Minnesota, a Winter Owl Wonderland

10,000 Birds

As for myself, in January of 2013, I finally took a much anticipated trip up to their world of ice and snow in northeastern Minnesota in search of them. My first day in Minnesota included a visit to Sax-Zim Bog, the most famous (and rightly so) birding hotspot in the region. First light revealed my first Common Ravens , a veritable goliath among passerines and the most commonly encountered species in northeastern Minnesota. Birding Birds Minnesota owl

What is the State Bird of Minnesota?

10,000 Birds

Those eerie calls come from the Common Loon, the state bird of Minnesota. Minnesota legislators named the loon their state bird in 1961, as their state has more Common Loons than any other barring Alaska. Around 12,000 loons call Minnesota their home, and are an iconic part of the summer soundscape. Birds common loons loon Minnesota state birdPicture this: you are on a lake, with dusk just beginning to fall.

Humane Society Cites Abuses at University of Minnesota

Critter News

Media-Newswire.com) - The Humane Society of the United States has obtained government reports showing that the University of Minnesota has violated federal standards of care for animals in laboratories. University of Minnesota should publicly affirm its commitment to minimizing the suffering of animals in its research labs.". Tags: animal research humane society university of minnesota All this stuff makes me sick.

Available Rescue Resources in North Dakota & Minnesota

Critter News

Equestrian Mag has provided this information on rescue efforts going on in Minnesota and North Dakota.

BP Oil Spill Effecting Minnesota Birds

10,000 Birds

The spill that keeps on giving – now petroleum compounds and the chemicals used to clean up the oil from BP’s massive spill two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico are showing up in eggs of breeding birds in Minnesota. Asides

Minnesota Activist Indicted for Animal Terrorism

Critter News

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.I don't see any mention in this article (or in this one from the Chicago Tribune ) about threats to human life in this incident. Straight vandalism and economic loss. Is this a valid prosecution? Is it terrorism? Scott DeMuth, who is being held in jail in Davenport, is scheduled to make his first appearance in U.S. District Court Friday.

Minnesota Republican State Senate Candidate Attacked for Supporting Bird Habitat

10,000 Birds

This is what happens when a Republican actually does something, even a very little something, to protect birds. The best part of the article is when the treasurer of the Freedom Club State PAC, the conservative organization attacking Republican State Senate candidate Connie Doepke, acknowledges he has no idea what his organization is talking about: However, Andolshek made a surprising admission about the mailings that went out last week regarding the “tropical bird habitats.”

The Sandhill Cranes vs. Canada Geese

10,000 Birds

Birds Cedar Creek Minnesota sandhill craneThe stage is set for two rival gangs to fight over coveted territory: a grassy lawn bordered by a dirt road and a smattering of trees, surrounded by grassland and marsh. At first glance, the Sandhill Cranes seem to be at an advantage. They’re taller, after all, with larger wingspans and sharper beaks. On the other hand, the Canada Geese have both safety in numbers and famously aggressive personalities.

2018 51

Birds at the Bell

10,000 Birds

Perhaps some other time I’ll write in more detail about the links between Minnesota’s Bell Museum and birds. Cranes are a bid deal in Minnesota, and they are a big deal at the Bell. Birds Bell Museum Minnesota Museum DisplayThere are many. Now I’ll just note that the Bell Museum was closed for a long time during a move to a new location; the Bell had its grand opening last Sunday; I took some pictures to demonstrate the Bell-Bird link and here they are.

2018 41

The Birds at Itasca State Park Are All Wet

10,000 Birds

I’m writing this post a day late (sorry) from Itasca State Park, Minnesota. Which reminds me of something funny about Minnesota. One of the most interesting locals in Minnesota, but if your cabin is up a different route you would not know about it! The picture at the top of the post is the tallest white pine in Minnesota. The tallest red pine was nearby, but it is now known as the “Formerly tallest red pine in Minnesota.”

