Note that these MBWs included counties near those

to be covered on the 2023 MBW, which has the

potential to record most of the same species  


Renville & Redwood MBWs Summary

September 30 - October 1 - 2 - 3, 2021

You’d think that with our view of a rainbow framed by fall colors as the group met on Thursday morning would suggest we’d be in for some nice weather. Well, let’s see...

the day before it had reached the upper 80s, 20 degrees above normal, hot enough to cancel plans for a pre-MBW afternoon in Sibley County...then some steady, quite heavy, and disorienting downpours washed away much of Thursday afternoon...our return to Redwood Falls from the Brown County option Friday afternoon was met with more heavy rain...and we birded through fog, dark overcast, and enough light rain to soak us on Saturday morning. We had to wait until Sunday to see the sun for the first time as cool and ideal temperatures finally provided a near-perfect day.

At least we had four days without any difficulties with the wind (which blows more often than not on the prairie), and we did experience some decent birding with several highlights. In all, we came up with 118 species (not including that Chukar seen on Redwood County’s River Road both Thursday and Sunday), not a bad total since we did relatively little wetlands birding – partly because only a part of Boon Lake was checked during Thursday’s rains. Two of our more interesting water birds presented ID challenges. That oddly colored merganser at the Lower Sioux Community sewage ponds seemed to be a Red-breasted, even though that species is relatively rare on the prairie at any time of year. And I’m confident that the distant Horned Grebe at the Sleepy Eye sewage ponds was the correct ID, although other birders were apparently (mis)calling it an Eared. Sleepy Eye’s ponds also provided us with a Sanderling, while a flock of American Golden-Plovers flew by the Renville sugar beet settling ponds.

Considering the birds of a more terrestrial nature, 12 species of raptors (including 3 falcons and an owl) was a respectable total, as some of these were migrating along the Minnesota River Valley. These included two Peregrines in Redwood County and the Barred Owl at Vicksburg County Park heard on both sides of the river. We could only manage 10 warbler species this late in the season, but it was impressive to find a total of 17 sparrows. (All we missed were Lark, American Tree, Henslow’s, and Spotted Towhee – which would have been late, or early, or unexpected rarities.) Our list included at least 10 LeConte’s (! – 2 at the Brown County slough on Friday, 5 more there on Sunday, 2 at Cedar Rock WMA on Sunday, and another Saturday at Lamberton WMA ); the Grasshopper Sparrow on a Sanborn sewage ponds fence wire (briefly seen by Matt and/or Pete?); and a Nelson seen by Linda S (when 2 sparrows flew in on Sunday at that slough, the rest of us focused on a LeConte’s while she saw the other – the one behind the grassy knoll? – was a Nelson’s).  

Bird List

- Ren = Renville County (Sept 30, Oct 1)

- Red = Redwood County (Sept 30, Oct 2, Oct 3)

- B = Brown County (partial list; Oct 1, Oct 3)

Canada Goose          Ren, Red, B

Trumpeter Swan          Red

Wood Duck          Ren, Red

Blue-winged Teal          Ren, B

Northern Shoveler          Ren, B

Gadwall          Ren, B

Mallard          Ren, Red

Green-winged Teal          Ren

Ring-necked Duck          B

Red-breasted Merganser          Red

Ruddy Duck          Ren, Red, B

[Chukar          Red]

