[Mnbird] Winter Bird Forcast

Steve Weston sweston2g at gmail.com
Fri Dec 17 10:44:26 CST 2021

Here is some information on winter birds that may be showing up in
Minnesota. This weekend is a big time for the Christmas Bird Counts, so
make sure you get any reports of unusual birds reported, as they may be
included on counts.

Bird report:  (please excuse my abbreviations may be off)
Here is some information on winter birds:
*Snowy Owls*: SNOW's are being reported all around the state and down into
Iowa. There are extensive reports along both sides of Lake Michigan. It
appears to be the start of a Snowy Irruptive winter.
*Great Gray Owls*: Outside of Sax/Zim there are almost no reports of Great
Gray Owls.
*Pine Grosbeaks*: The prediction is that droughts and wildfires in Canada
to the west of Lake Superior have created conditions that may push PIGR
into Minnesota. Pine Grosbeaks are showing up in northern Minnesota.
Reports of poor fruit crops in the Arrowhead may mean that they will push
further south, but no such movement is being seen yet.
 *White-winged Crossbills*: Poor cone crops from NW Ontario and westward in
Canada should push these birds into the US including Minnesota in high
numbers. This movement is already being seen. In Minnesota WWCR they are
already being reported into the Metro Area and down in SW Minnesota.
*Red Crossbills* are forecast to be slightly higher than average for Type 2
& 4 in our area. Few sightings have been reported outside of the north, but
it should not be a bad year.
*Redpolls*: Conditions in Canada north and west of Minnesota should favor
some movement of these guys into Minnesota. Some 27,000 were counted over
Hawk Ridge, which might be a record. There are widespread reports
throughout the state with the exception possibly of the southeast. This
should be a high count year.
*Pine Siskins* should follow WWCR pushing into Minnesota. Reports are
widespread but spotty, localized. They are not very common in the
northwest, north central, or southwest. They will be around, but may be
missing in some expected locations.
*Evening Grosbeaks*: Last year was a major irruption year of EVGR''s  This
year the forecast is for a second lesser echo irruption, and widespread
reports already indicate that it will be a good count in Minnesota.
Have fun! It looks like it will be a good year to find some good birds!

Steve Weston
On Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
sweston2g at gmail.com
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