Fall Migration in Full Swing

Magnolia Warbler in basic plumage

Magnolia Warbler in basic plumage

 It was a beautiful day on Saturday at Crane Lake. There was a lot of bird activity at the feeders and in the afternoon over at the Vermilion Gorge there was a big movement of migrating Warblers.

Tennessee Warbler in winter plumage

Tennessee Warbler in winter plumage

Many of the Warblers have molted into their basic plumage after the breeding season. Not all Warblers change as dramatically as others and identifying fall Warblers can be a challenge indeed!

It was a fantastic day of Warbler watching and there were some I couldn’t i.d. Here’s a list of what was at the Gorge yesterday:

  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Tennessee Warbler
  • Northern Parula
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher ***
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Northern Flicker
  • plus all the regulars, Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, White-throated Sparrows.

And after I got home, I got a new “yard” bird, an American Redstart!

 

 
 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bald Eagles have fledged

Bald Eaglet

Bald Eaglet

The Bald Eagles at the Vermilion River mouth have had a successful nesting. There are two young Eagles that have grown up and are now able to fly.

Bald Eagles at nest

Bald Eagles at nest

They continue to hang around the nest while their parents continue to feed them.

Bald Eagle fledgling

Bald Eagle fledgling

Young Bald Eagles are completely dark brown, they don’t acquire their adult plumage until they are 4 – 5 years old.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

 These beautiful Trumpeter Swans have been hanging around Crane Lake all summer. They’ve been going between two beaver ponds that aren’t very far from each other. I understand that Trumpeter Swans are flightless for a couple months as they molt their flight feathers and grow new ones. They will seek out remote bodies of water when they are at this stage. There have been several sightings this summer of other Swans in remote ponds way back in the woods. This pair of Swans are in the beaver pond right by the Voyageur statue on the main road. The other pond where they have been seen is right off the Nelson Road.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

I’m not sure if they tried nesting and their nest failed or if they are a non-breeding pair. As I did some research into their breeding habits, I found that Trumpeters do nest in beaver ponds and will build their nests on top of a beaver lodge. The Crane Lake area has tons of beaver ponds such as this, and most are very secluded. To me it would be a perfect place to raise some cynets – the driftwood would provide the perfect cover for young swans trying to stay out of a predator’s talons.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BB Woodpeckers

Black-backed Woodpecker

Black-backed Woodpecker

Last night at the Vermilion River Gorge Hiking Trail, I found 3 Black-backed Woodpeckers.

female Black-backed Woodpecker

female Black-backed Woodpecker

They were busy flaking the bark off the Norway Pines. In the silence of the forest, they could be heard working the trees. They weren’t making any vocalizations.

male Black-backed Woodpecker
male Black-backed Woodpecker

Fall is a good time of the year to observe these rare Woodpeckers. It seems they move into the area from points further north.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Colorful Walleye Dinner

Walleye Dinner

Walleye Dinner

Fresh Walleye and in season fruit and veggies…..

mmmmmmmmmmmm.......

mmmmmmmmmmmm.......

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Bald Eagles in Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park News Release

 

July 28, 2011

For Immediate Release

Lee Grim (218) 283-6680

 SITES NEAR BALD EAGLE NESTING AREAS REOPENED IN VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

 Four of the park’s 239 developed visitor use camping and houseboat sites and four undeveloped areas that were affected by temporary closures in May to protect bald eagle nesting pairs are now reopened for public use. The areas were marked with closure signs and buoys.

 The four reopened developed areas are: 

  • Namakan Lake –SextonIsland (N 62) campsite
  • Rainy Lake –Sand Bay South (R25) houseboat site.
  • Kabetogama Lake – Feedem Island (K39) andYoderIsland (K 37) houseboat sites.

 The four reopened undeveloped areas are:

  • Kabetogama Lake – West Sphunge Island Inlet,NorthWoodDuckIsland and West Harris Island Point.
  • Rainy Lake – TheNorthDiamondIsland undesignated houseboat site.

 The park is obligated to follow the conservation management actions of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Management Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 1940 as amended). Each year since 1992, the park has temporarily closed the land and water areas around active bald eagle nests to visitor use during their critical nesting periods. 

 Voyageurs National Park biologists found 74 nests within the park boundary this breeding season. Three nests observed in 2010 were gone this year either because nest trees blew down or nests fell from nest trees. One new nest was found on Kabetogama, Rainy and SandPoint Lakes for a total of three new nests. 

 Two non-incubating pairs were observed by nests in known breeding territories on Kabetogama andRainy Lake.  Adults were observed incubating at 36 nests compared to 33 in 2010, 38 in 2009, 30 in 2006, 26 in 2004 and 2005, and 20 pairs in 1999. Incubation occurred at 1 park nest on CraneLake, 1 on an interior lake, 14 onKabetogama Lake, 8 on Namakan Lake, 9 on Rainy Lake and 3 on Sandpoint Lake. 

 Twenty-eight young fledged from 24 park nests: 1 at Crane, 16 at Kabetogama, 5 at Namakan, 3 at Rainy, 2 at Sand Point and 1on an interior lake. Fifty-seven per cent of all fledged young in the park in 2011 originated from 13 nests on Kabetogama Lake.

 Nesting failures occurred at 12 territories: 6 of 9 areas on Rainy, 4 of 8 areas on Namakan, 1 of 14 areas on Kabetogama and 1 of 3 areas on SandPoint Lake. Rainy Lakein particular experienced an unusually high proportion of nest failures in 2011 (67%).  By comparison, only 7% of nests failed on KabetogamaLake.  It is unclear whyRainy Lake experienced relatively more nest failures than previous years.

The number of young produced per occupied breeding area for the 2011 breeding population inVoyageursNational Parkwas 0.74.  Sixty-three per cent of breeding pairs occupying a breeding area successfully raised at least one fledgling. Breeding success of 70% and productivity of 1.0 are considered characteristics of a healthy bald eagle breeding populations; long-term averages forVoyageursNational Parkapproach these thresholds.

Superintendent Mike Ward said, “We appreciate the public’s assistance in protecting the bald eagles ofVoyageursNational Park.”

-NPS-

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northern Flickers

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

This year has been really different for the Flickers that have been visiting my yard. They have discovered the peanut feeder! Also for the first time, the Flickers have been eating suet. Previously, only Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers would take advantage of the suet feeder.

young yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

young yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

Now they’ve started bringing their young ones in.

Northern Flicker feeding young

Northern Flicker feeding young

And that taught me something new as well, Northern Flickers feed their young by regurgitation. The other Woodpeckers that I have observed, feed their nestlings and fledgelings one piece, or one insect at a time. The Flicker would eat a bunch of peanuts all at once and then she would fly to the young bird and regurgitate.  Doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it was still interesting to observe. Birds never cease to amaze me.

Last summer, a nesting pair of Flickers were observed at an area resort in this post: http://blog.visitcranelake.com/?p=1836

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Black & White Warbler wins battle with Daddy Long Legs

Black & White Warbler

Black & White Warbler

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

What a poor name for a Warbler that is very common up here in northern Minnesota. The first person that recorded the bird species probably saw one in Nashville, TN and that was most likely the reason  that it was named that way.

Nashville Warbler
Nashville Warbler

Vermivora ruficapilla is the binomial name and the first word Vermivora means “tree-dweller” and the species name of ruficapilla refers to the rufous feathers on the very top of the bird’s head. The rufous feathers are only seen when the bird is very excited when on its’ breeding grounds. Most of the time they keep those feathers well hidden.

 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barn Swallow baby

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallows

The young one is on the right, his beak still shows the accentuated gape that young nestlings show when begging for food.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment