This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 25, 2019 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 wonderful spring week with increasing temperatures, and now the snow is all gone except for small remnants in sheltered areas. Migration continues with waterfowl flooding in, most resident raptors are now here, all the blackbirds have been spotted in the northwest, sparrows are starting to appear, and even a few early warblers have been reported. That said, now the weather forecasters are predicting possible snow for the beginning of the week. We hope that won’t have a large impact in our region.
From Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Connie Cox reported TRUMPETER SWANS, BALD EAGLES, WILD TURKEYS, RUFFED GROUSE, SANDHILL CRANES, NORTHERN FLICKER, HERMIT THRUSH, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, and SONG SPARROW among others. She also reported MALLARDS, WOOD DUCK, and HOODED MERGANSER.
Here in the Thief River Falls area this week, we observed MERLIN, three COMMON LOONS, and a GREAT EGRET on April 19th. On the 20th, HOODED MERGANSER and WOOD DUCK were prospecting for homes in our yard, SAVANNAH SPARROW and SONG SPARROW came to the feeder, and EASTERN BLUEBIRD was also seen. On the 24th, NORTHERN FLICKERS came in, along with WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD. I took a ride to the rice paddies in the eastern part of the county on April 21, where I found hundreds of TUNDRA SWANS, a few TRUMPETER SWANS, all the common ducks including GREATER SCAUP, and LESSER SCAUP. A group of AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS flew over from Polk County to Pennington County while we were there. Zeann Linder reported this week that the EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES have returned to Thief River Falls.
A GREAT HORNED OWL nest with two very large owlets was observed by Nancy Hofstad in Red Lake Falls in Red Lake County on April 22nd.
The list for the rice paddies in Polk County was virtually the same as in Pennington. We also saw NORTHERN HARRIERS in both counties. Sandy Aubol reported LINCOLN’S SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW on April 24t, and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER in her yard in East Grand Forks today. Interestingly, she photographed two SNOW BUNTINGS in the county on April 20th.
The Minnesota Birding Weekend led by Kim Eckert last weekend was birding in Otter Tail, Wilkin, and Grant Counties. In Otter Tail County on April 21st, many waterfowl were reported, including all the common duck species. A MERLIN and a WINTER WREN were seen at Oak Grove Cemetery. At the Orwell WMA they observed BONAPARTE’S GULL, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, COOPER’S HAWK, NORTHERN CARDINAL, PALM WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.
In Wilkin County at the Breckenridge WTP on April 20th, the group found ten shorebird species including a DUNLIN. In the County they reported MARBLED GODWIT, GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN, AMERICAN BITTERN, four SWAINSON’S HAWKS, and a BROAD-WINGED HAWK.
The MBW group was in Grant County on April 19th where they observed SNOW GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, most species of duck, HORNED GREBE, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, BONAPARTE’S GULL, TREE SWALLOW, HERMIT THRUSH, BROWN THRASHER, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.
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 2, 2019.
Pennington County, MN