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Birds

 

Nomenclature and order of listing follows that of the American Ornithologists' Union (A.O.U.) Checklist of North American Birds, 7th edition, which places species in the sequence of their presumed natural relationships. Contributors listed at bottom of page.

*= Species regularly nests in the Arb.

^= Species that are not native to the area.

1= Species for which detailed reports of sightings are requested

Rare, vagrant species or species seen in the Arb only once before need to be well documented. For some of these species, detailed reports should also be sent to the Minnesota Ornithologists Union for review.

2= Species for which information on sightings is requested

We actively seek reports of species that are of special interest to the Arb (like those that utilize habitats that we are actively restoring), or that may be regionally common, but for which few records exist in the Arb. This may be due to habitat preferences, secretive habits, etc.

 

ANSERIFORMES

Swans, Geese, Ducks: Family Anatidae

GALLIFORMES

Grouse, Ptarmigans: Family Phasianidae

GAVIIFORMS

Loons: Family Gaviidae

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Grebes: Family Podicipedidae

PELECANIFORMES

Pelicans: Family Pelecanidae

Cormorants: Family Phalacrocoracidae

CICONIIFORMES

Herons: Family Ardeidae

American Vultures: Family Cathartidae

FALCONIFORMES

Hawks, and Eagles: Family Accipitridae

Falcons: Family Falconidae

GRUIFORMES

Rails and Coots: Family Rallidae

Cranes: Family Gruidae

CHARADRIIFORMES

Plovers: Family Charadriidae

Sandpipers: Family Scolopacidae

Gulls and Terns: Family Laridae

COLUMBIFORMES

Pigeons and Doves: Family Columbidae

CUCULIFORMES

Cuckoos and Anis: Family Cuculidae

STRIGIFORMES

True Owls: Family Strigidae

CAPRIMULGIFORMES

Nighthawks: Family Caprimulgidae

APODIFORMES

Swifts: Family Apodidae

Hummingbirds: Family Trochilidae

CORACIIFORMES

Kingfishers: Family Alcedinidae

PICIFORMES

Woodpeckers: Family Picidae

PASSERIFORMES

Tyrant Flycatchers: Family Tyrannidae

Shrikes: Family Laniidae

Vireos: Family Vireonidae

Jays and Crows: Family Corvidae

Larks: Family Alaudidae

Swallows: Family Hirundinidae

Titmice and Chickadees: Family Paridae

Nuthatches: Family Sittidae

Creepers: Family Certhiidae

Wrens: Family Troglodytidae

Kinglets: Family Regulidae

Gnatcatchers: Family Sylviidae

Thrushes: Family Turdidae

Mimic Thrushes: Family Mimidae

Starlings: Family Sturnidae

Pipits: Family Motacillidae

Waxwings: Family Bombycillidae

Warblers: Family Parulidae

Tanagers: Family Thraupidae

Sparrows: Family Emberizidae

Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Dickcissel: Family Cardinalidae

Blackbirds, Grackles and Orioles: Family Icteridae

Finches: Family Fringillidae

Old world sparrows: Family Passeridae 


 

ANSERIFORMES

Swans, Geese, Ducks: Family Anatidae

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  1. 2Snow Goose; Chen caerulescens - recorded flyovers during some spring migrations. Singles also found on Lyman Lakes among Canada Geese during the fall.
  2. 1Ross’s Goose; Chen rossii - recorded once in December.
  3. 2Cackling Goose; Branta hutchinsii - uncommon to rare during fall and spring migrations (more common during fall), flocks of up to 30 individuals have been observed on Lyman Lakes in the fall. More commonly, singles are found with large flocks of Canada Geese, making identification difficult.
  4. *Canada Goose; Branta canadensis - common resident during months when sufficient water is unfrozen (late February - late November); some birds nest on Lyman Lakes during the summer months; large flocks gather on the Upper Lake during late October and November.
  5. 2Tundra Swan; Cygnus columbianus - migrating flocks (generally <20 birds) fly over Arb and campus, generally late March - early April and late October - early November; may migrate by night.
  6. *Wood Duck; Aix sponsa - a very common spring and summer resident of the Arb (late February - late September); a few pairs breed in the Arb, making use of the many hollows in dead elms on the floodplain; breeding has also been noted in trees beside Upper Lyman Lake.
  7. 2American Widgeon; Anas americana – rare visitor to Arb, recorded on two occasions in Lyman Lakes.
  8. *Mallard; Anas platyrhynchos - present year-round as long as some water remains unfrozen, most birds in winter are found where Spring Creek widens into Upper Lyman Lake, birds there may number up to 250 individuals; some birds nest on the Lakes during the summer months.
  9. Blue-winged Teal; Anas discors - one of the most common ducks in the Arb; regular spring and fall visitor, less common in summer; mostly in pairs, although small flocks may collect at the Oxbow Lake and the flooded area south of the oak-savanna; potential breeder; found nesting at nearby lakes; also found occasionally on Lyman Lakes; arrive in early April.
  10. Northern Shoveler; Anas clypeata - recorded in spring (early April - early May) on Lyman Lakes and the Cannon River; uncommon.
  11. 2Green-winged Teal; Anas crecca - a handful of sightings during migration periods, on Upper Lyman, the Oxbow Lake, and Kettlehole Marsh.
  12. 2Canvasback; Aythya valisineria - uncommon to rare migrant; may be present some years during early spring migration.
  13. 2Redhead; Aythya Americana – uncommon to rare migrant; may be present some years during early spring migration.
  14. Ring-necked Duck; Aythya collaris - fairly common during spring migration (early - late April), mostly in groups of 2-4; seen mainly on Lyman Lakes and on bend of river by sewage treatment plant.
  15. Lesser Scaup; Aythya affinis - uncommon migrant during spring (April), most individuals seen on Lyman Lakes, sometimes in small flocks.
  16. Bufflehead; Bucephala albeola - uncommon migrant during spring migration (early April - early May), most individuals seen on Lyman Lakes, usually singly or in pairs.
  17. 2Common Goldeneye; Bucephala clangula - irregular visitor to the Arb, observed on just a few occasions in early spring.
  18. Hooded Merganser; Lophodytes cucullatus - irregular visitor to the Arb (Cannon River) during early April. Rare summer resident and possible breeder.
  19. Common Merganser; Mergus merganser - seen irregularly in the Arb, most commonly on the Cannon River, during early spring or late fall, usually individually or in groups of up to three birds.
  20. Red-breasted Merganser; Mergus serrator - present in small numbers in early to mid April, generally on Lower Lyman Lake.
  21. 2Ruddy Duck; Ocyura jamaicensis – rare visitor to the Arb, observed on a few occasions on Lyman Lakes.

