This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 12, 2020

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 12, 2020 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

Spring is slowly coming to the northwest. The slow speed is welcomed by many as it is slowing the melt of all the snow, and lessening the chances of flooding in days to come. Birds are coming back, and most obvious are the horned larks which are now present in large numbers on almost all the rural roads in open areas. Due to the slow melt, the roads are by and large still in pretty good condition. That could change at any time so check the reports before venturing out into the rural areas.

In Lake of the Woods County, Martin Kehoe sent in a report of sighting during the week on February 22nd – 29th around his cabin in the Red Lake WMA. He reported PINE SISKINS everywhere, and I have reports of them in several other counties in the last days. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS could be seen throughout the area, and RED CROSSBILLS were present in smaller numbers. He was seeing up to ten SPRUCE GROUSE daily, also a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER and an AMERICAN 3-TOED WOODPECKER. PINE GROSBEAKS were seen in small numbers as well as PURPLE FINCHES; SHARP-TAILED GROUSE could be found in open areas.

From Kittson County, Anna Wermers reported a NORTHERN HARRIER on March 5th.

On March 7th, Debbie Center reported COMMON MERGANSERS in Nevis in Cass County.

A RUSTY BLACKBIRD was seen by Pat Beauzay in Clay County on March 10th.

On March 9th, NORTHERN HARRIER and AMERICAN KESTREL were observed in Becker County at Hamden Slough. A GREAT HORNED OWL was reported by Lee Kensinger in Detroit Lakes.

On March 2nd, Marshall Howe sent in a third party report of a photographed GREAT GRAY OWL near Dorset in Hubbard County which had been seen since January 25th. It is unknown if it is still there.

There were several reports from Otter Tail County. Wayne Perala reported BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, TRUMPETER SWAN, and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS in the Fergus Falls area on March 8th. Chad Tolsma reported BELTED KINGFISHER and HOODED MERGANSER there on March 10th. Also on March 10, Pat Millard found four NORTHERN HARRIERS in the area. Jean King Perryman reported AMERICAN ROBIN and EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE in Battle Lake on March 9th.

In Grant County, Wayne Perala reported on March 8th that the North Ottawa Impoundment was still frozen, but numbers of SNOW GEESE, and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were flying around the area. Other species seen in the area included WESTERN MEADOWLARK, RED-WINGED B LACKBIRD, AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN HARRIER, MERLIN, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and HORNED LARKS.

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, March 26, 2020.

 Jeanie Joppru

Pennington County, MN