Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Birding Season

It seems funny to be talking about spring when we're on the verge of a winter storm warning. But believe it or not, it really is time to get ready for the spring bird migrations! The Mississippi River Valley is one of North America's greatest bird migration corridors, used by millions of birds each spring and fall. FMR takes advantage of this fact by organizing several guided bird hikes in key places along the river, such as the river gorge, Crosby Regional Park, and Hastings Old Mill Park.

Details of this year's bird hikes are still being worked out, so check back for more information. But in the meantime, get yourself all psyched up by checking out this bird list (124 KB PDF) for species found in the river gorge, compiled by Dave Zumeta, experienced birder, and one of our guides for the gorge birding hike.

Or check out this list of birds spotted near Bluff Street Park in Cedar Riverside, compiled by Steve Brandt, a resident of the area. This is a great example of site specific bio-monitoring done by citizens, which can sometimes be very helpful in making the case to protect and/or restore a natural area. Thanks Steve!


Regular residents:
Mourning Dove
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Wood pecker
Red Eyed Vireo
American Crow
Black Capped Chickadee
House Wren
American Robin
Grey Catbird
Yellow Warbler
American Tree Sparrow (winter)
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark Eyed Junco (winter)
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Occasional visitors:
Cooper’s Hawk
American Kestrel
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Eastern Wood Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow Throated Vireo
Blue Jay
White Breasted Nuthatch
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Creeper
Cedar Waxwing
American Redstart
Indigo Bunting
Redwinged Blackbird
Brown Headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Grasshopper Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon

Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Tennessee Warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Mourning Warbler
White Crowned Sparrow
White Throated Sparrow


Rick said...

Another excellent source of bird checklists can be found at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. There are local checklists for Hennepin Parks and also for Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The more resources the better!

MJ said...

That's amazing how many different birds have been seen in the area--here's hoping that your bird hikes are successful in seeing most of them.

Karen said...

Thanks for the tips Rick! We sometimes take copies of checklists for participants on the bird hikes. I had the MVNWR one, but not the Hennepin Parks one!