GALLIFORMES

Grouse, Ptarmigans: Family Phasianidae

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  1. 1^Gray Partridge; Perdix perdix - rare and irregular resident. Probably no longer present.
  2. *^Ring-necked Pheasant; Phasianus colchicus - common year-round in fields, forests, oak-savannas, and prairie areas; breeder in the Arb; more often heard than seen.
  3. 1*Ruffed Grouse; Bonasa umbellus - seen rarely and heard regularly, mainly in extensive floodplain forest along Cannon River north of the sewage treatment plant; breeder in the Arb. May no longer be present.
  4. *Wild Turkey; Meleagris gallopavo – seen in floodplain forest, upland forests, and at field edges year round; breeder in the Arb.

GAVIIFORMS

Loons: Family Gaviidae

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1.      2Common Loon; Gavia immer – uncommon and irregular migrant on Lyman Lakes during early spring.

PODICIPEDIFORMES

Grebes: Family Podicipedidae

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  1. Pied-billed Grebe; Podilymbus podiceps - regular during the warmer months (early April - late September), mainly on Lyman Lakes.
  2. Horned Grebe; Podiceps auritus - recorded in springtime (early April) on Lyman Lakes.

PELECANIFORMES

Pelicans: Family Pelecanidae

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  1. 2American White Pelican; Pelecanus erythrorhynchos - flyover flocks sighted during periods of migration.

Cormorants: Family Phalacrocoracidae

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  1. Double-crested Cormorant; Phalacrocorax auritus - most sighting are of birds (individuals to flocks of up to 50) flying over during migration periods, especially during spring (late March - mid May); may be common in Iron Bridge area some years.

CICONIIFORMES

Herons: Family Ardeidae

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  1. Great Blue Heron; Ardea herodias - common anywhere around water (Lyman Lakes, Cannon River, Spring Creek, etc), birds present whenever most water is open (late March - October), most birds are visitors, not breeders.
  2. 2Great Egret; Ardea alba - individuals present on Lyman Lakes during spring and fall migration, flyovers also seen.
  3. Green Heron; Butorides virescens - common resident during warmer months (late April - late September), on Lyman Lakes, Cannon River and Oxbow Pond. Possible breeder.
  4. 2Black-crowned Night-Heron; Nycticorax nycticorax - adult and immature birds recorded singly on Lyman Lakes during warmer months.

American Vultures: Family Cathartidae

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  1. Turkey Vulture; Cathartes aura - seen soaring overhead during warmer months (late March - late September); usually seen singly or in groups of 2 or 3; sightings increase in August and September.

FALCONIFORMES

Hawks, and Eagles: Family Accipitridae

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  1. Osprey; Pandion haliaetus - flyovers seen regularly during spring (April - May) and fall (October - early November) migrations. Present some summers along Canon River and over Lyman Lakes.
  2. Bald Eagle; Haliaeetus leucocephalus - flyovers seen migrating north, singly or in pairs, during late winter (late February - early March); these may be observed from anywhere in the Arb, on campus, or in Northfield; rarely seen during fall migration (November). Nesting pairs are present on the Cannon River upstream and downstream from the Arb, so foraging adults may be seen during the summer.
  3. Northern Harrier; Circus cyaneus - present during warmer months (late April - September) over floodplains and fields; sightings increase during late summer.
  4. Sharp-shinned Hawk; Accipiter striatus - resident in Arb (in both forested and upland areas) from late February - late October; possible breeder.
  5. Cooper's Hawk; Accipiter cooperii - uncommon migrant; recorded during spring (May) and fall (September) migrations; a few may stay during the summer.
  6. 2Northern Goshawk; Accipiter gentilis – extremely rare visitor to the Arb, observed a few times near evergreens during winter.
  7. Red-shouldered Hawk; Buteo lineatus - present during warmer months (early March - early October); may breed in the Arb, as many sightings of pairs have been made, in the area north of the Earth Day planting; may be absent some years.
  8. Broad-winged Hawk; Buteo platypterus - regular migrant along the Cannon River during spring, kettles of up to 20 birds observed high overhead during early May.
  9. Red-tailed Hawk; Buteo jamaicensis - present year-round in small numbers, usually seen soaring.
  10. 2Rough-legged Hawk; Buteo lagopus - present during some winters; irruptive.

