Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, January 5, 2017

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, January 5, 2017 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.

Here in the northwest, almost everyone has been plowed out by now, but few are venturing far outside in the severe cold. We are covered in a heavy blanket of snow, and bird feeders are busy. With all the Christmas Bird Counts, the last two weeks have been very busy, but I will try to summarize what little I know has been seen.

Milton Blomberg reported a female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE at the Riverside Waterfowl Sanctuary in Fergus Falls on December 24. Also there are COMMON GOLDENEYE, an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK and numerous other waterfowl. On Christmas weekend, Teresa Jaskiewicz reported SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, AMERICAN ROBIN, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, COMMON GRACKLE, HOUSE FINCH, and PURPLE FINCH, in addition to several species of woodpeckers at her home in Elizabeth.

The LINCOLN’S SPARROW at Kabekona Lake in Hubbard County was still there on December 31.

The Detroit Lakes CBC in Becker County reported 40 species including RING-NECKED PHEASANT, 32 WILD TURKEYS, 10 EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES, 2 BARRED OWLS, 41 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, and 12 NORTHERN CARDINALS among their finds.

Shawn Conrad found a TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE in the town of Fosston in Polk County on January 1.The bird was across the street from the 3-way intersection of 6th St NE and N Brandt Ave. Two or more SNOWY OWLS are being reported in or near Sherack . Dan Linder saw a SNOWY OWL near Tabor last weekend.

Jason Cater observed a SNOWY OWL along US 59 near Brooks in Red Lake County on December 27. Shawn Conrad found 8 GRAY PARTRIDGE along CR 112 about 1.5 miles southwest of Red Lake Falls on January 1. Other species seen in the county included SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, WILD TURKEY , AMERICAN KESTREL southeast of Plummer, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS about four miles north of Oklee, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in the town of Red Lake Falls. A SNOWY OWL was seen on a minimum maintenance part of 180 Ave SE about a half mile south of CR 26.

In Marshall County, Cliff Steinhauer reported 20 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in his yard just west of the entrance to Agassiz NWR on December 26.


In Roseau County, the Roseau CBC found close to 30 species on December 31. Included were SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, 11 GRAY PARTRIDGE, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, SHORT-EARED OWL, 3 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS, 2 GREAT GRAY OWLS, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, GRAY JAY, PINE GROSBEAKS, PURPLE FINCH, and COMMON REDPOLLS. The NORTHERN HAWK OWLS, and GREAT GRAY OWLS were along or near MN 310 north of Roseau, and the SHORT-EARED OWL was in the southeast part of the circle. SNOW BUNTINGS were seen in small numbers.

Gretchen Mehmel, in Lake of the Woods County, observed a GREAT GRAY OWL along the Roosevelt Road 4 miles south of White’s Corner on January 4. Just over 20 species were found on the Beltrami Island CBC held on December 29, including a GREAT GRAY OWL on the Rapid River Road. Other species seen included BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, SPRUCE GROUSE, BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, and six PINE SISKINS. We found where the COMMON REDPOLLS are this winter as a good number were seen in the forest. The Baudette CBC was held on December 30 and recorded a record or near record number of species. They included 2 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS, 2 BOREAL CHICKADEES, one NORTHERN HAWK OWL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RUFFED GROUSE, SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, PINE GROSBEAKS, EVENING GROSBEAKS, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS.

Thanks to all who reported sightings this week.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, January 12, 2017