Duluth RBA

Duluth RBA phone number: 218-525-5952

Previous reports: January 20 27 , February 3 10 17 , March 9 19 23 25 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide | Detroit Lakes

*Duluth/North Shore
*March 30, 2000

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: March 30, 2000
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)
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, March 30, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

There was an unscheduled update of this Birding Report on March 25 to report on a first Wisconsin record of a SMEW which was seen on both March 24 and 25 in Allouez Bay in Superior. Unfortunately, this duck (which is a Eurasian species of merganser) could not be relocated after it was last seen in mid-morning of the 25th.

Shawn Putz, who found the Smew on March 24, has been doing daily waterfowl surveys on Allouez Bay and reported that every species of duck regularly seen in Duluth-Superior had been seen there as of last weekend, except for Wood Duck and Red-breasted Merganser (which has been seen in Duluth). Other new spring migrants reported recently at various locations in Duluth-Superior include PIED-BILLED GREBE, TREE SWALLOW, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and unidentified MEADOWLARK.

Other recent migrants of note include the group of about 200 TUNDRA SWANS seen yesterday from the Western Waterfront Trail in Duluth, and this same flock of swans was seen late this afternoon on Spirit Lake which is part of the St Louis River at Morgan Park; also, 2 pairs of PEREGRINE FALCONS have been back on territory since March 23 on the I-535 Blatnik Bridge and the U S Hwy 2 Bong Bridge.

Frank Nicoletti's spring hawk count on W Skyline Pkwy near Enger Tower documented a very significant flight on March 26 when he had a total of 2,064 raptors, the highest one-day total in the 3-year history of this spring census. These included 1,404 RED-TAILEDS (including 1 HARLAN'S), 554 BALD EAGLES, 35 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, 4 GOLDEN EAGLES and 1 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS. There was another good flight today of 840 raptors, including 728 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 60 BALD EAGLES and 3 GOLDEN EAGLES. So far this month about 5,000 hawks in all have been counted, and the only regularly occuring raptors not yet seen this spring on this count have been Osprey and Broad-winged Hawk.

In addition to spring migrants, some winter-type birds are still being seen this week at various locations. These include GLAUCOUS GULL (seen at both Wisconsin Point and Park Point last weekend), NORTHERN SHRIKE, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, SNOW BUNTING and COMMON REDPOLL. Also, a male HOARY REDPOLL was present at my feeders on the 8200 block of Scenic Hwy 61 on March 27 and 28, but I have not seen it yesterday or today.

Male BOREAL OWLS are apparently still calling on territory in Lake and Cook Co's, as they do every year in March and early April, and at least one active nest has been reportedly found by researchers. Although no specific locations have been given, the best roads from which to listen for them are: the northern half of Lake Co Rd 2, starting about 26 mi N of Two Harbors at the Co Rd 15 intersection; along the Stony River Forest Rd (which turns N off Co Rd 15, about 1 mi E of Co Rd 2, and ends at Minn Hwy 1, about 3 mi W of Isabella); and along the Gunflint Trail in Cook Co and connecting side roads, starting about 15 mi N of Grand Marais.

Finally, Dave Benson will again be offering a spring bird identification class this year, with field trips beginning next week. All field trips meet at Duluth's Endion Station visitors information center in Canal Park, and the first two trips will be on April 6 (a trip to the Sax-Zim Bog for nocturnal birds, meeting at 6 pm) and on April 8 (to the backwaters of the St Louis River for water birds, meeting at 8:30 am). For more information about the class fees, schedule, etc., call Dave at 728-5812.

Unless something unusual is seen in the meantime which needs to be reported immediately, the Duluth Birding Report is normally updated once a week on Thursdays, so that the next scheduled update will be on April 6. The phone number is (218) 525-5952, and callers can leave a message if they wish after the tone at the end of the tape. Also note that a message can be left without having to wait for the birding report to end: after the tape starts playing, push 5 on a touch-tone phone, the tape will then stop, the tone will sound and you can leave your message.

The Duluth Birding Report is sponsored and funded by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU), the state bird club, 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 S E, Minneapolis MN 55455, or visit the MOU web site at .

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