I have now found my "Holy Grail" of Minnesota birds. This is also probably the best "self-found" bird I have ever seen.
I was up in Two Harbors looking for the Mute Swan that had been reported to no avail. I then started to sift through the hoards of redpolls in the area trying to find a Hoary. There was an active and very noisy mixed group of birds that were in a cluster of conifers. I wasn't even thinking owl when I scanned the trees but there it was. I immediately recognized the Boreal Owl perched in a fairly open space. I circled around and found a better vantage point to view this amazing animal. It was being harrassed and was moving its head about but then it started to settle into sleep. While it was being active the owl was exhibiting some strange head shaking behavior. It shook its head back and forth multiple times on three occasions.
Another interesting observation was a Common Loon actively feeding in front of the lighthouse. This may be the earliest loon I've seen in Minnesota.
I have heard that Boreal Owls are very succeptable to disturbance and this particular bird is very close to a road so I'm worried if I post the exact location this bird will become disturbed and disrupt its behavior.
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