Published March 18, 2012, 12:00 AM

Robins, red-wings and raptors lead the winged migration

SPRING WATCH: It was the week of the robin. Several Northland residents reported seeing robins this past week, which indicates that the migration is on.

By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune

It was the week of the robin. Several Northland residents reported seeing robins this past week, which indicates that the migration is on. Among robin spotters were Beverly Johnson of Kettle River, Jim Boyd of Cloquet, Paul Podemski of Duluth, Diane Hilden of Duluth and Deanna and Joe Worm of Wrenshall.

Red-winged blackbirds also began showing up. Jay and Mary Viets of Lake Minnesuing saw one on March 11. Bob Heller of Duluth saw his first one Tuesday and had 10 more by Wednesday.

Raptors also are moving north, and counters with Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth are counting them near Enger Tower and Thompson Hill. An even 400 eagles were counted last Sunday, with 341 more on Monday, 80 on Wednesday and 451 on Thursday. That brought the total to 1,329 for the season as of Thursday. In addition, 60 golden eagles and several other raptors had been seen.

Other critters are about as winter beats a hasty retreat. Ed Dallas of Deerwood saw his first chipmunk on March 9. Kaci Vereecken of Cloquet spotted a caterpillar inching along the road on March 10. Larry Goldman of Saginaw had a half-dozen flies on his window screen March 11 trying to get outside.

Several readers reported seeing or hearing mourning doves. A few stay around all winter, but more seem to be returning now.

“On (March 11) the mourning doves started calling,” wrote Lori Jackson of Duluth. “I’ve had some around through the winter; however, they do not make this calling sound until spring.”

Mary Ann Clasen saw a moth on March 11. Deanna Worm hung bedding on the clothesline on March 11. And the sign at Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet reads: “Wimpy winter brings March 27 opening.”

We welcome your spring observations. Keep them coming.

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