Duluth RBA

Duluth RBA phone number: 218-525-5952

Previous reports: October 19 23 26 , November 2 9 16 23 30 , December 7 14 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide | Detroit Lakes

*Duluth/North Shore
*December 21, 2000

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: December 21, 2000
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525-5952
Compiler: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, December 21, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

Of primary interest this week was an imm gray-morph GYRFALCON seen by Peder Svingen Dec 18 at the Port Terminal in the Duluth harbor area. A few birders tried to relocate it on subsequent days but were unsuccessful, so it is not known if it might still be in the area. Also of note this week were reports of 2 BOREAL OWLS, one was briefly seen on the 2600 block of E 4th St in Duluth, and the other was at a feeder yesterday evening in the Fish L area just N of Duluth.

The Dec 17 update of this Report gave the results of the Duluth and Two Harbors Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs), and since then the Dec 18 Sax-Zim Bog CBC reported an above-average 28 species, which included 10 GREAT GRAY OWLS and 4 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS, also of note there were 31 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS.

There were even higher counts of owls at Sax-Zim last weekend, which included birds outside the CBC area. All but 2 of the Great Grays had been previously reported: the new ones were on Co Rd 160 E of Kelsey, and near the jct of Co Rds 203 and 980. And of the N Hawk Owls, 2 were at new locations: at Cotton on U S Hwy 53; and on Co Rd 979, 1.3 mi E of Hwy 53. Again, birders looking for owls in Sax-Zim have been finding them especially on Co Rds 133, 7 and 319.

The Aurora-Hoyt Lakes and Ely CBCs were also held last weekend, with 27 species and 30 species recorded respectively. At Aurora-Hoyt Lakes there were SHARP-TAILED GROUSE just SW of Biwabik along Minn Hwy 135, and 1 Great Gray Owl 1 mi SE of Hoyt Lakes on Forest Rd 11. The Ely CBC had 8 Great Grays, with owls seen along the Echo Tr, on Lake Co Rd 16, on Minn Hwy 1, and on St Louis Co Rd 21. N Hawk Owls have also been reported recently in the Ely area on the Spruce Rd, on Hwy 1, and on Co Rd 21. For more information on these owls, contact Steve Schon or Bill Tefft in Ely.

The Duluth CBC held on Dec 16 now has a total of 55 species, with a belated report of MOURNING DOVES at a feeder. As reported on the Dec 17 update, the highlights were:

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (at Canal Park, and a first-ever record for this CBC); PEREGRINE FALCON (an adult in the harbor area); SNOWY OWL (2 seen at dusk on the bay ice near the I-535 Blatnik Bridge -- Dave Evans also reports today there is now a total of at least 7 Snowys in the Duluth-Superior harbor area); GREAT GRAY OWL (2 seen: 1 on the Mace Rd, which turns off Ryan Rd about 1/2 mi N of Hwy 61; and 1 at the jct of Lismore and Cant Rds); RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (at a feeder on the 3000 block of E 1st St); AMERICAN ROBIN (41 seen, a record high for this CBC); YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (still coming to my feeder on the 8200 block of Congdon Blvd); AMERICAN TREE SPARROW (at a feeder at Eagle L); WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (at the corner of 26th Ave E and 7th St); NORTHERN CARDINAL (no fewer than 16 seen; the previous high for this CBC was 6); COMMON REDPOLL (only 9; 227 is the average count for this CBC); PINE SISKIN (1511 counted, another record high for the Duluth count).

Note, however, that no one reported Merlin, Great Horned Owl, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Varied Thrush or Snow Bunting on the Duluth CBC, and if you are aware of any of these (or another rarity) being seen here on the 16th be sure to contact count compiler Jim Lind at 834-3199 or at .

As previously reported, there was a total of 43 species on the Dec 17 Two Harbors CBC.

In Aitkin Co on Dec 17 a Snowy Owl was seen on Co Rd 1, 3 mi N of Aitkin; 5 Great Grays were still in the Co Rd 18 - Pietz's Rd area; and a new Great Gray was S of Co Rd 18 on Co Rd 10. So far this season in the NE quarter of Minn, I have received reports of at least 86 Great Gray Owls, 40 N Hawk Owls, 36 Boreal Owls, and 24 Snowy Owls -- and certainly there are other owls which have not been reported, others seen in NW Minn, and of course there will still be more owls seen later this season.

Among the other birds most frequently sought by visiting birders, there have been no recent reports of Spruce Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker, Varied Thrush, Snow Bunting or Hoary Redpoll, and the only BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS being reported are those persisting in that burn at Simms L about 6 mi E of Gordon in Douglas Co, Wis. Of the species which are being seen in NE Minn, there are average numbers of NORTHERN SHRIKE, BOREAL CHICKADEE, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, PINE GROSBEAKS, and EVENING GROSBEAKS at various locations. However, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, RED CROSSBILLS, and COMMON REDPOLLS are mostly being seen occasionally only in low numbers at no places in particular, although on Dec 18 there was a report from Craig Mandel of several redpoll flocks along Lake Co Rd 2.

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 December 28. 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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