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Old Sunday 5th June 2011, 12:48   #1
DrRich
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Minnesota in October

Does anyone have any tips of what birds I am likely to be able to see during a quick trip to Minnesota in October that I am unlikely to have seen in Maryland?
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2011, 08:58   #2
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You might try using the eBird tools to build charts for October for various counties in Minnesota. (the bar charts will show the whole year, but if you limit the search to October the birds shown will only be the ones that have been reported in October)

Hopefully this example for the metro area counties will work for you:

http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=c...tinue=Continue
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2011, 13:37   #3
Jim M.
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Hi Dr. Rich,

Your question piqued my curiousity because I sometimes travel to that area. I think the answer, unfortunately, is not a lot--esp. if you're just going to be around the Twin Cities area and don't have much time. MN is close to, but not quite in, the regular range of most western birds. eBird coverage in MN is a bit spotty, but it did suggest Harris's Sparrow and Trumpeter Swan as a couple of the more likely possibilities in October. Less likely would be Brewer's Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, and Black-billed Magpie.

If you did some research on locations and could travel further north in the state (I'm assuming you'd arrive in the Twin Cities), you might have a shot at things like Northern Hawk Owl, Great Gray Owl, Gray Jay, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, and LeConte's Sparrow. But you'd probably need to invest in a MN bird-finding guide and be willing to do a fair amount of driving to have a decent shot at those.

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Old Tuesday 7th June 2011, 21:41   #4
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closer to your travel check out the mnbird and mou-net mailing lists and moumn.org

Assuming you're thinking about the metro area....:

On mnbird look for reports for Sherburne NWR, though October is a bit early for its oddities to start appearing.

When in MSP Crosby Farm park is my daily area, though it probably won't have anything strange in October. I'm not much of a rarity chaser - I'm there to enjoy crows, blue jays and woodpeckers again. Lake Vadnais is another I try to hit daily (north shore of the east lake), a former home neighborhood of mine which attracts migrating birds. Sometimes it's interesting, sometimes quiet. The many units of Minnesota Valley NWR - there is a visitor center at NWR near the airport and megamall where you might get info. Many of the parks that are often talked about are more summer-oriented - crow-hassan, murphy-hanrehan, etc.

Go to the MN DNR web site and find the dates of hunting seasons. When the hunting season starts some areas sound like a war zone, and it can be downright dangerous out there. Parks like Crosby and Lake Vadnais can be closed for special hunt dates you should be aware of before heading for them.
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2011, 22:16   #5
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Do you have a list of species you would like to see?

October on the North shore of Lake Superior (2 1/2 hours drive north of Minneapolis) is well worth a visit. All kinds of vagrants show up.

Sax Zim Bog is always worth a visit too. Knowing what species you have not seen would be helpful. I have been in the state since 1992 and know it pretty well.
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