Northern Birds … Arriving Now!

The final migration wave of birds from northern Canada are starting to reach Minnesota. During today’s dawn bicycle ride up the shore of Lake Superior I saw both a Snow Goose, and Pipits. Both birds are always late migrants into our area.

Yesterday Molly and I took a final boat ride on NorthStar Lake. This gem of a lake, where we have a small cabin, is 100 miles NW of Duluth. The Common Loons are now in their winter plumage and should head south any day now. The Bald Eagles appear to have kicked their youngster out of the nest. Winter will be hear soon in the North Country.

My Trusty Steed … this morning’s bike ride

A Snow Goose makes a rare visit to our area

Your type is not desired here!

A fall plumage Common Loon

This Bald Eagle couple have kicked their youngster out of the nest!

A Black Bellied Plover … still in breeding plumage (video taken two weeks ago)

Make Your Yard Woodpecker (and bear) Friendly!

In the last hour I have had visits from the following  kinds of woodpeckers in my yard:

  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Hairy Woodpeckers
  • Pileated Woodpeckers
  • Red-Bellied Woodpeckers
  • Yellow-Shafted Flickers

I normally also have Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers around, but I believe my local crew has already migrated south. In short, my yard is woodpecker friendly. In addition to the the obvious suet feeders, I never remove dead trees unless they threaten to fall on my home. Dead trees provide nesting locations, and food for all of my woodpecker friends (with the exception of the sapsuckers). In turn these birds with all their newly created holes create lots of habitat for many other animals. Oh yes, my local bear population also appreciates my suet feeders!

Meet Hairy … Star of the new Children’s Book!

But That Is Not Me!

Yes, Hairy the “Hairy Woodpecker” is the star of a new children’s book. In the book, Hairy, visits his forest sky friends … other northern forest birds … and asks what they do! (pdf book excerpt). Over the course of 32 pages, Hairy learns much about his friends.

In the meantime, you may have noticed the new section of this blog (see top menubar) “Birding With Children. I will give away a copy of the book, But That Is Not Me, to the person who submits the best idea for “birding with children” via the comments section of that page (i.e. not this web page).

But That Is Not Me! will be available for purchase at a cost of $12 via this web site and Amazon by October 15th. 

Forest Fire Smoke Sunrise

Good Morning, Duluth!
This was the scene at 6:40 am this morning as I headed out for an early morning bicycle ride … a glowing red orb with the Lester River Bridge in the foreground!
I always have my camera in my bike’s kit bag, and when I turned to go up the shore of Lake Superior at 60th Ave East, this is the scene that greeted me! Thus, I quickly jumped off my bike, waited till traffic had passed and then stood in the middle of London Road to take this photograph! No special filters were used for this photograph. I suspect the “red globe” look is from lingering Canadian forest fire smoke.