Baby Season!

American Robin on nest

mallards

Mallard Ducks

Barn Swallow nestlings

hummingbird nest

Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest

grouse,rugged-chick

Ruffed Grouse chick

woodpecker, black-backed

Black-backed Woodpecker

Red-eyed Vireo, fledgling

Red-eyed Vireo, fledgling

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Jewels of the Forest

warbler magnolia

Magnolia Warbler

magnolia warbler

Magnolia Warbler

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Boreal forest fauna and flora

Twin Flower
Linnaea Borealis

twin flower

Twin Flower

Clintonia or Blue Bead Lilly

Moccasin Flower (also known as Stemless Lady Slipper)

can you see the frog?

Spring Peeper Frog

And flowers growing out of rock boulders!

bunchberry

Bunchberry

Scary!!!

and look out for really BIG fauna!

 

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Resident Birds

chickadee, boreal

Boreal Chickadee

This special little Chickadee is different than the more numerous “Black-capped” Chickadees. This is a Boreal Chickadee and they sport a brown cap. This Chickadee would be considered a specialty of our northeastern boreal forest. Birdwatchers travel from other parts of the country and world to add this bird to their life list.

The Boreal Chickadee is a year round resident here in northern Minnesota and they are busy with nesting now.

 

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singing…

cape may warbler

Cape May Warbler

This warbler wouldn’t quit singing! He was flycatching insects and singing profusely every time he came back to the branch.

white shoulders on the Cape May Warbler

The white feathers on the shoulders of the Cape May Warbler is a really good field mark. You can see those feathers from quite a distance.

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More Warblers

cape may warbler

Cape May Warbler

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Warbler Wave

warbler, blackpoll

Blackpoll Warbler

warbler, blackpoll

Blackpoll Warbler

I’m not a Black-capped Chickadee!

warbler, blackpoll

Blackpoll Warbler

I only migrate through Minnesota on my way to my breeding grounds in Canada. Look at my pretty bright orange feet and legs – that’s a distinctive field mark in the spring. Next fall I will look completely different…

Blackpoll Warbler in basic plumage

You can still see my feet are a orangey color even though they have faded.

Blackpoll Warbler

 

 

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returning migrants

The songbirds are coming back in droves now! The White-throated Sparrows showed up yesterday, and this morning, the air is filled with their beautiful song.

sparrow, white-throated

White-throated Sparrow

I like to say that this bird is ubiquitous to Crane Lake – they are everywhere around Crane Lake and Voyageurs National Park. Next time you’re up here, listen for their song – it goes something like this: Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody

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The first Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe is the first “flycatcher” to arrive at Crane Lake. The flycatcher family is a large one and as their name indicates, they mainly eat insects.

Phoebes are pretty common at Crane Lake and they stay for the summer to raise their young ones. Some cabin owners along the lake will have Phoebes nest under the eaves of their cabins and boathouses. Many birds return to the same nest year after year. They will repair the nests and then raise a couple broods. If you are lucky to have one of these birds nest at your cabin, respect their privacy and they will reward you with nature’s brand of  bug control!

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Another Sparrow arrives

Right behind the Fox Sparrows and Juncos, the Song Sparrow makes an appearance.

Song Sparrow

They have a pretty little song, and in my opinion, a good name! The Song Sparrow has a highly variable song that depends on their location – they have different dialects, just like people. A Song Sparrow who makes it’s home in southern Minnesota sounds completely different than the ones up here in Crane Lake. One sure thing is though, the song always starts with 3 leading notes. It then goes into a jumble that sounds somewhat like: maids, maids, maids, put on your tea kettle, lettle, lettle!

Song Sparrows are common in Crane Lake in the summer. They stay here to nest and they can have up to 3 broods per summer. These vocal little Sparrows can be found along the shoreline throughout Voyageurs National Park.

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