Minnesota Duluth/North Shore

Previous reports: January 4 10 19 24 , February 10 15 22 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide/Twin Cities
*Duluth/North Shore
*February 29, 1996

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota Duluth/North Shore
Date: February 29, 1996
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525-5952
Compiler: Kim Eckert
Transcriber: Sr. Beverly Raway braway@fac1.css.edu

This is the Duluth birding report for Thursday, February 29th sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

After last Tuesday's snowfall a total of 111 inches of snow has fallen in Duluth so far this season, already nearly three feet above an average year, with still another month and a half or so left to go in this snowfall season. Needless to say BOREAL OWLS are still having trouble finding prey under all that snow, although fortunately, no dead BOREALS have been reported since last week's tape. Four live BOREALS were reported this week on February 25th along scenic highway 61 about a half-mile southwest of the Shorecrest Supper Club, on the 27th on the 500 block of West Wabasha Street, and today two were reported, one near the corner of 5th Avenue West and 5th Street and the other on Kangas Street about 1/2 mile south and 1/2 mile east of Esko where one had been seen in January. Almost all the BOREAL OWLS reported this winter have been present for one day only in yards looking for small mammals attracted to bird feeders.

GREAT GRAY OWLS are now, unfortunately, showing signs of starvation as they are having difficulty reaching prey under the deep hard- crusted snow. Some have been observed with bills and feet bloodied from trying to break through the crust, and one GREAT GRAY found in Lester Park, February 25th died from starvation. Other GREAT GRAYS seen in or near Duluth recently were in the Harbor Area near the Port Terminal last weekend, on the 27th on Old North Shore Road about a mile west of Holmstead Road, and again yesterday, one was still on the Lester River Road about 2 miles north of Superior Street where one or more GREAT GRAYS had been present since last December. Last weekend a GREAT GRAY was also seen along Lake County Road 2 about 35 miles north of Two Harbors. And the usual GREAT GRAYS were still present in the Sax-Zim bog area northwest of Duluth. Look especially along Country Roads 319, 7 and 133 as in previous weeks. Speaking of the Sax-Zim bog, NORTHERN HAWK OWLS were relocated last weekend on County Road 319 one mile east of County Road 7 and at the intersection of County Road 52 and 207 which is three miles west of County Road 7. And another HAWK OWL reappeared on County Road 7 three miles north of Sax where one had been seen consistently earlier this winter.

That adult grey-morph GYRFALCON in the Duluth Harbor was still being seen as of last weekend, although it discontinued its previous pattern of showing up at the Cargill grain elevator between noon and 1 p.m. It was seen, however, on Saturday flying over Park Point towards downtown Duluth and at 2:15 it did appear briefly at Cargill. On Sunday it was also seen at Cargill but reportedly not until 3 or 4 p.m.

One and sometimes two well marked female HOARY REDPOLLS have been coming to a feeder every day this week, most often between 8 and 10 am.

And finally, the only BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS reported this week in Duluth were on the 5400 of Juniata Street in the same neighborhood where the species has been seen earlier this winter.

Unfortunately, I have no recent information on the Spruce Grouse or Black-backed Woodpeckers in Lake County which were reported on last week's tape. Unless something unusual is seen in the mean time which needs to be reported on immediately, the next scheduled update of this tape will be on Thursday, March 7th, and as always if you have birds to report you may leave a message after the tone.... Beep.

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