[Mnbird] Birding About the Metro

Steve Weston sweston2 at comcast.net
Wed Jun 10 01:49:46 CDT 2015


I reported earlier the results of the field trip on Sunday, but I have a
few more observations.  We did not find any Brewer's Blackbirds, at the
couple of places we checked.  Brewer's have excellent site fidelity, but
were not at a couple of locations where I have found them for years.  I am
going to check a few more locations that I find them.  This appears to be a
nadir year for Dickcissels. Some years they are everywhere, this year there
were few.  The Shrike nest was a surprise and shows that few birders check
out the Empire Substation these days.  I remember Shrikes nesting there
perhaps 10 or 15 years ago, until the landowner removed the tree they were
using.

A couple of days ago I observed a mother Mallard and her brood of three or
four wandering along the center highway barrier on I-35E in Mendota
Heights.  There was nothing that I could see to rescue them.  The next day
I looked for flattened ducks, but found none.

We have seen two mixed broods of woodies and hoodies on our lake.  A couple
of days ago, I saw one of the Wood Duck broods that after a couple of weeks
still had a least one Hooded Merganser duckling in the mix.  Usually they
are off on their own by now.  I hope to take a canoe out and see how many
broods I can see.  Hooded Mergansers are still flying into my Wood Duck
boxes.  We just had 17 Hooded Merganser young released on our lake.  I want
to see how they are doing.

Neighbors reported about a week ago that they counted 40+ bats leaving
their bat house about the size of a wood duck box.  Yesterday they counted
about 80 and figured that the next generation was already flying.   They
fertilize their planters by a rotation that includes time beneath the bat
house.

Steve Weston
On Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
sweston2 at comcast.net
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