Ring-necked Pheasant          Ren, Red

Wild Turkey          Ren

Pied-billed Grebe          Ren, Red

Horned Grebe          B

Rock Pigeon          Ren, Red

Eurasian Collared-Dove          Ren, Red

Mourning Dove          Ren, Red

Sora          Ren

American Coot          Red, B

American Golden-Plover          Ren

Killdeer          Ren, Red

Sanderling          B

Least Sandpiper          B

Wilson’s Snipe          Ren

Spotted Sandpiper          Red, B

Lesser Yellowlegs          Ren

Greater Yellowlegs          Ren, B

Franklin’s Gull          Ren, Red

Ring-billed Gull          Ren

Common Loon          Ren

Double-crested Cormorant          Ren, Red

Great Blue Heron          Ren, Red

Great Egret          Ren

Turkey Vulture          Ren, Red

Osprey          Red

Northern Harrier          Ren, Red

Sharp-shinned Hawk          Ren, Red

Cooper’s Hawk          Ren, Red

Bald Eagle          Ren, Red

Broad-winged Hawk          Ren, Red

Red-tailed Hawk          Ren, Red

Barred Owl          Ren, Red

Belted Kingfisher          Ren, Red

Red-bellied Woodpecker          Ren, Red

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker          Ren, Red

Downy Woodpecker          Ren, Red

Hairy Woodpecker          Ren, Red

Northern Flicker          Ren, Red

Pileated Woodpecker          Ren, Red

American Kestrel          Ren, Red

Merlin          Red

Peregrine Falcon          Red

Eastern Phoebe          Ren, Red

Blue-headed Vireo          Ren, Red

Red-eyed Vireo          Red

Blue Jay          Ren, Red

American Crow          Ren, Red

Horned Lark          Ren

Barn Swallow          Ren

Black-capped Chickadee          Ren, Red

Red-breasted Nuthatch          Ren, Red

White-breasted Nuthatch          Ren, Red

Brown Creeper          Red

House Wren          Red

Winter Wren          Ren

Sedge Wren          Ren, Red

Marsh Wren          Ren, Red, B

Golden-crowned Kinglet          Ren, Red

Ruby-crowned Kinglet          Ren, Red

Eastern Bluebird          Ren, Red

Hermit Thrush          Red

American Robin          Ren, Red

Gray Catbird          Ren, Red

Brown Thrasher          Red

European Starling          Ren, Red

Cedar Waxwing          Ren, Red

House Sparrow          Ren, Red

American Pipit          Ren, B

House Finch          Red

American Goldfinch          Ren, Red

Grasshopper Sparrow          Red

Chipping Sparrow          Ren, Red

Clay-colored Sparrow          Red

Field Sparrow          Ren, Red

Fox Sparrow          Ren, Red

Dark-eyed Junco          Ren, Red

White-crowned Sparrow          Ren, Red

Harris’s Sparrow          Ren, Red

White-throated Sparrow          Ren, Red

Vesper Sparrow          Ren

Leconte’s Sparrow          Red, B

Nelson’s Sparrow          B

Savannah Sparrow          Ren, Red, B

Song Sparrow          Ren, Red

Lincoln’s Sparrow          Ren, Red

Swamp Sparrow          Ren, Red, B

Eastern Towhee          Ren, Red

Yellow-headed Blackbird          Red

Eastern Meadowlark          Ren

Western Meadowlark          Ren

Red-winged Blackbird          Ren, Red

Brown-headed Cowbird          Ren, Red

Brewer’s Blackbird          Red

Common Grackle          Ren, Red

Black-and-white Warbler          Ren, Red

Tennessee Warbler          Ren

Orange-crowned Warbler          Ren, Red

Nashville Warbler          Ren, Red

Common Yellowthroat          Red

Magnolia Warbler          Ren

Palm Warbler          Ren, Red

Yellow-rumped Warbler          Ren, Red

Black-throated Green Warbler          Red

Wilson’s Warbler          Red

Northern Cardinal          Ren, Red

Rose-breasted Grosbeak          Ren

Indigo Bunting          Ren, Red

*          *          *

Minnesota River Valley MBW summary

(Yellow Medicine Co. - Lac Qui Parle - Marsh Lake - Big Stone Lake)

October 16-17-18, 2009

We certainly experienced our share of this month's generally unpleasant weather, especially on Friday when it was both cold (highs only in the low 40s) and damp. Saturday may not have been much warmer, but at least it was eventually almost pleasant on Sunday. The birding was also a bit disappointing at times, as it has been almost everywhere this fall, with shorebirds almost non-existent (except for those mudflats along Hwy 67 late Friday), and warblers and other woods birds scarce at several of our stops.

Still, we managed to turn up a decent total of 92 species in all, including 76 in Yellow Medicine Co on Friday, and there were some pretty good entries on our list. Among the waterfowl, lone Ross's Geese flying with Cacklings at 2 locations were somewhat unexpected, and that Western Grebe at lunch on Friday was a bit on the late side. We definitely reached our quota of too many Red-tailed Hawk sightings, but that Harlan's (maybe a future re-split?) and the 2 other dark-morphs were good finds. I was especially surprised and impressed by our count of 40 collared-doves in Clarkfield, and just as impressive were the numbers of Harris's Sparrows we found at various sites, as was that pasture Saturday afternoon filled with meadowlarks and Brewer'e Blackbirds.