2015 70

How to Plan a Vegan Wedding

Creature Talk

Filed under: Animal Rights , Veganism Tagged: Minneapolis wedding , Minnesota , planning a wedding , vegan food , vegan wedding , Veganism. Animal Rights Veganism Minneapolis wedding Minnesota planning a wedding vegan food vegan weddingI’m sorry for my incredible inactivity these past several months. I mean, I have been M.I.A. But I have a somewhat reasonable excuse, you guys: in September, I got engaged!

Vegan 52

Birders As Family

10,000 Birds

The 2012 event was held at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. On a Minnesota Birding Facebook page, someone related a story of finding four people taking photos of the birds only instead of standing at the dam, they were in the mud…well sinking in to the mud. Birding birders MinnesotaWhat is up with the birding community in the northern part of the US recently? Have we all gone completely mental?

Jinx Warbler Vanquished

10,000 Birds

All the info I needed came in an e-mail from a Minnesota birder named Peder. Trips jinx bird minnesota wood-warblersNote: This is an account, originally published in June 2006, of my quest to remove a jinx bird from my bird-watching soul. I am sharing it again here, at the request of Corey Finger, who takes some sort of sick pleasure in seeing other birders squirm and suffer under the weight of their obsession with life birds.

2011 68

A Survey of U.S. Birders

10,000 Birds

The survey was a join effort with the University of Minnesota. Report to the National Flyway Council from the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and University of Minnesota. Comprehensive surveys of U.S.

64 Years of Birding

10,000 Birds

Here’s a great article about Bob Janssen, a 79-year-old birder from Minnesota who has been birding since his teenage years. ”Citizen birder” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Asides

Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Pelicans

10,000 Birds

Though he destroyed more than 1,000 nests worth of chicks and eggs of the American White Pelican nearly obliterating a colony on land he rented, a guilty plea by Minnesota farmer Craig Staloch means that he faces, at most, six months in jail. Justice? Asides

DeMuth Agrees to Plea Bargain

Critter News

Scott DeMuth, a sociology graduate student at the University of Minnesota charged last year with felony conspiracy under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act agreed yesterday to a plea bargain. Instead, DeMuth will plead guilty to conspiring to damage a Minnesota company that breeds ferrets. From the Science Insider.

2010 109

Two Bald Eagles Survive Crash Landing

10,000 Birds

” In the case of two Bald Eagles at the Duluth International Airport in Minnesota, the landing was of the not-so-smooth variety. The other was transferred to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center with deep talon wounds, but was expected to do well. Well, that brings a new meaning to the phrase “ the eagle has landed.” The birds had locked their talons during a mid-air battle and plummeted to the tarmac together.

Court Overrules Federal Government on Wolf ESA Decision

Critter News

The ruling today affects wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Good news for wolves in the Great Lakes area. TRAVERSE CITY - State officials say they're not pleased with a federal court's ruling overturning the government's decision to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list for the Great Lakes region. It's in response to a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups, including The Humane Society of the United States. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.,

2008 100

Corn Train Derailment Causes Bird Invasion

10,000 Birds

Locke Lake in Fridley, Minnesota was the site of a train derailment this past July. The train was carrying corn and dumped tons of grain into the lake. Now the lake has been invaded by thousands of ducks and geese , far more than the usual dozen or so birds. But are the birds there because of the corn or because of the mild winter that has left the lake open and the waterfowl reluctant to head south? Asides

Obama's Rules Freeze May Help Wolves

Critter News

Wildlife conservationists say the freeze will delay and possibly prevent the removal of gray wolves from the federal endangered species list in Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, and also in portions of Washington, Oregon, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Wolves 100

On Thanking Slaughtered Sheep for Book Awards

Animal Person

Well, she apparently did such a great job convincing the folks at the Minnesota Book Awards that you can claim to love animals and then send them to slaughter, that not only was she a finalist for their award, but she won it. Jenny sent me a link to a remarkably-ironic story that was very tough to get through. Remember Catherine Friend, who wrote Compassionate Carnivore ? Here 's my commentary on it, and here 's my commentary about what compassionate carnivore means--and doesn't mean.)

Sheep 100

To Drill, or Not to Drill? That’s the Wrong Question.

