Minnesota Statewide/Twin Cities

Previous reports: October 10 24 31 , November 7 14 21 28 , December 5 12 19 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Duluth/North Shore
*Minnesota Statewide
*December 19, 1996

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota Statewide
Date: December 19, 1996
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (612) 780-8890
Compiler: Anthony Hertzel
Transcriber: Anthony Hertzel (tony@mill2.MillComm.COM)
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Minnesota birding report for Thursday December 19th sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

On Dec. 12th Bob O'Conner found seven OLDSQUAWS at the Crystal Sugar settling ponds in Moorhead in Clay County. This represents a first county record for Clay County.

Dave Thurston had a COOPER'S HAWK visit his yard on Dec. 11 in north St. Paul. Cooper's Hawk reports seem to be up this year.

Mike Henderickson reported on the 18th that six species of gulls were present at the Superior WI landfill, including Glaucous, Iceland, Thayer's and Great Black-backed Gull. A dark-backed gull was also observed there, identified as a different bird from the possible SLATY- BACKED GULL reported earlier. The identity of this bird is also as yet undetermined.

Warren Nelson reported that a GREAT GRAY OWL can still be found along Aitkin County road 5, one and a half miles south of county road 18. Warren also spotted two NORTHERN HAWK OWLS at junction of Aitkin county roads 18 and 5. Lane Elwanger found a NORTHERN HAWK OWL on Dec. 14 along Pine County road 25, 1.5 miles east of county road 24. The Hawk Owl in Beltrami County reported on previous updates of this tape was still present December 15th along county road 20 where it crosses the Turtle River.

With as many as eight being reported from Aitkin County alone, this is shaping up to be an invasion year for SNOWY OWLS. In addition to those birds, on Dec. 14th Terry Brashear spotted a SNOWY OWL while driving along Interstate 94 near the town of West Union in Todd County. This was very near exit number 119. A SNOWY OWL was reported near the town of Tawnton in Lyon County though no specific directions were given. A SNOWY OWL was apparently seen on December 2nd along Goodhue county road 58, though no I have no further directions.

John Schladweiler reported the unusual sighting of a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE at a farm a few miles south of the town of Marshall in Lyon County.

Al Batt reported a VARIED THRUSH at a feeder in the town of Hayward, Freeborn County on Dec. 14. And in Mora in Kanabec County Betty Amerman has had a VARIED THRUSH at her feeder since Dec. 18.

Scott Mehues got a brief look at a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE on Dec. 9th along John Street in the town of Winona in Winona County. It could not, however, be refound. Another TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was seen along Grimm Road near Carver Park, Hennepin County by Tony Hertzel on Dec. 13th.

Craig Menze still had that BROWN THRASHER at his feeder in Mora, Kanabec County as of Dec. 18.

On the 13th, Forest Strnad reported numerous SNOW BUNTINGS near Faribault, Rice County along Baseline Road, about a half mile south of town. Large flocks were also reported from Olmsted County by Bob Ekblad at the junction of county roads 4 and 104.

Other birds of note include GREAT BLUE HERONS in Stillwater, Washington County on Dec. 15; several reports of MOURNING DOVE from Dakota, Ramsey counties; a BROWN CREEPER in Anoka County on the 14th; AMERICAN ROBINS in Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota and Kanabec counties; NORTHERN SHRIKES in Hennepin and Ramsey counties; two SONG SPARROWS at the Richardson Nature Center feeders in Hennepin County on the 14th; a HARRIS' SPARROW at Warren Nelson's feeder in the town of Aitkin in Aitkin County; and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD in Richfield, Hennepin County on Dec. 14.

The next scheduled update of this tape is Thursday December 26th.

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