Duluth RBA

Duluth RBA phone number: 218-525-5952

Previous reports: December 7 14 21 28 , January 4 11 18 25 , February 1 3 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide | Detroit Lakes

*Duluth/North Shore
*February 1, 2001

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: February 1, 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, February 1, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

Permission has again been granted for birders to enter the Cargill grain elevator property in the Duluth harbor this weekend, Feb 3-4, to look for that GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH, which has been present since Jan 13. However, this permission was only extended reluctantly by Roger Juhl, the grain elevator superintendent, since some inconsiderate birders have been trespassing on the property on weekdays, despite repeated announcements on this Report that birders have permission to enter the property on SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY, NOT MONDAY-FRIDAY. In addition, some birders have been wandering unnecessarily around the property into areas where the bird has never been seen. Again, for the fourth time, here are the conditions under which birders can look for the rosy-finch:

1) Park by the No Trespassing sign next to the railroad tracks just east of Garfield Ave, and walk -- do NOT drive -- the 200 yards up the road which leads to the tallest part of the elevator with the green-and-white Cargill logo.

2) Look for the bird feeding on spilled grain on or near this road on the west side of the elevator; if the bird is not there, walk about 100 yards to the left (north) and look for it roosting with House Sparrows by the brick office building. This is now the ONLY AREA where birders are permitted to go -- do NOT walk through to the east or north sides of the elevator. Note that mornings are preferable to afternoons.

3) Birders have permission at this time to enter the property ONLY this Saturday and Sunday, Feb 3-4. Again, do NOT enter the property at any time Monday-Friday, even if there is no worker or truck activity. Do NOT assume yet that birders will again have permission next weekend, Feb 10-11; if they do, this will be announced on the Feb 8 Birding Report.

Cargill -- more specifically Superintendent Juhl -- is generously making an exception to normal operating procedures by allowing birders on the property, and this could easily end if there are more weekday trespassing incidents. Duluth birders, as well as Snowy Owl and Peregrine Falcon researchers and banders, have long been permitted near the docked ships, railroad yards and other facilities in the Duluth-Superior harbor, but this favorable situation may not have a future if Cargill's hospitality is abused.

A BOREAL OWL was found at dawn today at the NW corner of Homestead Rd and Hwy 61 just NE of Duluth. It was still present at 10 AM, but it could not be relocated at noon. Another small owl, identified as a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL but possibly a Boreal Owl, has been seen for 3 consecutive days this week at dusk in a yard in the vicinity of Woodland Ave and Calvary Rd in Duluth. At this time the exact location cannot be given out unless arrangements can be made with the homeowner to allow visiting birders. Two other Boreal Owls were seen in Duluth last week, each for one day only, and it is possible an influx of this species may be starting.

Other sightings this past week of birds not previously reported include: both RED-NECKED GREBES and HORNED GREBES, one Red-necked in Two Harbors Jan 27 and another by the Lakeview Castle restaurant yesterday, and the Horned Grebes at Knife River on the 28th; a GOLDEN EAGLE Jan 27 in the Sax-Zim Bog along Co Rd 7, 3-4 mi S of Co Rd 133; a MERLIN the same day by the Cargill grain elevator in Duluth (this bird has also been seen on the Superior side of the harbor); and in Superior both SHORT-EARED OWL and SWAMP SPARROW have been reported recently (for more information, call Robbye Johnson at 394-9150.

And among those birds mentioned on previous Birding Reports which are still present: both GYRFALCON and PEREGRINE FALCON at the Cargill elevator and other nearby locations in the Duluth harbor; SHARP-TAILED GROUSE in Aitkin Co along Twp Rd 380, W of Co Rd 5; GLAUCOUS GULLS at the Superior landfill; THAYER'S GULLS, both a first-winter imm and an adult, at various locations between Canal Park and the French R; GREAT GRAY OWLS and NORTHERN HAWK OWLS still at many previously reported locations in Lake and Aitkin Co's and in the Sax-Zim Bog; SNOWY OWLS in the Duluth harbor and along Aitkin Co Rd 1, N of Aitkin; SNOW BUNTINGS also on Co Rd 1 (for more information on Aitkin Co birds, call Warren Nelson in Aitkin at 927-2458); a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE near Emily's Restaurant in Knife River; and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER still at my feeder on the 8200 block of Congdon Blvd today.

This week, however, there have been no reports of that Harlequin Duck (last reported Jan 25 at the French R) or Spruce Grouse, and still no confirmed reports all winter of Three-toed Woodpecker or Hoary Redpoll.

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 February 8. 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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