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Bird report: Although cold, birds still migrating back

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 27, 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 seems to have stalled over northwest Minnesota this week. Temperatures are very cold at night, and only skimming the freezing mark during the day so melting has slowed. The good news is that little snow has fallen in that time, and much of that was so wet that it did in fact help with the thaw.

Slow melting has reduced the danger of flooding for those in the danger zone. Reports of migration continue however, and there are many reports of hooting owls, drumming woodpeckers, and even a few dancing grouse this week.

In Hubbard County on March 23, Zeann Linder and I found a red-shouldered hawk along MN 200/71 where it goes east-west past Itasca State Park.

Beau Shroyer reported a great blue heron flying over Detroit Lakes in Becker County on March 26.

Connie Norheim saw thirty snow geese flying south over US 10 at mile marker 18 in Clay County on March 21.

In Pennington County, we have a small flock of Canada geese eagerly awaiting ice-out, a merlin is being seen regularly in Thief River Falls, and an American kestrel was seen on Sunday in the county. Linda Timm now reports seeing a pair of great horned owls a couple of miles west of Thief River Falls on March 25. Gary Tischer heard a swan fly over the city of Thief River Falls on Easter Sunday.

From Marshall County, at Agassiz NWR, Greg Knutsen saw the season's first sandhill crane along CR 7 within the refuge on March 27. Other species reported at the refuge included rough-legged hawks and American kestrel.

On March 22, Kelly Larson in Clearwater County reported Canada goose, American kestrel, great horned owl calling, and dark-eyed junco. A small flock of Bohemian waxwings were present in Clearbrook on Easter Sunday.

Doug Johnson saw a golden eagle flying over the Mississippi River inlet on Lake Bemidji on March 23. Other species reported in Beltrami County this week included trumpeter swan, common goldeneye, and common merganser. Kelly Larson saw a turkey vulture in the southwestern part of the county on March 26. On the 27th, she observed three red-tailed hawks, and one rough-legged hawk.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by e-mail, no later than Thursday each week, at or call the Detroit Lakes Chamber at 1-800-542-3992. Please include the county where the sighting took place.