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

Big mistake -- the mealworm store is ALL-SEASONS

In my birding column this morning (Wednesday), writing about mealworms, I misidentified the store from which I got information -- and bird supplies, including mealworms. Credit should have gone to ALL-SEASONS WILD BIRD STORE, 15710 Wayzata Blvd., just east of Wayzata proper, phone 952-473-4283. 

Dumb mistake. My apologies to all. And thanks to manager Melissa Block for being so gracious about this.

Find the duck. See the swans. Where's the goose?

This hen Mallard has hidden her nest well in this bit of backyard garden. 

Nesting Trumpeter Swans is not unusual in Hennepin County. Usually, you see spots of white at a distance across the open water of a large marsh. Yesterday, driving west on Highway 12 toward Delano I came across this pair of swans. The nest, on which the female, I presume, sits, is about 120 feet off the roadway, clearly visible. If the birds remain there after the hatch, watching the signets grow will be interesting. Traffic on that highway is killer-busy. Shoulders are too narrow for parking. Take a slow-down look when there are no huge trucks behind you (big, fast trucks are too common). Disturbing the swans could mean they will abandon the nest and eggs. 

The Canada Goose nesting in our backyard pond built her own nest this year. It resembles a tightly woven basket. Nice work. Last year, when she didn't build, but just hung around, I knocked together a floating platform, filled it with marsh grass, and she used it. She was eating beneath our bird feeders when I took this photo. I was interested in the down that fills the nest, covering the eggs in her absence. When she sits, she fills the nest.