10,000 Birds

Minnesota’s Superior National Forest is now on the radar for underground mineral mining. Minnesota’s Superior National Forest PETITION. As we enter the second century of protecting, preserving, and respecting our wild spaces, certainly no one would actually consider undoing, reversing, and exploiting our national parks, forests, and monuments. Right? And yet, it has begun.

2018 63

NYC mystery warbler: Odd Blackpoll, hybrid, or Carbonated Warbler?

10,000 Birds

I also found this 1995 account of a warbler in Minnesota that bore similarities both to the bird I saw this morning and to Audubon’s Carbonated Warbler, to which the Minnesota observers compared their bird. As for the Minnesota bird from 1991 and Audubon’s “Carbonated Warblers,” is it possible that a rare aberration in Blackpoll Warbler plumage or molt sequence can explain these birds, and similar sightings?

2015 65

Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest by Matt Williams

10,000 Birds

Focusing on an often under-appreciated portion of the continent, the book showcases forty species found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio – but perhaps not for long. I’m hardly the first person to observe that it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by bad environmental news, and the title Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest sounds like a pretty major downer.

2019 57

Animals Have Personalities? No WAY!

Animal Person

The husband and I took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) a couple of months ago and received the most unremarkable results. When I started blogging in May of 2006 I was very snarky. Snark defined blogging back then. And of course, as a (pop) culture whose sensibility has been formed by The Onion and The Daily Show , it's no wonder. My snarkiness increased, and turned into ranting, but then ranting for some reason got old.

2010 103

The Economic Impact of Birding on National Wildlife Refuges: Creating Local Jobs

10,000 Birds

Minnesota Valley NWR (Minnesota): 274,000; $4.2 Every few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) attempts to calculate the economic contribution of National Wildlife Refuge visitation to local communities. The most recent effort was released in June 2019.

2019 87

Can An Early Arriving Spring Bird Survive Late Snow?

10,000 Birds

I was reminded this week as Minnesota received a few more inches of snow and some sub zero wind chills. If finches can survive a Minnesota winter…herons will be fine. Minnesota is known for a long harsh winter like many states in the northern U.S. It’s that special time of year when birds begin to move north and people see a migrant during a snow storm and ask, “Can that bird survive??” ” The answer? Usually.

2013 76

How To Tell If A Hawk Is In Your Yard

10,000 Birds

We had a snow storm approaching Minnesota last weekend and the day before I headed over to the bird feeders at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to see if they were getting any Pine Siskins or Common Redpolls (surprisingly, no). The feeders were incredibly active which is to be expected before a snow storm.

2012 79

Reflecting on a Year of Less Birding

10,000 Birds

In addition to spotting exciting new species in Florida, including the rare Snail Kite, travel across the country brought me into contact with birds in Oregon, California, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alabama, and more. 2018 proved to be one of my best birding years ever.

2019 68

WPAs: America’s Duck Factories

10,000 Birds

The resulting properties—WPAs—are small ponds, wetlands, and associated grasslands, primarily in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana, but also in Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa. Established in 1962, Fergus Falls WMD is located in western central Minnesota. It is also a site on the Minnesota Pine-to-Prairie Birding Trail. Prairie Wetlands Learning Center at Fergus Falls WMD in Minnesota (USFWS). Jason A.

10,000 Birds goes eBirding

10,000 Birds

Some states have no species at all, not even a pigeon, crow, or sparrow: Hawaii , Utah , Nebraska , Oklahoma , Minnesota , Iowa , Wisconsin , Kentucky , West Virginia , Mississippi , Alabama , Connecticut , and Rhode Island. For example, my list of the Top 25 National Wildlife Refuges for birding includes locations in Utah ( Bear River MBR ), Minnesota ( Minnesota Valley NWR ), and Wisconsin ( Horicon NWR ).

2018 44

Top 25 National Wildlife Refuges for Birding

10,000 Birds

Minnesota Valley NWR (Minnesota). There are more than 550 national wildlife refuges in the United States, with at least one in every state and one within an hour drive of almost every major American city. Many were specifically established for migratory birds and are strategically positioned along one of the four major North American migration flyways. Others were established to protect specific bird species or subspecies.

