Warm weather equals more migrating birds

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for March 24, sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. It has been a calm pleasant winter week in the northwest, with no weather events other than clear skies, light winds and spr...

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for March 24, sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce.

It has been a calm pleasant winter week in the northwest, with no weather events other than clear skies, light winds and spring sunshine.

Reports continue to come in of migrating birds, with increasing numbers of reports of waterfowl from the southern part of the area, raptors and horned larks from the north.

Larry Wilebski reported from Kittson County sightings of dancing sharp-tailed grouse, also bald eagles, cedar waxwings, and purple finch.

In Lake of the Woods County, Jeff Birchem saw 9 sharp-tailed grouse along the Roosevelt Forest Road. A snowy owl was found along CR 19 less than a mile east of MN 72 March 18.


From Beltrami County, Kelly Larson reported that the number of Canada geese found at the Mississippi River inlet in Bemidji has increased tenfold.

Gretchen Mehmel heard a great gray owl at Gate's Corner along Dick's Parkway March 16. Other species reported from Beltrami County included common goldeneye and pine grosbeak.

Kelly Larson observed an American kestrel in Clearwater County March 20.

Maggie Anderson reported that three pairs of bald eagles have returned to Agassiz NWR, and rough-legged hawks are being seen there. The great horned owl is being seen near the headquarters of Agassiz NWR where it nested last year.

Other species seen in Marshall County included gray partridge, American kestrel and horned larks along CR 12.

John Thorstad saw the first of the season common goldeneye in Thief River Falls March 20. Kelly Larson found 4 bald eagles in the eastern part of the county March 20, and Anita Vettleson saw one fly over a Thief River Falls parking lot.

Shelley Steva reported seeing horned larks and 20 snow buntings in Pennington County March 21. Gary Tischer reported that the merlins returned to Thief River Falls.

In Red Lake County March 21, Shelley saw horned larks, a northern shrike and, near Oklee, 10 common ravens. On March 23, she found a red-tailed hawk along CR 1 three miles east of US 59.


Mike Christopherson reported that the merlins have returned to Crookston in Polk County. Kelly Larson found bald eagle and northern harrier in the eastern part of the county March 20.

Mel and Elaine Bennefeld, birding in Norman County March 21, found a bald eagle and two great horned owls, and in Twin Valley there were 30-40 American robins and 40-50 Bohemian waxwings.

Clay County sightings on March 21 by Mel and Elaine Bennefeld included bald eagle, rough-legged hawk and a mature golden eagle two miles east of Felton. Another, or maybe the same, was seen by Patrick Beauzay on March 19, three miles east and one mile north of Buffalo River State Park.

Patrick Beauzay counted 27 trumpeter swans along the Crow Wind River in southern Hubbard County March 18.

In Otter Tail County March 19, Patrick found Canada geese, three cackling geese and a northern shrike. Dan and Sandy Thimgan saw an eastern bluebird there March 18.

Bob and Joan Burke saw a killdeer at Pelican Rapids. On March 23, Dan and Sandy Thimgan were called to a neighbor's home where they identified a red phase eastern screech-owl.

Alma Ronningen reported some spring migrants in Otter Tail County, including American kestrel, American robin, red-winged blackbird and four American tree sparrows. On March 21, three common redpolls visited their yard.

A prairie falcon was discovered by Patrick Beauzay in Wilkin County on March 19. On March 23, he saw a northern goshawk at the same location. On March 19, he also saw American robin, red-winged blackbird, and 8 western meadowlarks.


John Ellis found bald eagle, northern harrier, and American kestrel in Wilkin County March 18.

Seventy-five rough-legged hawks were seen north of CR 26, also great horned owl and a barred owl; five short-eared owls were found on either side of CR 165 south of CR 30. Dan and Sandy Thimgan found an adult golden eagle near Foxhome on March 22, and more than 300 snow buntings at the corner of 290th Ave, and 170th St.

Beau Shroyer discovered a hooded merganser at Little Sauk Lake in Todd County, and reported that a pair of sandhill cranes have returned there.

Susan Wiste saw a sharp-shinned hawk and American kestrel in Douglas County March 18.

Bird sightings should be reported to Joppru by e-mail no later than Thursday each week at , or call the Detroit Lakes Chamber's toll free number, 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders should call 847-9202.

Persons should include the county where the sighting took place. When reporting by e-mail please put "NW Bird Report" in the subject line of the message.

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