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Author Topic: Explore Minnesota Birding Update - September 2017  (Read 258 times)

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Offline mudbrook

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Explore Minnesota Birding Update - September 2017
« on: September 12, 2017, 12:03:19 PM »
Explore Minnesota Birding Update - September 2017   

Juvenile sharp-shinned hawk flying over Hawk Ridge; photo by Karl Bardon


Explore Minnesota Birding Update.  Happy birding!

September Nature Notes

The fall migration is underway. Many birds are heading south to warmer locations, and some are just arriving as they relocate from the north.

Various factors and cues spur migratory movement such as the amount of daylight, the angle of the sun, cooling temperatures and the availability of food.

Several warbler species, flycatchers and nighthawks are in the midst of their migration, and the majority of hummingbirds, orioles and martins have already departed. Raptors are also on the move. And an influx of red crossbills was noted as early as August.

One of the most popular viewing sites for raptors is Hawk Ridge in Duluth where birders can see vast numbers of sharp-shinned hawks, broad-winged hawks, bald eagles and other raptors from early September through mid-November. Peak migration at Hawk Ridge takes place from mid-September to late October. Check out The Birds of Hawk Ridge to see images of the many species that pass through most years. Another excellent site to view the hawk migration is Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings.

Birders will want to check out Explore Minnesota's 6 Hot Spots for Watching the Fall Migration to learn of other key locations for spectacular birding during the autumn season.

Did You Know?

Not all birds migrate during the day. In fact, most migrate at night. Such birds include warblers, sparrows and thrushes. One hazard they face is the abundance of well-lit buildings which can easily disorient these birds, often leading to collisions, injury and even death. Audubon Minnesota is promoting their Lights Out Program to help nighttime migrants avoid colliding with lit buildings. They encourage managers and owners of Twin Cities' buildings to turn off unnecessary lights between midnight and dawn from Aug. 15 and Oct. 31 during this prime migration period. Help spread the word about the Lights Out Program and the opportunity to save money while saving birds! Whenever possible, please congratulate the owners and managers of the buildings identified on the List of Participating Buildings.

Migratory birds need to consume additional calories this time of year to prepare for their long flights. Draw these birds into your yard and view them from the comfort of your home while helping them get the calories they need for their long journeys. Autumn Bird Feeding Tips from The Spruce provides information on how to attract and what to feed our migratory birds.

Upcoming Birding Events

Sept. 15-17, Duluth
Hawk Ridge Weekend Festival
Celebrate the fall bird migration during the annual Hawk Ridge Weekend Festival and enjoy one of North America's best places to experience the fall bird migration through field trips, workshops, presentations and social gatherings. Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. 218-428-6209

Sept. 16, Zimmerman
Guided Bird Tour
Look for raptors, waterfowl, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows and other species on this guided walking and driving tour.  Meet your guide at the Oak Savanna Learning Center on Sherburne County Road 9, approximately 5 miles west of Hwy 169. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. 763-389-3323

Sept. 16, Maplewood
Bluff Tops, Birding and Bagels Hike
Join other bird enthusiasts and search Fish Creek’s scenic vistas for songbirds and raptors riding air thermals. Learn techniques for identifying birds. Bagels and cream cheese will be provided. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair. Fish Creek Preserve. 651-249-2170

Sept. 22, Hastings
Bird Banding
See songbirds up close and learn about the birds who share our ecosystem. Banding runs continuously for the full 3 ½ hours but visitors may come and go at any time. Carpenter Nature Center. 651-437-4359

Sept. 30, Hastings
Fall Raptor Count & Hawk Watch
Each fall, thousands of raptors and other bird migrants follow the St. Croix/Mississippi River Flyway south to their wintering grounds in the southern U.S. and beyond. Join a team of friendly spotters and greeters to count raptors as well as songbirds, gulls and other southbound birds. Please RSVP. Carpenter Nature Center. 651-437-4359

Oct. 7, Houston
Owl Prowl to Call in Wild Owls
Owls live all around us but are very good at evading detection. Learn how to identify owls by size, shape, silhouette and sound. Following an indoor portion of the program, participants will carpool to known owl territories in and around Houston to call for eastern screech-owls, barred owls, and great horned owls. International Owl Center. 507- 896-OWLS (6957)

Recent Bird Sightings

Check the Duluth/North Shore Rare Bird Alert and the Northwestern Minnesota/Detroit Lakes Rare Bird Alert for recent bird sightings. Recent sightings throughout the state can be found on the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union website --- consider joining the Minnesota Birding community on Facebook.

During migration periods, check out Bird Cast Forecasts courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to learn about weekly movement for your area.

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