Duluth RBA

Duluth RBA phone number: 218-525-5952

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

*Duluth/North Shore
*February 15, 2001

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: February 15, 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 15, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

The most interesting birding news this week involves increased sightings of BOREAL OWLS, especially in Two Harbors; the continued presence today of a THREE-TOED WOODPECKER in Lake Co found late last week and a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE found 2 weeks ago at Canal Park in Duluth; and, on the other hand, the apparent absence last weekend of that GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH at the Cargill grain elevator in the Duluth harbor.

Probably as a result of last week's snowfall on top of an ice crust from 2 weeks ago followed by sharply colder temperatures, there has been a sudden increase of Boreal Owls seen in the area. Most notable were the 9 individuals reported in Two Harbors and vicinity last Sunday, with at least one of these being relocated today 1/2 block N of the corner of 4th Ave and 2nd St in Two Harbors. Also seen by dozens of birders last weekend was the Boreal in Don Kienholz's yard on Martin Rd in Duluth, but Don reported today he has not seen this owl since the 11th. The other most recent Boreal Owl reported was on the 13th on Lenroot St in Duluth, but it has not been relocated since then. Almost every day a new report of a small owl comes in, with some of these correctly identified as NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, and other owls whose ID is in doubt. Some of these owls are also dying of starvation.

A Three-toed Woodpecker was found Feb 9 near the gate at the beginning of the Endless Waters Rd, which turns off the Spruce Rd, 0.4 mi from Minn Hwy 1. This bird was still present today, but please note this is a PRIVATE ROAD which is OK to walk on, but under no circumstances are birders allowed to drive on it even if the gate is open; and, of course, don't park where you would be blocking the road whether or not the gate is open.

That adult male Barrow's Goldeneye found Feb 3 continues to be seen as of today among a Common Goldeneye flock in the shipping channel at Canal Park in Duluth.

However, no one reported being able to relocate the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch last weekend, Feb 10-11, at the Cargill grain elevator in the Duluth harbor. Although it might have died or moved elsewhere in the harbor area after last week's snowfall, Cargill superintendent Roger Juhl has again extended permission for birders to enter this private property this weekend only under the following conditions -- and note the addition of one more restriction:

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.

3) Birders have permission at this time to enter the property ONLY this Saturday and Sunday, Feb 17-18. Note, however, that superintendent Juhl now asks that birders NOT enter the property if there happens to be activity by workers at any time this weekend. 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 24-25; if they do and if the rosy-finch is relocated this weekend, this will be announced on the Feb 22 Birding Report.

That adult gray-morph GYRFALCON was still present in the Duluth harbor today, still seen most often by the Cargill elevator. Also being seen in the harbor area are an ad PEREGRINE FALCON and a few SNOWY OWLS -- Snowys are also still present along Aitkin Co Rd 1 a few mi N of Aitkin, and near the jct of U S Hwys 53 and 169 in Virginia. RED-NECKED GREBES, HORNED GREBES, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and LONG-TAILED DUCKS were reported at various locations last weekend on the N Shore between the French River and Two Harbors. (Note, however, that I have received no documentation for these scoters, which are only Casual at best here in winter.) SPRUCE GROUSE were seen this week in Lake Co at 2 locations along Minn Hwy 1 between Co Rd 2 and the Spruce Rd. The TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was still present near Emily's Cafe in Knife River as of the 12th. And a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER is still surviving this week at my feeders on the 8200 block of Congdon Blvd.

Finally, both GREAT GRAY OWLS and NORTHERN HAWK OWLS continue to be reported at numerous locations in N E Minn, as they have been all winter. Look especially in the vicinity of Sax and the jct of Co Rds 7 & 319 in the Sax-Zim Bog, and in Aitkin Co (for more information, call Warren Nelson in Aitkin at 218-927-2458).

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 Feb 22. 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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