Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 23, 2017

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 23, 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.

This has been a cold week, and migration was stalled for a while, but has picked up within the last two days. The skies are filled with migrating geese of all sorts, and some ducks are being seen in areas that got warm enough to melt some of the ice. Horned larks are paired off and thinking about nesting, and more dark-eyed juncos are being seen daily.

An AMERICAN WOODCOCK was reported in Grant County on March 19 by Wayne Perala. At the North Ottawa Impoundment , he observed both GREATER SCAUP and LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER, HORNED LARK, GREAT BLUE HERON, and one SNOW BUNTING. Two SNOWY OWLS were seen in two nearby fields also. On March 22, he reported MERLIN and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. A FOX SPARROW was observed by Kathleen MacAulay on March 19 in Grant County.

In Hubbard County, Becca Engdahl reported that the overwintering FOX SPARROW is still visiting her yard. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen by Jon Parker on March 19. Connie Cox , reporting from near Itasca SP this week observed a RED-TAILED HAWK, and a meadowlark species.

Steve Midthune reported 14 GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS on a lek at Hamden Slough NWR. The lek is at the corner of CR 13 and CR 106. SANDHILL CRANES and WESTERN MEADOWLARKS are also there.

In Clay County, Kathy Bresee reported that a FOX SPARROW has overwintered in her yard in Moorhead.

On March 18, Bruce Flaig heard a SANDHILL CRANE, and saw two RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in southern Polk County. Sandy Aubol reported TUNDRA SWANS, BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIER, HORNED LARK, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in Polk County this week.

From Marshall County, Lucas Abrahamson reported several BALD EAGLES, and a pair of TRUMPETER SWANS near his place between Holt and Agassiz NWR this week.

In Bemidji, Beltrami County, Doug Johnson found two LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the Mississippi between Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. This is in the city of Bemidji, and can be reached from the west on US 2 by turning right immediately after the first bridge east of Babe the blue ox and following that road down behind the water treatment plant. They were still there at 3PM today. Also there were COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSERS, GREATER SCAUP, a lone PIED-BILLED GREBE, and the always present CANADA GEESE.

Larry Wilebski reported that a few SANDHILL CRANES have reached his place near Lancaster in Kittson County.

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, March 30, 2017.