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Friday, March 16, 2012

Northwest Minnesota Birding Report- Thursday, March 15, 2012

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 15, 2012 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.

Spring weather has come to the northwest, even for those of us in the most northerly part. Temperatures have hovered around the high 50's all week, and tonight when I came home I was treated to a loud chorus of robins, geese, and blackbirds in the yard.

Most of the reports have included AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN HARRIER, several species of ducks,  KILLDEER, AMERICAN ROBIN, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and COMMON GRACKLE present in some numbers in all of the northwest counties.

Larry Wilebski in Kittson County reported that a  NORTHERN CARDINAL has been at his cabin since September, and on March 14, he saw a NORTHERN GOSHAWK near the cabin.

On March 10, Heidi Hughes saw a GOLDEN EAGLE along MN 1 eight miles east of Warren in Marshall County.Other species seen that day included 18 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, two NORTHERN HARRIERS, 4 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, and a BALD EAGLE. Today, Heidi reported that the Agassiz Valley Impoundment is filling up and with the water have come many species of waterfowl including 100  CACKLING GEESE, and  many species of ducks. This impoundment is immediately north of the Sanctuary and is partly in both Polk and Marshall Counties. Lynda Knutsen at Agassiz NWR reported the same species mix but also three TRUMPETER SWANS, MERLIN, a RING-BILLED GULL at South Pool, and a WESTERN MEADOWLARK south of the refuge. At headquarters there was KILLDEER, HARRIS'S SPARROW, and DARK-EYED JUNCO. Lisa Newton reported an AMERICAN KESTREL near Viking on March 12.

In Thief River Falls, Pennington County, on March 14 Zeann Linder reported a MERLIN calling near her home. A love triangle of three RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS greeted me in the yard when I returned home  from work on March 14.

In Red Lake County, Shelley Steva reported two leks of SHARP-TAILED GROUSE along CR 1 between US 59 and CR 5 on March 9, and 20 SNOW BUNTINGS along CR 1.

Heidi Hughes reported a GREAT HORNED OWL at the Audubon Center near Warren on March 10. An AMERICAN KESTREL appeared there on March 11. She also had a report from her neighbor of more than 40 BALD EAGLES two miles east of the Audubon Center on March 14. Sandy Aubol reported 3 BALD EAGLES circling over East Grand Forks on March 14. A MERLIN and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK were also in the area.Bruce Flaig reported that TRUMPETER SWANS are back in southern Polk County.

Kathy Bresee in Moorhead , Clay County,  reported AMERICAN ROBIN on March 11.

Beau Shroyer  observed  EASTERN BLUEBIRD, AMERICAN ROBIN, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and COMMON GRACKLE in Detroit Lakes, Becker County, on March 12. A NORTHERN CARDINAL is still visiting his yard. COMMON MERGANSERS were seen on the lake. Marshall Howe saw a NORTHERN SHRIKE at Snellman on March 8.

In Hubbard County, Marshall Howe reported RED-TAILED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS at Dorset on March 11, and COMMON GOLDENEYE at Park Rapids on March 15. A PINE SISKIN  was seen at Dorset on March 15.

Otter Tail County sightings by Gary and Marion Otnes on March 11 included MOURNING DOVE, RED-TAILED HAWK, and meadowlark sp. On March 14,they added KILLDEER, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, SONG SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW, and COMMON GRACKLE. Alma Ronningen at Dent reported that a HARRIS'S SPARROW over-wintered there. Other species seen on March 15 included AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, and DARK-EYED JUNCO.

Thanks to all who sent in sightings this week. Keep up the good work.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at [email protected]mncable.net 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 22, 2012.


posted by Nick Leonard at


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