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An Informal Bird Langauge Sit

posted Jan 14, 2019, 5:30 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jan 14, 2019, 5:31 PM ]

On Saturday, January 5, our monthly Bird Language gathering was canceled because the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge was closed due to the federal government shutdown. However, a few of us met in south Minneapolis for an urban bird language sit where Cedar Avenue crosses Minnehaha Creek. The weather was relatively warm for the season with a slight breeze from the west. We sat on the north and south sides of Minnehaha Creek. Note that the map is oriented facing south.

Throughout the sit American Robins flew over head from the northeast in small groups of 3 to 5 birds. It seems they were dispersing for the day from a roosting site in the southern part of Hiawatha Golf Course. A number of the Robins landed in the south eastern part of the sit area where we heard frequent calls and some alarms. Crows were also active with movement and calls in the sit area. One set of Robin alarms sounded when a Crow flew close to them in period 2. There didn't seem to be much reason for Robins to be overly concerned about a Crow this time of year (away from nesting season), but they may have been responding to secondary alarms if the Crow was moving and calling in response to a threat (said with the "Corvid disclaimer" -- interpreting Corvid behavior may be a foolhardy venture). In period 4 we heard a Northern Flicker call in the sit area. After the sit we investigated a peculiar Raccoon trail with a direct register walk, sorted out differences between Red and Grey Squirrel tracks, and watched a Bald Eagle fly overhead.