Falcons: Family Falconidae

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  1. American Kestrel; Falco sparverius - present during migration and the breeding season (mid April - late September).
  2. 2Merlin; Falco columbarius - rare visitor to Arb; a few sightings during migrations and winter.
  3. 2Peregrine Falcon; Falco peregrines – occasional visitor to campus, a single bird observed on occasion perched on the chapel steeple.

GRUIFORMES

Rails and Coots: Family Rallidae

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  1. 1Virginia Rail; Rallus limicola - rarely heard flying over the Arb and campus on its nocturnal migrations.
  2. 2Sora; Porzana carolina - regular and sometimes common territory-holder in Kettlehole Marsh; noted from late April to early June; regularly heard calling overhead during nocturnal migration; breeding is likely but has not been confirmed.
  3. American Coot; Fulica americana - individuals present mainly on Lyman Lakes during spring (early April - early May) and fall (late August - late September) migrations.

Cranes: Family Gruidae

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  1. 2Sandhill Crane; Grus canadensis -  rare spring and fall migrant. Most sightings are flyovers, but may land in Arb prairies.

CHARADRIIFORMES

Plovers: Family Charadriidae

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  1. Killdeer; Charadrius vociferus - common during warmer months (late March - late September) and probable breeder in Arb, commonly found on agricultural fields and grassy areas throughout the Arb.

Sandpipers: Family Scolopacidae

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  1. Spotted Sandpiper; Actitis macularius - common migrant (arriving in early May) and summer resident along the Cannon River, Spring Creek, and Lyman Lakes; probable breeder in the Arb.
  2. Solitary Sandpiper; Tringa solitaria - common summer visitor to Cannon River floodplain and common migrant (May and September); often seen on vernal pools or on exposed sand bars in the river over the course of the summer season.
  3. Greater Yellowlegs; Tringa melanoleuca - recorded during spring migration on Upper Lyman Lake.
  4. Lesser Yellowlegs; Tringa flavipes - individuals noted during spring migration (early - late May) along Cannon River and flying over, most birds seen singly.
  5. 1Western Sandpiper; Calidris mauri – recorded 1984 on Upper Lyman Lake when it had been drained.
  6. 2Least Sandpiper; Calidris minutilla - recorded 1993 on Upper Lyman Lake when it had been drained.
  7. 1White-rumped Sandpiper; Calidris fuscicollis - recorded 1993 on Upper Lyman Lake when it had been drained.
  8. 1Pectoral Sandpiper; Calidris melanotos – recorded 1984 on Upper Lyman Lake when it had been drained.
  9. 1Common Snipe; Gallinago gallinago – Rare migrant and possible summer visitor to the Arb.
  10. American Woodcock; Scolopax minor – uncommon during spring migration and early summer. All records come from the 1972 Old Field area between the river trail and the river just north of the sewage treatment plant; nesting is not verified.

Gulls and Terns: Family Laridae

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  1. 1Franklin's Gull; Larus pipixcan - flocks of up to 20 birds primarily during Fall migration (late September - early October), hawking insects over Lyman Lakes and fields around the Hill of Three Oaks. Sightings are unconfirmed, more information is needed on this species.
  2. Ring-billed Gull; Larus delawarensis - flyovers noted in early spring (April) and early fall (September).
  3. Herring Gull; Larus argentatus - flyovers noted in early spring (April) and early fall (September).
  4. 2Black Tern; Chlidonias niger - very rare visitor during the spring and summer.
  5. 2Forster's Tern; Sterna forsteri - flyovers recorded during spring migration (mid April - mid May).

COLUMBIFORMES

Pigeons and Doves: Family Columbidae

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  1. *^Rock Dove (Rock Pigeon); Columba livia - common year-round; nests on many campus buildings.
  2. *Mourning Dove; Zenaida macroura - common during warmer months (late March - early October); breeder in Arb.

CUCULIFORMES

Cuckoos and Anis: Family Cuculidae

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  1. Yellow-billed Cuckoo; Coccyzus americanus - uncommon visitor to Arb during spring and summer.
  2. Black-billed Cuckoo; Coccyzus erythropthalmus - uncommon visitor to Arb during spring and summer.

STRIGIFORMES

True Owls: Family Strigidae

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  1. 2Eastern Screech-Owl; Megascops asio – formerly a year-round resident and likely breeder, though in small numbers; singing birds are very rarely detected, and sightings are uncommon. Most likely to be encountered from fall to spring.
  2. *Great Horned Owl; Bubo virginianus - present year-round, breeds in Arb during late winter and early spring in a number of territories.
  3. *Barred Owl; Strix varia - regular resident and breeder, particularly in the floodplain forests and in the upland forests near the Oxbow Lake.
  4. 1Long-eared Owl; Asio otus – recorded once in the Arb in spring, but could be present in fall and winter.
  5. 2Short-eared Owl; Asio flammeus - Uncommon visitor. Seen hunting in a field on the south side of Wall Street Road in mid-April. Also identified from pellets found in Lower Arb prairies, indicating that occurrence may be more frequent than detection. Unfortunate dead bird found outside Sayles-Hill winter of 2009.
  6. 1Northern Saw-whet Owl; Aegolius acadicus - irruptive, may be present during "invasion" winters, one winter record in the pines behind Goodhue Hall.

CAPRIMULGIFORMES

Nighthawks: Family Caprimulgidae

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  1. Common Nighthawk; Chordeiles minor - present from early May - late September; most numerous during migration when flocks can be seen hawking insects over Lyman Lakes in the evenings; occasionally uses some of the larger campus buildings for display flight arenas (and breeding?), in particular Myers Hall, the Library, Olin Hall, and the Old Music Hall.

APODIFORMES

Swifts: Family Apodidae

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  1. *Chimney Swift; Chaetura pelagica - commonly seen overhead from late April - late August; roost and nest in the chimneys of Nourse Hall and Evans Hall.

Hummingbirds: Family Trochilidae

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  1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird; Archilocus colubris - regular migrant through Arb, uncommon during breeding periods; in May and early fall, individuals seen regularly throughout the Arb but particularly on campus edges; possible breeder in Arb.

CORACIIFORMES

Kingfishers: Family Alcedinidae

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  1. Belted Kingfisher; Megaceryle alcyon - resident on Cannon River, Lower Spring Creek, and Oxbow Pond as long as there is open water; these birds may be regular visitants rather than breeders.

PICIFORMES

Woodpeckers: Family Picidae

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  1. Red-headed Woodpecker; Melanerpes erythrocephalus - uncommon migrant and summer resident; most sightings are in the floodplain forest along the Cannon River, on posts along Highway 19, and in hedgerows between fields in the Upper Arb; possible breeder.
  2. *Red-bellied Woodpecker; Melanerpes carolinus - common resident and breeder in floodplain forest and upland forest; this species may remain year-round during mild winters.
  3. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; Sphyrapicus varius - regular but uncommon migrant; most sightings are during spring migration (mid-March to mid-April).
  4. *Downy Woodpecker; Picoides pubescens - common year-round resident and breeder in all forested habitat.
  5. *Hairy Woodpecker; Picoides villosus - common year-round resident and breeder in larger forested areas.
  6. 1Black-backed Woodpecker; Picoides arcticus – recorded once in November 2008 in the pine plantations near the Canada Avenue parking lot.
  7. *Northern Flicker; Colaptes auratus - present year-round in both floodplain and upland areas of the Arb; resident breeder.
  8. *Pileated Woodpecker; Dryocopus pileatus - fairly common year-round resident in floodplain forests, especially along Spring Creek in the Upper Arb; has bred in these locations and on the hillside behind Watson Hall.

PASSERIFORMES

Tyrant Flycatchers: Family Tyrannidae

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  1. 2Olive-sided Flycatcher; Contopus cooperi - rare visitor during spring (May), slightly more common during September; only a few recorded sightings.
  2. Eastern Wood-Pewee; Contopus virens - fairly common migrant and resident during warmer months (mid-May – late August) in floodplain forest areas.
  3. 2Yellow-bellied Flycatcher; Empidonax flaviventris - uncommon spring visitor to Arb, a handful of records from mid to late May.
  4. 2Alder Flycatcher; Empidonax alnorum – probably an uncommon visitor to the Arb during spring (May), but few recorded sightings. Indistinguishable from Willow Flycatcher except by voice.
  5. 2Willow Flycatcher; Empidonax traillii – probably an uncommon visitor to the Arb during spring (May), possible summer resident, but few recorded sightings. Indistinguishable from Alder Flycatcher except by voice.
  6. Least Flycatcher; Empidonax minimus - common migrant in wooded areas in Arb, especially in spring (May), some remain through early September, possible breeder.
  7. *Eastern Phoebe; Sayornis phoebe - regular migrant and summer breeder. Usually arrives earlier and departs later than other flycatchers (late March – early November). Often nests on various little-used buildings on campus.
  8. Great Crested Flycatcher; Myiarchus crinitus - common resident and probable breeder during warmer months (early May - late August), in floodplain and upland forests.
  9. 1Western Kingbird; Tyrannus vericalis – rare visitor to the Arb, observed once near the site of the Women’s League Cabin
  10. *Eastern Kingbird; Tyrannus tyrannus - common resident and breeder during warmer months (early May - early September) in open areas.

Shrikes: Family Laniidae

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  1. 2Northern Shrike; Lanius excubitor - extremely rare visitor to the Arb, recorded once in 1982 across Highway 19 from the Farm House on a power line, and once in 2002 in the western portion of the lower Arb, which was at the time under corn cultivation

Vireos: Family Vireonidae

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  1. Yellow-throated Vireo; Vireo flavifrons - fairly common in upland forest during spring (May) and fall (September) migration.
  2. Blue-headed Vireo; Vireo solitarius - uncommon in upland forest habitats during migrations, most often seen during spring (May) migration.
  3. Warbling Vireo; Vireo gilvus - common during warmer months (early May - early September) in lowland forest habitats, possible breeder.
  4. 2Philadelphia Vireo; Vireo philadelphicus - very uncommon migrant during spring (late April - mid May) and fall (early September) in forested areas.
  5. *Red-eyed Vireo; Vireo olivaceus - common migrant and regular summer resident, probable breeder in upland forest habitats.

Jays and Crows: Family Corvidae

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  1. *Blue Jay; Cyanocitta cristata - common year-round, may be found anywhere in the Arb, regular breeder.
  2. *American Crow; Corvus brachyrhynchos - common year-round, may be found anywhere in the Arb, regular breeder.

Larks: Family Alaudidae

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  1. Horned Lark; Eremophila alpestris - common on agricultural fields during some springs, absent during others; when present, they occur in small flocks early in the season which disperse by late May, breeding is unlikely.

Swallows: Family Hirundinidae

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  1. 2Purple Martin; Progne subis - irregular visitor to Arb during migration, most sightings from trail by Cannon River.
  2. *Tree Swallow; Tachycineta bicolor - common in Arb from late March - late September, many make use of nest boxes and nesting may begin in late April; some pairs may nest in natural cavities in floodplain forest areas.
  3. Northern Rough-winged Swallow; Stelgidopteryx serripennis - commonly seen hawking insects over fields and especially over Lyman Lakes during spring (late April - late May) and fall (late August - early September) migrations, some stay during the summer and pairs have nested in drainage pipes under the Spring Creek bridge.
  4. 2*Bank Swallow; Riparia riparia - uncommon visitor to Arb during spring migration (May), most often seen hawking insects over the Cannon River, one nest detected during the summer of 2009, but regularity of nesting unknown.
  5. 2Cliff Swallow; Petrochelidon pyrrhonota - uncommon migrant (especially spring) and summer resident, have nested in the Arb, although rarely, sometimes pairs nest under the 5th Street Bridge over the Cannon.
  6. *Barn Swallow; Hirundo rustica - common in the Arb and on campus from late April - early September, known nesting sites include Farm House, the Highway 19- Lilac Hill underpass, and under the concrete bridge to Goodhue.

Titmice and Chickadees: Family Paridae

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  1. *Black-capped Chickadee; Poecile atricapillus - common year-round, may be found anywhere in the Arb, probable breeder.
  2. 1Tufted Titmouse; Baeolophus bicolor – uncommon visitor to Arb, typically be found in the flood plain forests of the Arb.  

Nuthatches: Family Sittidae

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  1. Red-breasted Nuthatch; Sitta canadensis - irregular and irruptive winter visitor to Arb, may be common some years and absent during others, when present, most commonly found in the Northern part of the Arb among evergreen stands, occasionally seen during spring (late April - early May) migration.
  2. *White-breasted Nuthatch; Sitta carolinensis - common year-round resident in Arb, especially in upland and forest floodplain areas, breeder.

Creepers: Family Certhiidae

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  1. Brown Creeper; Certhia americana - uncommon winter visitor to Arb, often found in mixed feeding flocks, also present during spring (early April - early May) migration.

Wrens: Family Troglodytidae

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  1. *House Wren; Troglodytes aedon - abundant from early May - late September with many pairs breeding in a variety of habitats, often in nesting boxes in the prairie restorations, absent in winter.
  2. Winter Wren; Troglodytes troglodytes - regular but uncommon migrant with some individuals remaining as late as November.
  3. *Sedge Wren; Cistothorus platensis - noted irregularly during migration periods, especially fall (October), while a known breeder in the prairie restorations of the Lower Arb, where it is sometimes abundant, this species can be absent for long periods of time.
  4. 2Marsh Wren; Cistothorus palustris – uncommon to rare migrant, most likely found in Kettle Hole Marsh.

Kinglets: Family Regulidae

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  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet; Regulus satrapa - irregular winter visitor and migrant; found mainly in early spring (April) and especially late fall (October) migration periods.
  2. Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Regulus calendula - very common migrant during spring (early April - mid May) and fall (late September - mid October); dramatic concentrations may occur.

Gnatcatchers: Family Sylviidae

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  1. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; Polioptila caerulea - regular migrant in the Arb, more common in spring (May), possible breeder.

Thrushes: Family Turdidae

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  1. *Eastern Bluebird; Sialia sialis - regular resident in the Arb from early March - late November, with individuals occasionally overwintering. Seen mainly near nesting boxes in the prairie restorations of the Lower Arb.
  2. Veery; Catharus fuscescens - regular but uncommon migrant and occasional resident in the Arb, most likely in early to mid May; possible breeder.
  3. Gray-cheeked Thrush; Catharus minimus - regular but uncommon spring migrant in the Arb, most likely during mid to late May in forested areas of the Lower Arb.
  4. Swainson's Thrush; Catharus ustulatus. - Common in Arb during spring (May) and fall (September) migration periods, generally seen along Spring Creek and in the lowland forests of the Lower Arb.
  5. Hermit Thrush; Catharus guttatus - uncommon but regular migrant, mostly during early spring (April) migration.
  6. Wood Thrush; Hylocichla mustelina - regular but uncommon resident in larger tracts of upland forest on the slopes rising from the Cannon River floodplain, most common in spring (mid to late May), possible breeder.
  7. *American Robin; Turdus migratorius - abundant resident and breeder during the warmer months, may over winter during milder years.

