I always say I only keep one list, which is my yard bird list, but I realized that have an unofficial wish list for yard birds. Last year I had Harris’ sparrow on my wish list, and the year before, white-crowned sparrow. There are only so many possible birds that could visit, based on habitat and location, but here are a few that I think might be possible, even if some are a stretch. Check out the MOU Species Occurrence Maps to see what species have been reported in the state, and what season.
- Hermit thrush – we’re in the right habitat for them, so it’s probably the most realistic bird on this list. UPDATE: seen on 4/19/2013, woohoo!
- Orchard oriole – they’re in the area, I’ve got Baltimore orioles so no reason I shouldn’t be able to get one of these
- Carolina wren – not common here, but there are occasional reports in the area.
- Tufted titmouse – we are just north of their normal range, so it’s not likely but you never know. They probably don’t read the bird books so maybe one will decide to show up in my yard. The photo on this page is one I saw in Wisconsin.
- Eastern towee – they are not listed as common for this area but it’s very possible that we could see one here.
- Screech owl – I’ve never seen or heard one around the area, but I don’t see why not. And I have an Owl Shack ready just in case!
- Saw-whet owl – a few years ago there was one just a couple miles away, and I think we have good habitat. They are just hard to find. I think the chickadees will let me know.
- Merlin – they are seen at the MN Valley refuge which is just down the hill. I know they like to nest in tall pine trees which we have plenty of. Although, if they nested here, all my other birds might leave. And my neighbors would hate me because these birds are loud and aggressive. So I should be careful what I wish for.
- Yellow warbler – I’ve seen many other warblers in the yard during migration, just not this particular one. UPDATE: seen on 5/19/2013
- Pine grosbeak – theoretically possible, according to Cornell I’m within their range.
- Red-shouldered hawk – they are around the Twin Cities, I’ve seen them in Mendota Heights and we also sometimes have them at the Raptor Center.
Maybe 2013 will bring some of these to my yard, or maybe something entirely unexpected!