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Northern Birding

I was up at freakin' 5:30 am yesterday to head out on a birdwatching trip in Northern Minnesota with Stan Tekiela and Sharon the BirdChick. I was actually running right on schedule until I got to Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie is an evil vortex of a black hole and it is impossible to find your way around in it! I've been to the Staring Lake Outdoor Center at least four or five times before, and I looked on the map before I left. I still got lost on my way there! Luckily Sharon called and Stan guided me in so that I could get there before Stan left without me!

Most of the ride up was spent chatting with two folks, Steve and Kathy, that I had been on trips with before, as well as Sharon & Stan. It was a really fun day, with a total of 20 different birds spotted.

The coolest thing we saw, however, was not a bird.

It was a wolf!!!
A freakin' honest-to-gosh wild wolf that crossed the road right in front of us and ran off into the woods! I didn't get a picture of him, but it was pretty darn amazing!

And now, pictures:

The first stop was a group of feeders where there were a bunch of Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks gathered. There was also a Hoary Redpoll that made a brief appearance but I didn't get a picture of him.



The bigger bird here with the Redpolls is one of the female Pine Grosbeaks.


I really like the way I caught the bird in flight coming in to the feeder.


We saw a Black-backed Woodpecker and as I tried to take a picture of him on the tree trunk he took off just as I snapped the picture.


We also saw American Three-toed Woodpeckers. The red area on this tree is where the woodpecker has already picked off the bark to get at the larvae underneath.


One of the birds that I had never seen before was the adorable Gray Jay. They weren't very afraid of people, and so I was able to get pictures from pretty close up. They were very charming little guys!





*edit*

Oh yeah, I forgot... I was gonna put the list of all the different birds we saw on here after all the pictures... oops!

The list:
Red-tailed Hawk (really, you can't drive 3 hours on a Minnesota highway and *not* see one!)
Bald Eagle
Pine Grosbeak
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll

Northern Shrike
Black-backed Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Gray Jay
Hawk Owl
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Ruffed Grouse
Crow
Raven
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch

The ones in bold are the ones I had never seen before! In fact, this was a first for Stan & Sharon because they had a bus full (12 of us, I think) and NONE of us had ever seen a Boreal Chickadee before. It was like a birding hat trick. Everything else at least one of us had seen before.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
scubagrrl
Feb. 3rd, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Cool shots! I like the one bird coming to the feeder, too. Great shot. I'm kind of starting to understand the appeal of birdwatching.

Saw a coyote last night run across the road. That's my brush with wildlife.
whimsywinx
Feb. 3rd, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
I love those last two. And you got to see a wolf? That is so cool!
elaby
Feb. 4th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
It was like a birding hat trick.

*giggles!*

These are really lovely! I love the first one with the bird atop the highest branch, and the second-to-last and last ones. The first Gray Jay looks a cute little balding scholar.
camkin
Feb. 17th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
those Gray Jay shoots are wonderful.
that little guy is too cute!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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