Northwest Birding Report – Thursday, May 10

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, May 10, 2018 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 very busy migration week. We have had a huge influx of all the common sparrows, both resident and non-resident. Most counties have reported SONG SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, HARRIS’S SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW and VESPER SPARROW as being here this week. A large number of PINE SISKINS have appeared in the northwest – one wonders where they spent the winter as we have scarcely seen any until lately. Warblers are streaming north, and many counties are reporting up to eight species of warbler. So far in northwestern Minnesota, we have had reports of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, YELLOW WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, PINE WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, OVENBIRD, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, TENNESSEE WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, WILSON’S WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and CAPE MAY WARBLER.  It appears that the main warbler wave has reached the level of Becker and Hubbard Counties with more reports in the more wooded east. Thrushes seem to have bypassed some counties with few reports, but the BALTIMORE ORIOLES and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS have appeared in the last few days. This week, the rice paddies along the Clearwater River hosted most of the common duck species and thousands of TUNDRA SWANS in Polk, and Pennington Counties.

Beth Siverhus in Roseau County reported flocks of TUNDRA SWANS, AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS, PURPLE FINCH, 8 species of sparrow and BROWN THRASHER this week among others.

From Eckles township in Beltrami County , Nancy Wasik reported a late LAPLAND LONGSPUR on May 10.

A CANADA WARBLER was observed by Connie Cox at Itasca SP on May 7. GRAY CATBIRD was reported on May 8, and both BALTIMORE ORIOLE and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK on May 9.

Shelley Steva and I were at Agassiz NWR on May 5 where we saw no less than ten TRUMPETER SWANS, HORNED GREBE and MARBLED GODWIT.

A BONAPARTE’S GULL with an injured leg was seen at the rice paddies on the Pennington/Polk County line on May 5. Here in the yard, I have most of the expected species from the list at the top, along with many PINE SISKINS, and I heard a BROWN THRASHER singing one day this week.

Sandy Aubol reported a SUMMER TANAGER in her yard on May 8.  She also has an EASTERN TOWHEE  and a hybrid eastern/spotted towhee. Other species this week included many of the sparrow species listed at the top, plus YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER. On May 5th, we found two AMERICAN AVOCETS at the Polk County rice paddies on the line between Polk and Pennington Counties. A PEREGRINE FALCON  flew over – no surprise due to the large number of waterfowl there. Bruce Flaig reported the first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD in southern Polk County on May 9. UPLAND SANDPIPER was observed by Shelley Steva at Glacial Ridge on May 6.

A BOBOLINK was observed by Matt Jacobson at Felton Prairie in Clay County on May 9. Kathy Bresee in Moorhead reported FOX SPARROW and NORTHERN CARDINAL on May 9, while Kara Susag saw a WESTERN KINGBIRD in Clay County northeast of Moorhead.

Wayne Perala visited Tamarac NWR in Becker County on May 4, where he found seven species of warbler including NORTHERN PARULA and PINE WARBLER. Six species of sparrows were seen, and also COMMON RAVEN.


Wayne Perala found a SUMMER TANAGER in Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County on May 10. A CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and SCARLET TANAGER  were observed at Inspiration Peak, and six species of warbler were seen at Glendalough SP.

Cathy Schmitt reported a CATTLE EGRET in Fergus Falls on May 7.

Mark Otnes found a BLACK-NECKED STILT at the N. Ottawa Impoundment in Grant County on May 5. The bird was on the N-S section road on the east side.

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, May 17, 2018.

Jeanie Joppru
Pennington County, MN