Birds of the High Arctic .. in Minnesota

Folks like to see “northern” birds, and for that opportunity they could charter a bush pilot and fly into a remote lake near the Arctic Ocean, or they could visit Duluth in the late fall and winter. In a little over a month the visitor center at Sax-Zim Bog will open for the winter. I look forward to another winter of helping out at the center as a volunteer naturalist.

In the meantime one may enjoy the late fall migration along the north shore of Lake Superior. In the past few days I have enjoyed watching:

  • Hundreds & hundreds of Slate Colored Juncos
  • Large numbers of
    • Horned Larks
    • Lapland Longspurs
    • Snow Buntings
    • American Tree Sparrows
  • One Ross’s Goose (Park Point Recreation Fields)
  • Many, many Merlins chasing songbirds for breakfast
  • One Short Eared Owl (dune grasslands while hiking out to the Superior Entry)
  • At my own feeder:
    • Woodpeckers … Downy, Hairy, Red-Bellied, and Pilleated
    • Finches … Purple and Gold
    • Chickadees and Nuthatches (red and white breasted)
    • Mourning Doves
    • Juncos
    • White-Crowned Sparrows
    • Fox Sparrows
    • Cardinals
    • A Gray Fox (15 minutes under the feeders eating 50 minutes before sunrise)

Here are a few images from the past two days … a video of the snow buntings is included.

Ross’s Goose

Merlin (imitating a turkey … don’t think the songbirds were fooled!)

Lapland Longspur (just a few minutes after sunrise)

Snow Buntings

Slate-Colored Juncos

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