Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21--Northern Hawk Owl

Yes it's true. I scored a northern hawk owl today--actually 3 in total--and there is even a picture just above to prove it. The other picture is of a gray jay eating from a frozen deer carcass. Up here in the "northland" they have a unique bird feeding method. Whereas the rest of us hang some suet inside a metal cage, they just hang part of a deer carcass on a tree with some seed feeders nearby. Works quite well and with the cold temps here in Minnesota, the shelf life is pretty lengthy.

Only added 5 new species for the week today, but 3 of them were also new for the year--the owl, pine siskin and ruffed grouse. The siskins were having a high old time at one of the carcass feeder locations, and the grouse was sitting all by itself late in the day in a bush eating its dinner. All these birds were found in one of the great birding locations in Minnesota. It is known as Sax-Zim bog which is about an hour drive north of Duluth. Sax and Zim used to be small towns, but now they are pretty much just names on a map. For birders, though, this is paradise in both the winter and spring/early summer.

So the week total came to 57 birds, and the YTD total is up to 202 species. Tomorrow is the beginning of week #4. I will be up early, and will be birding with my oldest friend--we have known each other now for just short of 55 years. He flew up from Missouri today to join me for a couple of days of winter birding. He and his wife will also be joining me in early April in Texas for the spring migration down there. Since the great gray owl eluded me again today, maybe tomorrow will be my lucky day. Stay tuned!

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