For the Birds Radio Program: Last Day of Winter Bird Contest

Original Air Date: Feb. 28, 1989

Today is the last day to enter your backyard bird sightings. (3:21)

Audio missing


(Recording of a Pileated Woodpecker)

Today is the last day of our “For the Birds” winter backyard bird contest, so take note of all the birds in your yard today. People have been calling and writing about all sorts of interesting birds, from chickadees to eagles. A robin was singing in one Lakeside yard last Monday. There’s a possible Lewis’s woodpecker coming to a feeder in Spooner. And several people commented that they first noticed a Pileated Woodpecker the very day that I mentioned it on the program. The reason I’m mentioning Pileateds again today is that I’m waiting for one to turn up in my yard and I’m hoping this’ll turn the trick. So if there happens to be a Pileated Woodpecker listening in, please come to Peabody Street in Duluth.

The one thing just about everyone has commented on is how few birds there are this year. Winter finches are scarce–a few listeners have been getting a handful of Pine Siskins for a while, but just about all the other finches are absent this year. It’s hard to guess right now where they all are—we’ll have to wait until the seasonal reports from around the country are compiled in American Birds magazine in a few months before we can figure out whether the decline has been observed all around the continent or whether the finches are hiding out, say, in Reno, Nevada. All we know for sure right now is that they’re nowhere around here.A lot of mountain ash trees throughout Duluth still have plenty of berries. Mine lasted until Sunday the twelfth, when a flock of Bohemian Waxwings showed up and glutted on them for a couple of hours. I’m especially interested in sightings of waxwings in Wisconsin—there haven’t been any to my knowledge in Port Wing this winter. How about Ashland? And Cornucopia? I’m hoping to get reports from every town in our listening area.

If you send in your list of species, even if it just has House Sparrows, you automatically receive an official Bird Brain certificate from Baker’s Blue Jay Barn. Two listeners, one from Wisconsin and one from Minnesota, chosen at random, will win the Golden field guide, Birds of North America—these books were donated by Walden Books in downtown Duluth. The listener from each state who reports the most bird species will win a window feeder from Trico Lawn and Garden Store in Duluth’s West End. And the child 12 or under from each state who reports the most species will win a window feeder and The Bird Book by Neil and Karen Dawe, donated by Explorations in downtown Duluth. Don’t forget to report squirrels, too. Since everyone knows that squirrels are for the birds, the listeners who get the most will win an official “For the Birds” coffee mug. At this point the Melis family of Washburn is still ahead on the squirrel front, with 1 black squirrel, 4 gray squirrels, and 5 red squirrels. Even if you can’t top that, we’re interested in just how many squirrels are pigging out at Northland feeders, so try to figure out how many you have.

I’m going to make the drawing next weekend, on March 11, and the winners will be announced on Monday the 20th. So if you want to get an official Bird Brain certificate suitable for framing or throwing darts at, send in your list as soon as possible.

(Recording of a Pileated Woodpecker)

This is Laura Erickson, and this program has been “For the Birds.”