[rba] [mou] Henslow's Sparrow at Rothsay; Yellow Rail update

rba at moumn.org rba at moumn.org
Wed Jun 11 12:10:31 CDT 2008

Late last week, Parker Backstrom found a Henslow's Sparrow at Rothsay  
WMA, Wilkin Co, and it was relocated by the VENT tour group on June 9.  
The location was just east of the traditional Greater Prairie-chicken  
lek: from the south side of the town of Rothsay, turn W on Wilkin Co  
Rd 26, go 4 mi and turn N on 300th Ave, go 2 mi and turn W on 190th  
St, then go 0.1 mi to the first 2-track road which goes N, and start  
listening along this road for the Henslow's song.

On Monday, we heard it from 0.1 mi up the 2-track road and saw it ~0.1  
mi to the west. There were also several Le Conte's Sparrows singing in  
this same area. (Also note that earlier that day we were unable to  
relocate the previously-reported Burrowing Owl in Moorhead; we had  
also been unable to find it on June 6.)

Then, on the evening of June 9, we heard 2 or 3 Yellow Rails (and saw  
one of these) in the McGregor Marsh in Aitkin Co. They were heard to  
the east of Hwy 65, 1 mi S of Hwy 210, and there is an ATV trail/road  
here which crosses the highway and provides walking access into the  
marsh (note that regular cars/vans/SUVs are not permitted on this  
road). We walked ~150 yards E on this trail and got close enough to  
the calling rails that we were able to see one of them without getting  

This was the only location where we heard any Yellow Rails, and they  
did not start calling until ~10:45 pm. We did not hear the rail which  
had been calling (and which the Minn Birding Weekends group had seen)  
on May 31 close to the east side of Hwy 65, ~1/2 mi S of Hwy 210.  
There were, however, a few Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows still  
singing in this area on June 9.

Elsewhere in Aitkin Co on June 10, we found a Black-backed Woodpecker  
along the Hedbom Forest Road, 2.4 mi W of the east gate/state forest  
sign, or 0.4 mi W of the St Louis Co line. (We had also heard from Kim  
Risen that there had recently been an Am Three-toed Woodpecker farther  
west of here along Hedbom, but the exact location was unclear and we  
did not find it.)  Kim Eckert

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