Mimic Thrushes: Family Mimidae

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  1. Gray Catbird; Dumetella carolinensis - very common resident during warmer months (early May - late September), generally present in most habitats.
  2. 1Northern Mockingbird; Mimus polyglottos – Extremely uncommon, observed once in the Farm House backyard.
  3. Brown Thrasher; Toxostoma rufum - common resident during warmer months (late April - mid September), found in most edge and hedgerow habitats.

Starlings: Family Sturnidae

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  1. *^European Starling; Sturnus vulgaris - abundant year-round resident, nesting in cavities in dead elms of the Cannon River floodplain.

Pipits: Family Motacillidae

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  1. 2American Pipit; Anthus rubescens - A rare migrant in the Arb in spring and fall, though can occasionally be found in large flocks on recently burned prairie during spring migration.

Waxwings: Family Bombycillidae

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  1. 1Bohemian Waxwing; Bombycilla garrulous - A rare Arb visitor. Two individuals observed in the spring of 1983.
  2. Cedar Waxwing; Bombycilla cedrorum - very common resident during warmer months and probable breeder. During spring and fall, large aggregations of birds are found in a wide variety of areas, in winter flocks are irregularly present, usually feeding on fruiting bushes and vines.

Warblers: Family Parulidae

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  1. Blue-winged Warbler; Vermivora pinus - very uncommon during spring (May) in field edge habitats and especially on the brushy hillsides north of the oak- savanna area; rare summer resident and possible breeder in far reaches of lower Arb; the Arb is near the edge of its summer range.
  2. Golden-winged Warbler; Vermivora chrysoptera - uncommon spring migrant in the Arb, most likely to be seen in mid to late May on the brushy hillsides north of the oak-savanna area.
  3. Tennessee Warbler; Vermivora peregrina - common during fall (September) migration and abundant during spring (May), often one of the most common warbler species during its peak movement, often seen and heard on campus.
  4. Orange-crowned Warbler; Vermivora celata - somewhat common during spring (late April - early May) and fall (September) migrations, most often seen in shrubby areas such as Lilac Hill or along the Cannon River trail in the southern part of the Lower Arb.
  5. Nashville Warbler; Vermivora ruficapilla - common during spring (late April - mid May) and especially fall (September) migrations in thickly overgrown areas, often heard singing.
  6. Northern Parula; Parula americana - uncommon migrant in forested habitats, especially during spring (May), song rarely heard.
  7. *Yellow Warbler; Dendroica petechia - common during warmer months (early May - mid September), and probable breeder; most common around Lyman Lakes, along Spring Creek, at Kettle Hole Marsh, and in early successional stage old fields.
  8. Chestnut-sided Warbler; Dendroica pensylvanica - common spring migrant in the Arb (May); on peak days may appear to be the most common warbler species in the Arb, often present in mixed flocks; less common in the fall.
  9. Magnolia Warbler; Dendroica magnolia - common migrant through the Arb, especially during Spring (May) and especially in the Lower Arb; sings regularly.
  10. Cape May Warbler; Dendroica tigrina - rarely seen during spring migration (mid May) in forested habitats.
  11. Yellow-rumped Warbler; Dendroica coronata - abundant in Arb and on campus (especially in brush around the Lakes) during migration times; generally the first warbler species to arrive in spring (early April) and the last to depart in fall (early October); may form large flocks.
  12. Black-throated Green Warbler; Dendroica virens - fairly common during spring (May) migration, less common in the fall. Most often found in upland forest habitats.
  13. Blackburnian Warbler; Dendroica fusca - quite common during spring (May) and fall (early September) migrations, sometimes forming small flocks, most often found in Bur Oak lots, but also sometimes seen on campus.
  14. 1Yellow-throated Warbler; Dendroica dominica - an adult male was observed by Peter Hill on April 27, 1997 in thickets by the Cannon River near Laird Stadium; details were submitted to the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU) and were accepted for a first Rice County record (12th for Minnesota).
  15. Palm Warbler; Dendroica palmarum - common migrant during both migrations, generally the second species of warbler to arrive in early spring (late April), most common at Hillside Prairie and in shrubs by Lyman Lakes.
  16. Bay-breasted Warbler; Dendroica castanea - uncommon migrant through the Arb during spring (May), rare in fall (September), favors forested habitats.
  17. Blackpoll Warbler; Dendroica striata - uncommon migrant through Arb during spring (May), occasional during fall (September), found in wooded and brushy habitats.
  18. 2Cerulean Warbler; Dendroica cerulean – Extremely rare visitor, observed once in 2004.
  19. Black-and-white Warbler; Mniotitla varia - common migrant in the Arb, both during spring (early - mid May) and fall (early - mid September) migrations, often seen in mixed flocks.
  20. American Redstart; Setophaga ruticilla - abundant during spring (May) and fall (September) migrations, at its peak, generally the most common warbler species, can be found in all wooded or brushy habitats.
  21. Ovenbird; Seiurus aurocapillus - common migrant and resident during warmer months (May - September), favors upland forest habitat, possible breeder.
  22. Northern Waterthrush; Seiurus noveboracensis - common migrant during fall and especially spring (mid April - mid May), may be abundant on peak days, generally encountered near water, especially on the Cannon River Trail.
  23. 2Connecticut Warbler; Oporornis agilis - uncommon migrant in Arb, most likely to be spotted in flood plain forests.
  24. Mourning Warbler; Oporornis philadelphia - uncommon but regular migrant in late spring (late May) and fall, typically found in thick undergrowth or around fallen wood, occasionally sings.
  25. *Common Yellowthroat; Geothlypis trichas - abundant migrant and summer resident in the Arb, can be found from late April - early October, territory holders can be found near standing water such as Kettle Hole Marsh.
  26. 1Hooded Warbler; Wilsonia citrina – rare. One observation in May 1992 in upland forest near Kettle Hole Marsh.
  27. Wilson's Warbler; Wilsonia pusilla - common migrant during spring (May) and Fall (September), generally found in thick undergrowth, especially along the Cannon River trail.
  28. Canada Warbler; Wilsonia canadensis - uncommon but regular migrant during spring (May), typically found along the Cannon River trail in the Lower Arb.
  29. 1Yellow-breasted Chat; Icteria virens –Extremely rare visitor, observed on one occasion in Arb in 2002

