiz NWR on April 16th. Of note, that day there was very little open water along CR 7, but that has undoubtedly changed with the warm temperatures we have had already this week.

Beth Siverhus reported from Warroad, Roseau County, that there were FOX SPARROWS and SONG SPARROWS there on April 15th.

FOX SPARROWS were reported also by Gretchen Mehmel from Norris Camp in Lake of the Woods County on April 15th.

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, April 30, 2020.