The Best Birding in Years

by Roger Everhart on May 19, 2011

The last 3 weeks here in east-central Minnesota have seen the best birding that I and others can remember in years. I don’t know if it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time or if this year is different in some way from previous years but I’m certainly not complaining.

Not only is birding great but so is our bird banding. Last Sunday we caught so many birds, so quickly, that our nets were only open for about an hour. The birds pictured here are just 3 of the many birds we handled. The Blackpoll Warbler was a real surprise when I walked up to my net.

We are seeing a variety of warblers and I think many are still south of us. This Wilson’s Warbler is a second year bird and the only one of this species we’ve caught so far.

Yellow Warblers are one of my favorites and I always explain to my students that the species name of this bird, petechia is from the same root as the medical term for a rash. If you see the reddish streaking on the breast of male Yellow Warblers you can see why it reminded someone of a rash.

We also caught a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that threw us for a loop. Pictures of this bird and an explanation of why we are excited about it can be found here. Keep getting outside and always remember to look up!

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