Tanagers: Family Thraupidae

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  1. 1Summer Tanager; Piranga rubra – vagrant; a 1st year male observed once in spring of 2009.
  2. Scarlet Tanager; Piranga olivacea - common migrant and uncommon but regular summer resident (May - August) in the larger forest patches.

Sparrows: Family Emberizidae

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  1. Eastern Towhee; Pipilo erythrophthalmus - rare transient during spring (mid May), not likely to be seen regularly.
  2. American Tree Sparrow; Spizella arborea - common winter visitant and migrant, most common during late fall (mid-November), late winter and early spring (early March - mid April), most often found along narrow forest strips or near brush piles.
  3. *Chipping Sparrow; Spizella passerina - abundant resident and breeder from mid April - late September, most common on campus where they breed around several buildings.
  4. *Clay-colored Sparrow; Spizella pallida - fairly common migrant and resident from early May - early September, most likely breeding location is in fields northeast of Kettle Hole Marsh, listen for dry buzzy call.
  5. *Field Sparrow; Spizella pusilla - common in open areas from mid April - late September, often heard singing on territories during the spring.
  6. *Vesper Sparrow; Pooecetes gramineus - common in open fields in the Arb from mid April - mid September, territorial males commonly heard singing during spring.
  7. 1Lark Sparrow; Chondestes grammacus - rare visitor during spring and summer.
  8. Savannah Sparrow; Passerculus sandwichensis - uncommon visitor to Arb during early spring migration (mid April), commonly breeds in pastures and fields in Rice County.
  9. *Grasshopper Sparrow; Ammodramus savannarum - present in open grassy areas such as the prairie restorations of the Lower Arb or farm fields of the Upper Arb. Breeding detected in 2009.
  10. 1Henslow’s Sparrow; Ammodramus henslowii – found in some years in the Arboretum prairie restorations and may be an occasional breeder.
  11. 2LeConte's Sparrow; Ammodramus leconteii - rare but probably regular visitor to the Arb during spring (mid May), shy and secretive.
  12. 1Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow; Ammodramus nelson- rarely observed but potential user of Kettle Hole wetland of the Lower Arb.
  13. Fox Sparrow; Passerella iliaca - present in small numbers during early - mid April, favors brushy habitats.
  14. *Song Sparrow; Melospiza melodia - abundant from mid March - mid November in all habitats, many pairs breed in the Arb.
  15. Lincoln's Sparrow; Melospiza lincolnii - uncommon migrant during early - mid May and irregularly during the fall. Favors brushy areas such as hillsides north of the oak-savanna area.
  16. Swamp Sparrow; Melospiza georgiana - uncommon migrant during mid April - mid May, favors brushy areas near standing water.
  17. White-throated Sparrow; Zonotrichia albicollis - regular but erratically common winter resident, most common during spring (late April - mid May) and fall (late September - mid October) migration periods, may form large flocks in underbrush.
  18. Harris' Sparrow; Zonotrichia querula - present in small numbers during migration periods (early May and early October), often with flocks of White-throated Sparrows.
  19. White-crowned Sparrow; Zonotrichia leucophrys - uncommon visitor during spring (late April - early May) migration. It may associate with White-throated Sparrows.
  20. Dark-eyed junco; Junco hyemalis - common during the colder months (late September - early May), most common during migration periods (April and October), absent in summer.
  21. 2Snow Bunting; Plectrophenax nivalis - uncommon winter visitor to the Arb, favors open habitats; often forms small flocks.

 Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Dickcissel: Family Cardinalidae

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  1. *Northern Cardinal; Cardinalis cardinalis - common year-round resident, especially in the Upper Arb, many pairs nest in the Arb.
  2. *Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Pheuticus ludovicianus - common migrant and summer resident, typically found in floodplain forests and narrow forest strips (eg. along the Cannon River trail), birds depart soon after early September.
  3. *Indigo Bunting; Passerina cyanea - common from early May - early September and resident breeder, often seen and heard along any of the many forest-field interfaces and in successional fields in the Arb, may form small flocks during migration.
  4. 2Dickcissel; Spiza Americana - seen most often in the prairie restorations in the Lower Arb. Uncommon resident in summer.

