Thinking spring

Terry Hoy of Cloquet shared this picture he took today:

Terry wrote: “It looks like a Yellow Canary or Finch. But this the middle of winter. I have not seen these since last fall. There were about ten of them around the tree and on the ground.
Are they coming back this early. Or am I or the birds confused.”
My opinion is that it’s a goldfinch in its winter colors. And I think some goldfinches do stay the winter. The bird books show the South Shore of Lake Superior is about the northern end of all-year-long territory for goldfinches. But I can’t say that I’ve seen any since fall, either.
And perhaps, on this day when it actually snowed in the Northland, we can think about spring. I was standing outside of Proctor High School this morning and did a double take. A chickadee was singing the “springtime” song.

Your comments, bird pictures, stories and especially your signs of spring are eager anticipated at:

Snowboarding crow, purple martins in the mail

You might have seen this already, but if not it’s worth a look: A Scientific American “video of the week” of a snowboarding crow in Russia. Watch it here:

Someone at the United States Postal Service must like birds. They’ve already unveiled five stamps featuring raptors. Now they’re offering an envelope featuring purple martins. Here’s a sneak preview:

Your bird news, pictures and videos welcome at:

Raptors in the mail and loons in flight

The United States Postal Service has released images of the “birds of prey” stamps that will be gracing some of the mail this year.
The stamps will feature golden eagles, northern harriers, ospreys, northern goshawks and peregrine falcons.
Here’s a look:

Are you missing the loons? Check out this the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center’s website here:
When you get there, click on one of the loons, then click on “Play animation.” It will show you where in the Up North that loon started out, and how it arrived Down South. It’s astonishing, to me at least, how much ground they cover in a short time once they start migrating.

Your bird news and pictures always welcome at:

Bravo to a Bird City

Kudos to the Village of Grantsburg, which has been named a Bird City Wisconsin.
According to a news release from the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, the “Bird City Wisconsin” program is modeled after the “Tree City USA” program. By achieving success in areas such as habitat creation and protection, community forest management, limiting hazards to birds, public education and recognizing International Migratory Bird Day, a Wisconsin community can win the “Bird City” label.
Specifically, Grantsburg has adopted a comprehensive plan and is in compliance with the Wisconsin Smart Growth Laws. The village has adopted a forest management plan for village-owned land. The high school biology class keeps up a list of birds seen at Memory Lake Park in Grantsburg. Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, Governor Knowles State Forest and Brant Brook Pines State Natural Area are included in the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. And brochures are available on how to limit and minimize hazards to birds.
Grantsburg is about 100 miles south of the Twin Ports and 15 miles east of Interstate 35 on state Highway 70.

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