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Subject:Black-billed Magpie at Sherburne NWR
From:Betsy Beneke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Betsy Beneke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 25 Mar 2011 13:46:16 -0700

In my excitement, I did exactly what I always try NOT to do
Sorry All,

In my excitement, I did exactly what I always try NOT to do - not give enough 

Sherburne Refuge HQ/Office is on Sherburne Co. Rd. 9, five miles west of Hwy. 
169.  There's a sign at the end of our driveway.  If you cross the St. Francis 
River bridge, and see the old school house, you've gone a block too far west.  
You are welcome to pull up in front of the office to park and can wander 
around.  We are not open weekends.

There are directions to the refuge on our web site, here's the link:

I first saw the magpie about 2:40 p.m. - I was on the phone, looking out my 
office window at my bird feeder, which is on the north side of the building.  
(there's another feeder on the west side)  The bird was flying toward my feeder 
and landed briefly in the sapling next to the feeder.  Blue jays quickly chased 
it back out into the middle of the river, where it sought refuge in some 
dogwood/brush.  It hung out there for a few minutes, and then flew out into the 
open in the middle of the river and landed on a stump.  Then it went back into 
the dogwoods and within 10-15 minutes it was out of view.  I don't know which 
direction it went.  I haven't seen it again, but didn't go out to look, as it's 
quitting time on Friday afternoon and I have somewhere I need to be.

Bob Janssen & Dave Cahlander say there are two other records for magpie in 
Sherburne County, from 1921 and 1972 - I don't know locations.

I was talking on the phone and looking out the window when I saw it fly in, and 
thought to myself, "Hey - look - a magpie - cool!"  And then of course a few 
seconds later I realized it was a little more exciting than that, and hollered 
down the hall for other staff to look too!  (I had magpies in my Utah backyard 
almost daily).  I got photos good enough for documentation before it flew out of 
the area.

A GREAT way to end the work week!!!

Betsy Beneke
Visitor Services Manager
Sherburne NWR, Sherburne County

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