Blackbirds, Grackles and Orioles: Family Icteridae

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  1. 2Bobolink; Dolichonyx ordzivorous - rare visitor to the Arb during the warmer months, most likely during spring (May) migration, breeds in Rice County hay fields.
  2. *Red-winged Blackbird; Agelaius phoeniceus - abundant resident and breeder in the Arb, numbers arrive in early March and remain throughout late October, nests mostly in wetland areas (eg. Kettle Hole Marsh), is rare in winter.
  3. *Eastern Meadowlark; Sturnella magna - uncommon visitor to the Arb during spring and fall migrations, common summer resident and known breeder.
  4. 2Western Meadowlark; Sturnella neglecta - uncommon visitor to the Arb during spring and fall migrations, breeds in Rice County but not known to breed in the Arb.
  5. 2Yellow-headed Blackbird; Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus - occasional visitor to the Arb, generally during May, breeds in Rice County, most likely site is Kettle Hole Marsh.
  6. 2Rusty Blackbird; Euphagus carolinus - seen irregularly during spring migration in the Arb, especially early in the season (April), not recorded in the fall.
  7. *Common Grackle; Quiscalus quiscula - abundant in the Arb from early March - mid November in all habitats, migratory flocks may be huge.
  8. *Brown-headed Cowbird; Molothrus ater - abundant in the Arb from early April - mid October in all habitats, undoubtedly parasitizes other Arb breeders.
  9. 2Orchard Oriole; Icterus spurious- First documented in 2008 annual bird count; multiple sightings from 2009 near the Von-trapp Memorial may indicate an increasing presence in the Arb.
  10. Baltimore Oriole; Icterus galbula - very common from early May - early September in wooded habitats, also commonly heard on campus; every fall, nests hidden in the canopy are revealed.

Finches: Family Fringillidae

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  1. 1Pine Grosbeak; Pinicola enucleator - rare and irregular visitor during some winter, favors evergreens.
  2. 2Purple Finch; Carpodacus purpureus - uncommon winter visitant to the Arb where it is usually seen and heard in small flocks of about 3-5 birds, probably quite regular in areas bordering on the town, where feeders may support a regular winter population.
  3. ^House Finch; Carpodacus mexicanus - uncommon year-round both in the Arb and on campus, this species' range probably expanded into Minnesota quite recently, as censuses as late as 1993 did not record it.
  4. 2Red Crossbill; Loxia curvirostra - rare and irregular visitor during some winters, favors evergreens.
  5. 2White-winged Crossbill; Loxia leucoptera - uncommon and irregular visitor during some winters, may form small flocks; sometimes seen in evergreens on campus.
  6. 1Common Redpoll; Carduelis flammea - irregular winter visitor, often visits feeders, may be common some years and absent others.
  7. 1Hoary Redpoll; Carduelis hornemanni – Several visitors recorded in the winter of 1982-83.
  8. 2Pine Siskin; Carduelis pinus - common winter visitant, although numbers seen each winter vary considerably, probably as a result of the irregular movements of the species; small flocks can be found throughout the Arb, mainly around fruiting evergreens. Most common during April.
  9. *American Goldfinch; Carduelis tristis - abundant migrant and summer resident, presence in winter is somewhat irregular; favors field and edge habitats, often occurs in flocks.

Old world sparrows: Family Passeridae

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  1. House Sparrow; Passer domesticus - common year-round, mainly seen on campus, however, and rarely in the Arb proper.

Species Total: 218

Hypothetical Species:

These are species for which only unconfirmed reports exist. If you see any of these species, please let us know!

Greater Scaup

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Swainson’s Hawk

Common Tern

Whip-poor-Will

Bell’s Vireo

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Louisiana Waterthrush

Brewer’s Blackbird

Evening Grosbeak

Contributors to this List:

  • Bill Allen (Class of ’77)
  • Larry Bahr (Class of ’79)
  • Myles Bakke (Arb manager 1990 – 2007)
  • David Barbeau (Class of '97)
  • Gene Bauer (Staff 1996 - )
  • Nancy Braker (Class of ’81; Arboretum director 2007 - )
  • Roger Crafts (Class of '98)
  • Matt Dufort (Class of '01)
  • Amanda Favis (Class of '97)
  • Dan Froehlich (Class of '90)
  • Don Hegeman (Class of ’77?)
  • Peter Hill (Class of '00)
  • Kirk Jeffrey (Emeritus faculty 1970-2008)
  • Andrew Kleinhesselink (Class of '05)
  • Mark Luterra (Class of ‘07)
  • Will McDowell (Class of ’79)
  • Mark McKone (Faculty 1987 - )
  • Owen McMurtrey (Class of ‘12)
  • Brett Moyer (Class of '93)
  • Bob Niemann (Class of ’84)
  • Rachel Polster (Class of ’93)
  • Joanna Reuter (Class of '00)
  • Sue Savanick (Class of '89)
  • Nathan Senner  (Class of ’04)
  • Sarah Simmonds (Class of '97)
  • Tony Smith (Class of ’62)
  • Scott Weber (Class of ’82)
  • Bob Williams (Class of ‘73)

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