Mankato MBW Summary

July 7 - 8 - 9, 2021

Our run of good weather on MBWs somehow continued to defy the odds this summer, as this weekday version of a MBW experienced pleasantly cool weather. This was especially true on Wednesday’s pre-MBW when the afternoon high of 66 was 30 degrees cooler than just two days before! And it stayed down in the 70s over the next two days, with Friday’s thunderstorms holding off until we finished birding at noon. This made for our 4th consecutive MBW with surprisingly comfortable temperatures, light winds (even on the recent Clay Co. MBW on the prairie where it’s always windy), and no rains interrupting any of our birding.    

Such favorable conditions were conducive to finding all those birds we were able to see and hear in and around Mankato. This part of the state tends have relatively little of note in summer, but we managed to see over 100 species, even though we didn’t have many water birds. And I was surprised by how much was still singing in July, even in the afternoon, a time when the woods tend to be on the quiet side.

One of our best finds had to be that Louisiana Waterthrush which sang persistently at Williams Nature Center’s South Overlook and even provided some of you with brief looks. The singing male Blue Grosbeak at the gravel pit near Minneopa State Park was another highlight, since this made for at least the 10th consecutive summer for this species at that location.

Our other sightings of note included both cuckoo species (though we mostly had to settle for brief views or heard-only encounters), Sandhill Cranes flying over the state park, Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs on a sandbar in a Minnesota River backwater, good views of both Great Horned and Barred owls, Willow Flycatchers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers at two spots each, a singing-in-the-afternoon Wood Thrush, both Grasshopper and Lark sparrows, Orchard Orioles in all 3 counties, Brewer’s Blackbirds at the sewage ponds, and Blue-winged Warblers at Williams Nature Center.

Thanks to all of you (even the County Listers!) for joining us, and for enduring the City of Mankato’s efforts to keep us from reaching the meeting place on Friday morning with their detours to nowhere. But almost all of us still managed to steer around the barricades and ignore the traffic cones to get there on time. Accordingly, I think it’s only appropriate that we present a MBW Junior Tour Leader Demerit Badge to the city traffic engineers for their incredibly inept approach to whatever they were trying to do.

Bird List: 103 species (+ 4 others on the post-MBW, Limpkin-less option to Washington Co.)

N = Nicollet County (July 7 - 8)

B = Blue Earth County (July 8)

L = Le Sueur County (July 9)

Canada Goose          N

(Trumpeter Swan / post-MBW option)

Wood Duck          N

Mallard          N

Ring-necked Pheasant          N,B,L

Wild Turkey          L

Pied-billed Grebe          N

Rock Pigeon          N,B,L

Eurasian Collared-Dove          N,L

Mourning Dove          N,B,L

Yellow-billed Cuckoo          N,B,L

Black-billed Cuckoo          L

Common Nighthawk          B,L

Chimney Swift          N,B

Ruby-throated Hummingbird          N,B,L

Sora          N

Sandhill Crane          B

Killdeer          N,B,L

Least Sandpiper          N

Spotted Sandpiper          N,B

Lesser Yellowlegs          N

Franklin’s Gull          N

Black Tern          N

Forster’s Tern          N

American White Pelican          N,B

(Least Bittern / post-MBW option; heard-only)

Great Blue Heron          N,B,L

Great Egret          N

Green Heron          N,B,L

Turkey Vulture          N,B,L

(Osprey / post-MBW option)

Cooper’s Hawk          L

Bald Eagle          N,L

Red-tailed Hawk          B,L

Great Horned Owl          L

Barred Owl          B,L

Belted Kingfisher          N,B

Red-bellied Woodpecker          N,B,L

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker          B,L

Downy Woodpecker          N,B,L

Hairy Woodpecker          N,B,L

Northern Flicker          B,L

Pileated Woodpecker          N,L

American Kestrel          N

Great Crested Flycatcher          N,B,L

Eastern Kingbird          N,B,L

Eastern Wood-Pewee          N,B,L

Willow Flycatcher          N,L

Least Flycatcher          B

Eastern Phoebe          N,B,L

Yellow-throated Vireo          N,B,L

Warbling Vireo          N,B,L

Red-eyed Vireo          N,B,L

Blue Jay          N,B,L

American Crow          N,B,L

Horned Lark          N

Bank Swallow          N,B,L

Tree Swallow          N,B,L

Northern Rough-winged Swallow          N,B,L

(Purple Martin / post-MBW option)

Barn Swallow          N,B,L

Cliff Swallow          N,B,L

Black-capped Chickadee          N,B,L

White-breasted Nuthatch          N,B,L

House Wren          N,B,L

Sedge Wren          N,B

Marsh Wren          N,L

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher          N,L

Eastern Bluebird          B,L

Wood Thrush          N

American Robin          N,B,L

Gray Catbird          N,B,L

Brown Thrasher          B,L

European Starling          N,B,L

Cedar Waxwing          N,B,L

House Sparrow          N,B,L

House Finch          N,B,L

American Goldfinch          N,B,L

Grasshopper Sparrow          B

Lark Sparrow          N,B

Chipping Sparrow          N,B,L

Clay-colored Sparrow          B

Field Sparrow          N,B,L

Song Sparrow          N,B,L

Swamp Sparrow          N,L

Eastern Towhee          B,L

Yellow-headed Blackbird          N

Bobolink          N

Eastern Meadowlark          B,L

Orchard Oriole          N,B,L

Baltimore Oriole          N,B,L

Red-winged Blackbird          N,B,L

Brown-headed Cowbird          N,B,L

Brewer’s Blackbird          N

Common Grackle          N,B,L

Ovenbird          B,L

Louisiana Waterthrush          B

Blue-winged Warbler          B

Common Yellowthroat          N,B,L

American Redstart          N,B,L

Yellow Warbler          N,B,L

Scarlet Tanager          B

Northern Cardinal          N,B,L

Rose-breasted Grosbeak          B,L

Blue Grosbeak          B

Indigo Bunting          N,B,L

Dickcissel          N,B,L


Jeff Stephenson photo

Lynn Glesne photo

Nancy Henke photo

Lynn Glesne photo

Rose Shea photo