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August 2014


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Rare Bird Alert <[log in to unmask]>
Josh Wallestad <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 Aug 2014 11:25:35 -0600
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Josh Wallestad <[log in to unmask]>
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Curiosity got to me about a possible expansion in both the range and population 
of the Blue Grosbeak, so today I did some investigative work around ideal 
habitat between Danube and Renville in northern Renville County.  This tract of 
land is several miles long and is between US Hwy 212 and 840th Ave one mile 
to the north and consists of large east-west gravel deposits that have been 
mined and abandoned.  The habitat is perfect for Blue Grosbeaks as proved by 
me finding one on nearly every north/south road that intersected the gravel 
deposits.  There were a total of 5 Blue Grosbeak males this morning.  Querying 
eBird (once these sightings have been approved) will show you a map of how 
these birds are all roughly at the same lattitude at one-mile intervals.  
Undoubtedly the gravel terrain between each north-south road contains more 
Blue Grosbeaks.

BLGR 1: 300th St, NE corner of gravel pit on west side, same bird I found on 7-

BLGR 2: 300th St, dirt piles by RR tracks, 200 yards east of the road.  This bird 
was found by Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann and was a heard-only bird.  Ron 
and Herb had just come from viewing the one further north on 300th St., and 
we ran into each other as they were listening to this bird

BLGR 3: Danube Brush site, just north of Danube on Co. Rd. 1 (290th St).  This 
bird was singing from the power lines along Co. Rd. 1 and also sang from trees 
around the dumping area of the brush site itself. 

BLGR 4: 280th St where the road intersects the gravel deposits, bird was 
singing from the west side of the road.  It is possible I heard another male 
singing from the east side of the road.

BLGR 5 (sub-adult male): 270th St. where the road intersects the gravel 
deposits, singing from atop a dead tree on the west side of the road.

I also received word from Ron Erpelding that he and Herb found another Blue 
Grosbeak male at the Gneiss Outcrops SNA near Granite Falls in Chippewa 
County.  He may have more information on where that bird was located.

Josh Wallestad

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