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
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. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?
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.
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