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Birds Posts

Birds light up National Weather Service radar over Duluth

NWS Duluth also tweeted: “The bird density was about 3-6 birds at a time onscreen all going south. Radar returns are based on the diameter of the scatterer to the 6th power. So the birds look like large hail stones, they really light up the display even though there aren’t as many as you’d think.”

Video: Duluth Great Horned Owl Twins

Duluth birder Richard Hoeg captured this video of twin great horned owls in the Lester Park area. On his 365 Days of Birds blog, Hoeg named the parent owls Les and Amy, after Lester River and Amity Creek. Hoeg wrote that the happy owl couple started dating last fall and would often sing back and forth, sometimes in his yard. “Over the course of the winter the relationship grew stronger,” according to Hoeg, “and the couple cemented the bond in early March!”

Shooting with Sparky: Greater Prairie Chickens

Mark “Sparky” Stensaas visits Tympanuchus Wildlife Management Area, about 230 miles west of Duluth, observing greater prairie chickens for his blog, the Photonaturalist.

Clinton’s Critters: How Great Gray Owls Hunt

Clinton Nienhaus, head naturalist for the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog and education director for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory narrates this video about how Great Gray Owls hunt for voles in winter. Video by Sparky Stensaas.

Flight of the Northern Goshawk

Sparky Stensaas captured a few Northern Goshawks in flight at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth in October.

Video: Boreal Owl on Duluth Lakewalk

The Minnesota Christmas Bird Count is underway. The Audubon Society uses information from more than 1,000 members of the public for its annual census of birds.

This video by Milton Blomberg shows off a boreal owl on the Duluth Lakewalk.

Videos: This Week in Duluth Snowy Owl Rescues

Richard Hoeg spotted a snowy owl on Duluth Harbor ice this morning and at first didn’t think it was out of the ordinary. Returning a few hours later, he noticed the owl had only moved a few feet and didn’t flush when a pair of dogs were checking it out. So with the help of a fish net, wood and duct tape, he pulled the owl in and passed it along to Wildwoods Rehabilitation. Hoeg tells the full story on his 365 Days of Birds blog.

Endion Owl

OwlCop

Duluth police officer Richard LeDoux photographed this barred owl sitting on the hood of his squad car at the intersection of 21st Avenue East and Superior Street in Duluth. The owl stayed there about a minute and then flew off.

Duluth News Tribune: Owl lands on Duluth squad car

Crows Attacking Snowy Owl at Sunrise

Shot this morning in the Duluth area by Richard Hoeg for 365daysofbirds.com.

What is the dawn chorus of birds?

In the West Duluth area we get two choruses — a din of birds sing-talking. It’s annoying. It happens at dawn and also dusk. I am wondering if there is an expert who could tell me what type of bird this might be. I don’t have a recording, but it usually goes something like wa-oh wa-oh wa-oh twitter spike. The song is really varied with each “sentence” or “question.” It happens before the crows start their cawing craziness and the seagulls start piping up.

Robin Droppings

Jana Studelska - Saturday EssayWhen my boys were young, they found a baby robin in our backyard. That little bird ruled our world for a few days, but more remarkably, it brought me to my spiritual knees. My place in things — motherhood, nature, humanness — all came into question. A decade later, I am still pirouetting with the lessons, the most resonant being my wonderment at the place I hold among animals, which I find to be rather startling. The writer Wendell Berry said in one of my favorite poems, “I come into the peace of wild things.” What I learned was not — and is still not — entirely peaceful. But in being gobsmacked by a few ounces of feathers, I have been able to see the elegance and intelligence of things I didn’t see before. The skills and abilities we are given for our particular deed. It just comes to us. We are so lucky, so blessed, so capable — even while we find the limits of our own animalness.

The robin my boys found was clearly too young to be on her own. She had enough wing feathers to get herself safely out of a tree without a deadly landing, but her landing strip was a backyard ruled by boys and curious dogs. Her appearance at ground level was, of course, a breathless, wide-eyed event for my elementary-aged boys, who instantly and frantically began saving her. I was swearing silently while directing an evacuation of the backyard, contending with that horrible gut heaviness that comes when you know your heart is about to be split open. I peered hopefully out the window with the boys many times before dinner, watching to see if the robin parents would somehow come for her. That was my irrational hope.

Sustainable Design at UMD

Sustainable Design6

I’m lucky to have worked on a sustainable art project on the breezeway leading to Darland Admin Building at UMD with Darren Houser, Mindy Granley, Catherine Meier, Kathy McTavish, and Wildwoods.

Duluth is a bottleneck for bird migration. Birds flying south prefer not to fly over open water, and so follow the coastline until they read the head of the lake in Duluth.

Bald eagle stuck in trap rescued by hunters

bald eagle rescue selfieTwo brothers grouse hunting in Canada rescued a bald eagle with its talon stuck in a trap and then took a selfie with it. They posted video of the rescue on Facebook, the freeing of the talon took about four minutes.

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Bird on the loose

bird on a ledgeAnyone in Superior missing a pet?  My wife got this pic this morning. The bird is currently in the care of Wildwoods.

Crazy Pine Siskins

We have a gazillion pine siskins at our bird feeders right now. The feeders have to be filled twice a day to keep up with these ravenous little guys. Does anyone know what the story is? We have had siskins before but never so many at one time. Undoubtedly our seeds are tasty, but …