[mou] Fergus Falls/Battle Lake CBCs

Dan & Sandy Thimgan thimgan at digitaljam.com
Sat Jan 5 10:54:30 CST 2008

For those interested in far-flung Christmas Bird Counts, below are brief
summaries for the Fergus Falls and Battle Lake CBCs (both of which take
place in west-central Minnesota in Otter Tail County).

For more specific details, go to:
(and click on ³current year¹s results)  or, go the MOU site
--co-compilers Dan & Sandy Thimgan

Fergus Falls CBC (12/15/07):
Twenty-two participants found 54 species, our second highest total ever.
The weather favored us, always a big plus.  An undocumented gray jay turned
into a probable shrike.  Good diversity always means a good species total,
and largely because of waterfowl (10 species), raptors (4 species), and
upland game birds (5 species), we succeeded in topping the fifty mark.
Cardinals (18) continue their steady increase and are now easy to find.
Three barred owls is notable.
--Steve Millard (compiler)

Battle Lake CBC (12/30/07):
Having just completed our tenth Battle Lake Christmas Bird Count, I thought
it would be interesting to look back at some statistics.  A ten-count
history isn't too long, but enough to see some patterns.

Trumpeter swans (297) have leveled off in the last five years, probably due
to the carrying capacity of the Otter Tail River.  More birds are likely
moving south, as the breeding population continues to increase.  Twelve
species of waterfowl have been seen to date.

Six species of raptors have been recorded, but no falcons among them.
Kestrel is a likely candidate in the future.

Gamebirds had their best year ever in 2007, with ruffed grouse (7), pheasant
(12), and turkey (including a single flock of 90) setting new highs.  303
turkeys more than triples last year's 98!

Only three owl species grace our cumulative list, with snowy only once.  On
two counts no owls were seen.  Long-eared, short-eared, screech, and
saw-whet are all possible.

Hairy (14), downy (57), and red-bellied (9) woodpeckers all set new lows;
pileated stayed average (14).  Crow (125) and chickadee (418) are stable.
Red-breasted nuthatch, an irruptive and unpredictable bird, set a new high
of 19.  The gorgeous Bohemian waxwing, another irruptive, has occurred four
times.  Cardinals (5) continue their steady increase and are now visiting
many yards and feeders.  House finch numbers are low this winter, and this
bird went unrecorded for the first time in 2007.

Two new species were added to our composite list this year:  coot and pine
grosbeak.  This brings our combined total to 72.  This year's total of 40 is
right on the ten-year average; our lowest being 35 and best 46.
--Steve Millard (compiler)

Otter Tail County
Battle Lake MN

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