Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hello, welcome, and many birds recently seen

Here is my first post, on my first blog, ever. I am really excited to share my experiences of exciting and beautiful birds with you :-)

My most recent bird-happenings were hanging out with my good friend Laura Erickson for an entire day last weekend. She and I were participating in the Brrrrdathon! Typical birdathons consist of raising money (for events, festivals, nature centers, habitat restoration, etc) via birdwatching. It's a win-win situation, for both the birdwatchers and the cause that is supported.

The area that Laura and I frequented most last Saturday was Sax-Zim Bog. In case if you're new to northern Minnesota, or are new to habitat types... Sax-Zim Bog is a Black Spruce and Tamarack Bog just a little north of Duluth. Much of the ground (during the warmer months) is saturated in what I think of, as a rich, beautiful smelling peat forest. Some people might call it a bit strong, but the smells of a Black Spruce Bog are wonderfully intoxicating. Reason being... the smells, along the sights and sounds are so unique. This bog hosts a wide variety of life that is ONLY found in bogs. Northern Hawk Owls and Great Gray Owls nest here in the bog, as do Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadees, and a wide host of summer-dwelling warblers, including the lemon-yellow & navy-blue, sought-after Connecticut Warbler! Pine Grosbeaks and Blue Jays can be found throughout specific areas in the bog, and the ridiculously cute and hardy Redpolls (both Common and Hoary) can be found in the bog. Woodpeckers are a treat too... as winter-time sightings (in one day) could consist of Downy, Hairy, Three-toed, Black-backed and Pileated!

After leaving the house at 5am Saturday morning, we covered a few areas just north of the bog, looking for Spruce Grouse, then headed slightly south into Sax-Zim Bog, and to try to see as many species as we could for this special birdathon (again, the Brrrrdathon), we visited Canal Park and a brief drive through of some Duluth locations. It was such an incredibly fun day, and I encourage any of the fans and readers to participate if they are interested next winter. Sax-Zim Bog is currently undergoing logging operations, and many people who are new to habitat types, or unfamiliar with bogs, do not realize the importance and unique beauty and wildlife-homes (niches) that exist in the Sax-Zim Bog.

Here is the list that Laura and I were able to build up over the day:
American Black Duck
Common Goldeneye
Ruffed Grouse
Bald Eagle
Rock Pigeon
Northern Hawk Owl
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker
Northern Shrike
Gray Jay
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
European Starling
Pine Grosbeak
Common Redpoll
House Sparrow

Forgot to add too... we spend an entire day's worth of driving, on just under 7 gallons of gas, with her Prius :-) Carpooling and choosing the most fuel-efficient vehicle is best for long days of driving with birdathons, in addition to our regular transportation methods.

To learn more about the Brrrrdathon, the link is just the thing:

To learn more about the upcoming Sax-Zim Festival (it's a blast), go to:

For my side business, I lead guided birdwatching tours and sell bird photography. I will be posting the fun birds seen on days of guiding, as well as the pictures that hit the spot. I hope you enjoy them, and am looking forward to sharing these fun birdwatching experiences with you! I'm new with blogs, but will eventually get the hang of inserting pictures and more!

Good birdwatching,

No comments:

Post a Comment