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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Daily report lists birds of particular interest

Each day, birds seen in Minnesota worthy of note are posted to a collection point called eBird. This is a data center maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornkthology. The list of reported birds is sent to subscribers of this service. You can chase these birds if you wish, and some folks do, taking advantage of this to add birds to one list or another. You also can see the impressive variety of birds we see ihere in the winter

Here is the report from two days ago, to give you some idea of winter bird activity beyond backyard feeders. The species is listed along with the county in which the bird was seen, plus the number of reports received for that species.

King Eider (1 St. Louis)
Hooded Merganser (1 Douglas)
Golden Eagle (1 Renville)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1 Hennepin)
Common Raven (2 Ramsey)
Winter Wren (1 Hennepin)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (1 Hennepin)
Townsend's Solitaire (1 Wright)
Chipping Sparrow (1 Polk)
Fox Sparrow (1 Polk)
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's) (1 Dakota)
White-throated Sparrow (4 Hubbard)
Swamp Sparrow (1 Hennepin)
Brown-headed Cowbird (2 Hennepin)

Ant eggs as feeder food

In 1902, Clifton Hodge wrote a book entitled “Nature Study and Life.” He discussed various foods for birds.

 

Hodges had very definite ideas about foods to be used. He is mentioned in the book “Feeding Wild Birds in America.”

 

He told readers not to pay market price for mealworms, for instance. He provided grow-your-own instructions.

“Every child should learn how to rear mealworms, and keep a supply on hand,” he wrote. 

 

He also suggested ant eggs as a good bird food. He wrote that the eggs could be found at bird stores “for about a dollar a pound.”

 

The book is a history of the bird-feeding hobby and industry. Published by Texas A&M University Press, it can be found on Amazon. 

 

Minnesota wildlife expert Carrol Henderson, recently retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is co-author with Paul Baicich and Margaret Barker.

 

A pound of ant eggs.

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