Bird List

- YM only = only seen Oct 16 in Yellow Medicine Co

- MRV only = only seen on main Oct 17-18 Minn River Valley MBW

- species w/o annotations = seen on both portions   

Snow Goose (MRV only)

Ross's Goose (lone fly-bys at Canby and Lac Qui Parle L)

Cackling Goose

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Gadwall (MRV only)

American Wigeon


Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler (YM only)

Northern Pintail (YM only)

Green-winged Teal



Ring-necked Duck

Lesser Scaup (YM only)

Bufflehead (MRV only)

Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant

Wild Turkey (YM only)

Pied-billed Grebe

Western Grebe (YM only; Del Clark L)

American White Pelican (MRV only)

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture (YM only)

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper's Hawk (MRV only)

Red-tailed Hawk (incl a Harlan's in Yellow Medicine Co & 2 Lac Qui Parle Co dark morphs)

American Kestrel

Merlin (YM only; a Richardson's at Del Clark L)  

American Coot

American Golden-Plover (YM only; flooded field along Hwy 67)


Least Sandpiper (YM only; same spot as the golden-plovers)

Pectoral Sandpiper (YM only; ditto)

Wilson's Snipe (YM only; ditto)

Bonaparte's Gull (MRV only; Lac Qui Parle L)

Franklin's Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove (40 counted in Clarkfield + 2 in Milan)

Mourning Dove

Red-bellied Woodpecker (MRV only)

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe (MRV only)

Blue Jay

American Crow

Horned Lark (MRV only)

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch (MRV only; at the wayside near Watson)

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper (MRV only)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (MRV only)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Orange-crowned Warbler (several)

Nashville Warbler (3 total)

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler (YM only; only 1)

Chipping Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow (YM only)

Vesper Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow (MRV only)

White-throated Sparrow

Harris's Sparrow (lots of them!)

White-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Lapland Longspur (YM only; Canby sewage ponds fly-bys)

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Western Meadowlark (incl an impressive flock in a Lac Qui Parle Co pasture) 

Brewer's Blackbird (MRV only; ditto)

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird (MRV only)

House Finch (MRV only)

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

*          *          *


September 17-18, 2005

The migrant woods birds may have been practically non-existent, and it was too windy most of Saturday, but our bird list was obviously impressive. It's even possible that our rarity-to-participant ratio was probably the highest ever in MBW history? Besides that Ferruginous Hawk and Sabine's Gull, our other highlights included several Merlins, no fewer than 3 Peregrines, and 18 shorebird species (mostly at Salt Lake, including both godwits). My sincere thanks for coming: if any more of you had canceled (as Nancy Jackson and George & Josie Vania had), I might have been tempted to call the weekend off! Let's hope Rock County comes through for us as well in a couple weeks. I'll see most of you then.

Bird List

Note: all species not annotated with another county were found in Yellow Medicine Co.:

L = Lac Qui Parle County

C = Chippewa County

R = Renville County

Total: 116 species (95 on Saturday)  

Canada Goose

Wood Duck   L

Gadwall   R


Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintail

Green-winged Teal   L



Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant

Wild Turkey   C,R

Pied-billed Grebe

Eared Grebe   L

Western Grebe   L

American White Pelican

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk (imm circling over Yellow Medicine Co Rd 15, just S of Hwy 68)

American Kestrel

Merlin (lots of them)

Peregrine Falcon (3 seen)


American Coot

Black-bellied Plover   L,R

American Golden-Plover   L

Semipalmated Plover


Greater Yellowlegs   L

Lesser Yellowlegs

Solitary Sandpiper

Hudsonian Godwit   L (1 at Salt Lake)

Marbled Godwit   L (2 at Salt Lake)

Sanderling   L

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper   L

Pectoral Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson’s Phalarope   L (Salt Lake)

Red-necked Phalarope   L (3 at Goodman Larson's Slough)

Franklin’s Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Sabine’s Gull   L (juv feeding with Franklin's Gulls at Salt Lake)

Black Tern   L

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove   R (in Renville)

Mourning Dove

Common Nighthawk

Chimney Swift

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Kingbird

Warbling Vireo   L

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Tree Swallow

Bank Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren   C

Sedge Wren

Marsh Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Swainson’s Thrush

American Robin

Gray Catbird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Orange-crowned Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler   C

Palm Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Common Yellowthroat

Wilson's Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Red-winged Blackbird

Western Meadowlark

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Common Grackle

House Finch   R

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow