Weather Forecast


Birding report: Robins and magpies and buntings, oh my!

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, Dec. 13, sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A real taste of winter arrived this week, but until Thursday, there has been little wind, so we have a Christmas card look to the landscape. Snow blankets everything evenly and it has surely been beautiful with the brilliant sunshine. All that threatens to change with high winds buffeting the area Thursday morning.

Gretchen Mehmel at Norris Camp in the Beltrami Island State Forest in Lake of the Woods County reported northern shrike, gray jay, and pine grosbeaks at the camp feeder on Dec. 6.

In Kittson County, Larry Wilebski has most of the same birds mentioned last week including three wild turkeys, seven blue jays, black-billed magpie, 21 pine grosbeaks, and American goldfinch at his cabin northwest of Lancaster.

Mary Lou Marchand in Bemidji, Beltrami County, saw two American robins in her yard on Dec. 11. She also reported a ring-necked pheasant on MN 71 S. Kelly Larson saw bald eagle, northern shrike, and black-billed magpie in Beltrami County this week.

Kelly Larson reported seeing flocks on 150 or more snow buntings in Beltrami, Clearwater, and Polk Counties this week. In Clearwater County near Bagley, Kelly reported black-billed magpie, white-throated sparrow, pine grosbeaks and common redpoll.

On Dec. 11, Linda Johnson in Marshall County near Warren reported snow buntings, and 10-12 pine grosbeaks.

Amy Drake near Walker Lake in Otter Tail County reported pine grosbeaks on Dec. 7 increasing in numbers all week. Dan and Sandy Thimgan observed trumpeter swans at the extreme end of Otter Tail Lake where the river exits on Dec. 10.

At the levee in Fergus Falls, they found Canada goose, mallard, common goldeneye, and American coot. In county open areas were ring-necked pheasant, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and at home at the feeders were a single northern flicker, an American robin on Dec. 13, and a common grackle.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by e-mail no later than Thursday each week, at or call the Detroit Lakes at 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place.