2018 67

Slow Motion Blackbirds

10,000 Birds

As a freelancer who lives in Minnesota, I try to plan work in warmer areas in the winter. I love the Rio Grande Valley and it’s an easy and surprisingly economical trip from where I live. I’m currently working on a web series with Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optik North America. It’s going to have birding and digiscoping tips but it’s also a contest. All the bird footage we use in the series will be a clue to the theme.

Think Outside Of The Nest Box

10,000 Birds

I see them all over in marshes in Minnesota but I had never seen a duck use one. It’s called Woodworking for Wildlife and even though it’s put out by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it can apply in other areas as well. The nesting season is underway and people love to put up nest boxes. It seems an easy thing to do, you buy or make a wooden box and put a hole in it and viola–BIRDS! But it’s not always that simple.

2013 72

Angel’s Miracle

4 The Love Of Animals

We especially love playing in the snow, which we get lots of here in Minnesota! My name is Jan. On May 5, 2010, I adopted a two-year-old poodle/terrier mix from our local shelter, Animal Allies. I named her Angel. She came from another shelter as a stray, had been abused, was very skinny, and she was extremely shy and afraid of everyone. I fell in love with her immediately.

2011 130

Labor Day & Hummingbird Feeders

10,000 Birds

It is possible to see birds like the above female Ruby-throated Hummingbird well into October in northern states like Minnesota. Some of the unusual species we’ve documented here in Minnesota in the fall include Magnificent Hummingbird (above), Costa’s Hummingbird and Green Violetear. Let’s just start this post with the answer someone googling this info will need: You do not need to take your hummingbird feeder in on Labor Day.

2011 80

Birds In Movies

10,000 Birds

I’m not even talking about the usual, “oh that eagle/vulture/every hawk sounds like a Red-tailed Hawk ,” I’m talking about watching a film set in Minnesota and hearing a Tawny Owl , watching something set in Africa or South American and hearing a Kookaburra or watching a bunch of cowboys around a fire in the desert and hearing the lonely wail of a Common Loon.

2013 80

The Elusive Goal of Bird-Safe Skyscrapers

10,000 Birds

Building-stunned bird: Nashville Warbler above by Stephanie Beard, Project BirdSafe, Audubon Minnesota. Or perhaps I should say “illusive.” ” That’s because an American architecture firm is planning what’s billed as the “world’s first invisible building” in South Korea. Hat tip to Pat O’Donnell for the story; the image above is by GDS Architects, via CNN.)

2013 71

My many hummingbirds

10,000 Birds

I was born in Minnesota. Had my life taken a different turn, and had I remained in that state, I would be intimately acquainted with exactly one hummingbird: the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. But my family moved to northern California when I was four years old, in 1962, effectively quadrupling my hummer list with the addition of the Anna’s , Rufous , and Allen’s Hummingbirds. And so would the situation have remained, except that I moved to Morelia, Mexico in 1994. (I

2019 56

Otters Must Be Stinky

10,000 Birds

I’m working on a project in Florida–if living in Minnesota has taught me anything, it’s that finding work in warmer areas in mid-winter will go a long way to keep your sanity during the deep freeze from November through April. I’m currently in one of my favorite states: exhausted (maybe even a tiny bit tipsy) in a hotel room sorting through mountains of bird footage after a fun day birding with my friend Clay.

Snowy Owl Invasion!

10,000 Birds

Birders in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland, and Virginia are all enjoying Snowy Owls , but none as much as the North Carolina birders, who are enjoying their first and second Snowy Owls in thirteen years. Snowy Owl in Queens, New York, 1 December 2013.

Owls 87

Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

How when he needed a dissertation topic in 2005 (studying at the University of Minnesota), it was either Hooded Crane or Blakiston’s Fish Owl, both iconic birds of the area. Here are some of the questions that were running through my mind as I read Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl : (a) Is ornithological research always this dangerous? (b) b) Who will play author Jonathan C. Slaght in the film version?

Owls 60