Thanks for the updates!

If you’ve been following the comments, you’ve seen all sorts of reports about loon and red-winged blackbird sightings, among others, and even at least one hummingbird report. Thanks so much for the updates.
Here’s one more from John Boland of Park Rapids, Minn., who had a red-winged blackbird on his sunflower seed feeder on Friday morning.
Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of contact with the blog for the next few days, but please keep those reports coming in. Until Tuesday, it’s best to use the comment button and not send me an e-mail. But if any e-mails come, I’ll get to them on Tuesday.
In the meantime, here’s a fun link to check out. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology lets you see a great blue heron nest heree:


Jeanette Lang passed along the hummingbird migration link, and it shows an early advance of the hummers that seems astonishing to me. For example, the first hummingbird of the season was reported today … in the Upper Peninsula. There also have been scattered sighting as far north as central Wisconsin and southern Minnesota. I don’t think the old rule about waiting until Mother’s Day to put out hummingbird feeders in Duluth is going to work this year.
You can see for yourself, and check as often as you like, here:

I didn’t see any hummingbirds during a road trip today, but I thought I saw a red-winged blackbird. It was in a marshy area off Highway 2 just north of Proctor.

Your bird news and photos eagerly received at:

Duck, duck … duck

Can you name all of the ducks in these pictures?

Lyle Anderson of the Park Point neighborhood said he took these pictures in the bay during the past few days.
Seth Spencer sent in a report that might offer some clues for those of us who are duck-challenged. Seth says he has seen hundreds of swans, canvasbacks, redheads and scaup on Mud Lake in Duluth and on Allouez Bay in Superior in recent days.
Seth added that he has had a red-bellied woodpecker on his feeder at Kilner Bay in Superior — earlier and farther north than usual, he notes. I’ve seen red-bellied woodpeckers before, but never up here, so I think that’s an especially cool sighting.
One more from Seth: a belted kingfisher on the Brule River.
But wait. There’s more.
Todd Fedora saw two trumpeter swans fly over his house in the Morley Heights neighborhood on Tuesday. “Unmistakable with the long necks,” Todd writes.
Todd also reports a male cardinal at his feeders for the first time in a couple of years.

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Swan songs

I take a few days off, and I miss a flood of swans coming into lower Lake Superior. I’m thankful for alert photographers who didn’t miss it last week, and shared some of their pictures:

Carole Lent took this picture of swans flying over Lake Superior from the lake side of Park Point last Tuesday. “Everything was gray that day,” Carole wrote. “The water and the sky were one.” If you follow “Shipping Traffic” in the Duluth News Tribune, you might recognize Carole’s name. She frequently shares wonderful pictures of the big boats coming and going.

Bente Soderlind took the pictures above, also from Park Point, on an even foggier Friday. “Their call is so much prettier than the geese,” Bente observed.
But wait, there’s more:

Sherry Hughley took these pictures on Lake Amnicon near Superior, where she and her husband, Bob, live after moving from Florida. This was also on Friday, although the swans had been making their presence heard since Thursday.
“We could hear them but because of the fog we could not see them,” Sherry wrote. “And then the fog started to lift and OH My Goodness!!! I was in Bird Watchers heaven!”
Thanks for the photos, everyone.

And a footnote: You might have seen the report that hummingbirds already have been seen as far north as Wausau, Wis. So, please, if you spot a hummingbird (or any bird that draws your interest) in your neck of the woods, drop me a quick note (pictures welcome, too) at:

The Decorah eagle

“Hatch Watch 2012” is under way in Decorah, Iowa. The Decorah eagle has its own press agent, who reports that an eaglet could hatch as soon as tomorrow.
This particular webcam was a big hit last year, and the press agent says it’s already up to 21,000 concurrent views this week. You can see for yourself here:

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Posted in Uncategorized

Family reunion?

Lyle Anderson of Park Point writes that he and his wife were heading home about noon on Sunday and checked out the bald eagle next on Hearding Island. Instead of the usual pair of eagles, they saw this:

“The two on the right side of the picture are the occupants and I believe the other four are immature,” Lyle writes. Guess they stopped by for a visit. Heck, I don’t know — maybe they came by to see ma and pa.”
Lyle also caught these nice images on Saturday morning of hooded mergansers in the bay:

Elsewhere, my colleague Beverly Godfrey recently found a cardinal high up on a tree in the Kenwood neighborhood:

It’s officially spring, even if it has felt like summer for the past few days. Have you seen your first robin yet? Mine was yesterday morning. It landed on my deck, took a few experimental hops, then had a drink from the birdbath — followed by a quick bath. Later, during a hike on the Grand Portage Trail in Jay Cooke State Park, I was astonished by how many butterflies I saw. In bird terms, I heard a lot of singing but didn’t see much. The most interesting thing was a red-breasted nuthatch hanging out with some chickadees.

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Up close and personal

Kurt Kuehn, who lives in Duluth’s Lester Park neighborhood, caught some marvelous closeup shots of birds on this beautiful early-spring day.
Let’s start with some redpolls:

And, finally, a redpoll taking a nap …

What better way to spend part of a warm day than a nap in the sun? Especially when you’ll be heading up to the Arctic Circle soon.
But wait, there’s more!
A chickadee:

And a nuthatch:

I think it’s a red-breasted nuthatch, but honestly, I’ve never seen one this close.

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Double eagle

You might have seen the picture taken by Steve Kuchera of a pair of bald eagles on Page One of Tuesday’s Duluth News Tribune.
It turns out they also are favorite subjects of Lyle Anderson, who lives on Park Point and occasionally contributes to this blog.
The eagles often can be seen near their nest in a tree on Duluth’s Hearding Island off Park Point in Superior Bay. Anderson says they’ve been easy subjects for him. “I just get out of the car and aim and shoot.”
Here are some of Anderson’s recent pictures; a couple of one of the eagles and a couple of both:

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