Duluth RBA

Duluth RBA phone number: 218-525-5952

Previous reports: January 18 25 , February 1 3 15 22 , March 1 8 15 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide | Detroit Lakes

*Duluth/North Shore
*March 22, 2001

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: March 22, 2001
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525-5952
Compiler: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)
Transcriber: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, March 22, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

Despite all the snow and ice still firmly in place throughout N E Minnesota, a surprising number of early spring migrants has been appearing, mostly in the Duluth harbor which is partly ice-free. These include: the first RING-BILLED GULLS Mar 18, HOODED MERGANSERS on the 19th, unidentified SCAUP and a surprising KILLDEER both on the 20th, a PIED-BILLED GREBE today, and a report was received of AMERICAN WOODCOCK back on Mar 14 in nearby Carlton Co.

In addition to these migrants, Frank Nicoletti's spring raptor census on W Skyline Pkwy has been continuing, with the best count of the season so far on the 20th with a total of 373: these included 340 BALD EAGLES, 8 GOLDEN EAGLES, 3 NORTHERN GOSHAWKS, 3 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, and 1 COOPER'S HAWK. And yesterday, the 21st, the count was 247, including 219 Bald Eagles, 9 Golden Eagles and an AMERICAN KESTREL.

Birds more typical of winter are also still being reported, although after 5 months fewer observers are out now in search of owls and the like. For those still looking for owls, since last weekend GREAT GRAY OWLS were still being seen on St Louis Co Rds 7 and 319 between Sax and Zim, and other recent Great Grays were reported just NE of Duluth at the N end of the Homestead Rd, at Stoney Point, near the end of the Spruce Rd in Lake Co, at the jct of Minn Hwy 1 and the Stony River Forest Rd just W of Isabella, and at 2 locations within the first mile of the Echo Trail just N of Ely.

NORTHERN HAWK OWLS were also present last weekend with the Great Grays in the vicinity of Co Rds 7 and 319 in the Sax-Zim Bog, but this owl may now be on its way out since there have been no other recent reports. And the only live BOREAL OWL was reported on March 19 in Duluth near the S end of the Maxwell Rd, though the exact location was not given.

A preliminary count by Peder Svingen and others indicates there were at least 300 individual Great Grays seen in Minnesota this season, not that many fewer than the record total of 342 from 5 winters ago. His count of N Hawk Owl individuals is an apparent record of 160+, a bit higher than the previous record of 159 from 10 years ago. The Boreal Owl total for the season is still a long way from being figured out, but it looks like fewer than 100 were reported; 200 or more Boreals had been documented in each of 3 previous winters.

Other recent sightings in Duluth and vicinity include: that male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE which was still present at Canal Park Mar 18 and 19; an imm gray-morph GYRFALCON seen again Mar 17 near the McDonald's along Hwy 53 in Superior (but there have been no recent reports of that ad gray-morph Gyr on the Duluth side of the harbor); a THAYER'S GULL and no fewer than 18 GLAUCOUS GULLS on the 18th at the Superior landfill (and another Thayer's was seen today at Canal Park); a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER about 200 yds up Endless Waters Rd off the Spruce Rd on the 17th, which is 0.4 mi from Minn Hwy 1; and a large flock of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS Mar 16 along Kenilworth St in Duluth.

Unless something unusual is seen in the meantime which needs to be reported immediately, this Report is normally updated once a week on Thursdays, so that the next scheduled update will be on March 29. The phone number for the Duluth Birding Report is (218) 525-5952, and callers can report bird sightings if they wish after the tone at the end of each tape. Messages can also be left without having to wait for the report to end: to do this, after the tape starts playing push 5 on a touch-tone phone, the tape will stop, the tone will sound, and you can then leave your message.

The Duluth Birding Report is sponsored and funded by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU) as a service to its members. For more information on the MOU, either write us c/o the Bell Museum of Natural History,10 Church Street SE, Minneapolis MN 55455; or send an e-mail to ; or visit the MOU web site at .

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