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M.T. Bucket

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About M.T. Bucket

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family
  • Birthday 12/31/2005
  1. I don't really post to this forum anymore, but with various hunting seasons underway or around the corner, I thought I'd share a quick safety message and create a thread where everyone can post their hunting safety tips. For my part, I'm going to share this link--hopefully a DNR link won't get nixed; if it does, go to the DNR page, click on the Enforcement link, and find Incident Reports on the right side. The link is http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/incidentreports/index.html Here you'll find year-by-year summaries of hunting (firearm only), ATV, and snowmobile accidents from 2002 through 2006. If you go to the 2006 report, you'll be able to read a synopsis of each of last year's 23 hunting firearm accidents in Minnesota. At the end of the report are easy to read charts that summarize the circumstances around these accidents. You can draw your own conclusions about these, but after reading the report thoroughly, a few patterns of safe and unsafe behavior emerge...at least to me. My hope is that sharing this information will make people take a look at their habits out there enough to prevent at least one accident this season. If you have thoughts on these reports, or hunting safety tips, this would be a good place to post them.
  2. Fish & game I've eaten... Channel & flathead catfish Black & white crappie Carp Smallmouth, largemouth, & rock bass Bluegill & sunfish Lake, rainbow, & brook trout Northern pike & muskie (yes, I once tried a small one from Illinois out of curiosity) Bullhead Sheephead Walleye Yellow perch Whitefish Crayfish Pheasant Ruffed Grouse Duck Goose Venison Elk Now when am I gonna get down after a turkey?
  3. I'm not really picturing the fluorescent copper color very well. Any other way to describe it? I could think of a number of possibilities, but brown-headed cowbird comes to mind? Maybe?
  4. Yeesh! I'll go with Lark Bunting.
  5. I concur with Buzz. I am VERY envious. I hope I get a Harris's sparrow this year!
  6. Yeah, you'd have to go to Winnibigoshish or the Embarrass wetlands to have your closest realistic shot at seeing one, I think. I have a couple of tailings ponds to check though, you never know...there might be a YHBB hotspot on the range. There are plenty of bluebirds around rural Hibbing! In the winter, there are generally bohemian waxwings roaming around your town and there are plenty of cedar waxwings there in the summer...if you get a CD or go to findsounds.com and learn their calls, you'll be surprised at how many are around that you just didn't see. The Hibbing CBC had a cardinal reported this winter. Maybe one of these days I'll run up to Hibbing and see how many species I can find in the town in a day...maybe posting a fairly long list here would help your optimism. One spot near Hibbing I like after spring rains is a wet field along 37, about 3/4 mile east of 137. I've seen gobs of semipalmated sandpipers and semipalmated plovers as well as a handful of other shorebirds and gulls. If anything, the range is a great place to find veerys, northern flickers, killdeer, turkey vultures, and golden-winged warblers! Speaking of crossbills, there were all kinds of red crossbills north of Grand Rapids this winter, but I never saw any white-winged crossbills.
  7. One of my favorite species...tough to find in Itasca County. They certainly have the best Latin name--Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus...Yellowhead yellowhead. YHBBs have a crazy song too. Here's how Kaufmann describes it: male strains to rasp out a few gurgles followed by long, strangled buzzing noise Sibley says: Song extremely harsh, unmusical; a few hard clacking notes on different pitches followed by wavering raucous wail like chainsaw. According to answers.com: Song, low, hoarse rasping notes produced with much effort; suggests rusty hinges. I like to describe the sound as a [PoorWordUsage]ed off modem dialing up the Internet.
  8. I am over in Bovey. I haven't seen any hummingbirds or orioles up here yet, but I did see hummmingbirds in Duxbury yesterday. I hope I get Harris's sparrows this year...I've only gotten them once. I may have to make the trip around Cohasset to see one before they go north. I spend a lot of time birding around Cohasset in the spring because the migrants follow the river up and seem to like that town. It's the only town up here I've been able to find yellow-headed blackbirds in--then they move to Winnie. There's a feeder setup near the river access that the usually has gobs of pigeons, but sometimes the yellowheads (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus--Latin for Yellowhead yellowhead) shoulder their way in.
  9. Correction: Pigeons USED to be rock doves. The eggheads at the American Ornithologists' Union officially changed the name to Rock Pigeon a couple of years ago. Pigeons are a never-ending battle. I feed the songbirds in my yard in town as well, but invariably attract a number of pigeons. One of my neighbors threatened to call the city on my for encouraging a nuisance...wouldn't have done much since there is no law here against feeding them. I just kept feeding anyway. I still get pigeons, but I have a few tips for you if this law is going to put a dent in your bird watching: 1) Feed stuff the pigeons won't touch (at least as much). Put out a finch tube with thistle seed, an orange half on a nail, a cage feeder with shelled peanuts, a dish of grape jelly, suet cakes with seeds in them, nectar feeders...if you have to give up your sunflower feeder, you'll probably find that your overall feeding bill doesn't change but you get a better variety of birds. 2) You could also try other bird attractants. Try planting some fast-growing fruit-bearing shrubs (dogwood, nannyberry, cranberry, crabapple) or conifers. Put out a birdbath (may draw pigeons?), build a wren box (house wrens are easy to attract, just build or buy a box to specs and put it in the corner of your yard closest to brush or a garden), or try hanging an onion sack with brushed out cat hair. Goldfinches love to come steal the cat hair during nest building season. If you can get away with it, a small brush pile in a corner of your yard might get you sparrows or juncos (I think I have a song sparrow nesting in my in-town brush pile) and of course planting columbine, trumpet creeper, or petunias will get you a hummingbird or two. 3) Find a neighborhood kid to plink the pigeons for a quarter or two a piece. He can take 'em home and have squab. I haven't found my little hunter yet, and my boy's not old enough for a BB gun, but I have taught my kid how to identify pigeons and told him he can use his hyperactivity or squirt gun to make them feel unwelcome...and he does.
  10. I'm not sure if I can tell you exactly what's going on with your birds, but I can tell you this: I have heard that the best way to accomodate tree swallows and eastern bluebirds is to group your boxes in pairs. That is, if you have six boxes out, place them in three separate pairs (maybe 15' apart within a pair?). What I have heard is that the tree swallows will take over the first box, but they are so territorial that they won't allow other tree swallows to nest in the closest box, leaving it open for bluebirds, which they will tolerate. If you have changed your feeding setup, you may very well change your birds, though that wouldn't affect the peewees and wrens. I'm not sure where you're at, but we have very few peewees, wrens, orioles, or hummingbirds up north yet. I'd say you need to give it a couple of weeks yet to see if things have really changed. Large groups of birds can come and go during migration and make things seem out of the ordinary. If you still notice a vastly different mix of birds in June, your feeding setup, natural population fluctuations, a change in water level in your wetlands, adjacent development, or just random chance could be the cause.
  11. Do you think he'd be willing to share the spot? I'd be really interested in seeing that. Steve, I don't have a contact, I would think you'd want to call the Aitkin DNR Wildlife office.
  12. You may have a little time, JR. I viewed them from a blind last year on April 29th, and they were going strong...dozens of them. Two years ago, I viewed from the blind in Palo...unless they put in a new blind or you just want to go near home, I do not recommend that one. The birds are difficult to see and the blind is cramped. I have heard there is a great blind near Cloquet, but I've never been there. If you really want a great experience, I highly recommend the blind near Palisade in Aitkin County. All kinds of birds--very easy to see and comfortable. In fact, there were sharpies landing right on top of the blind and displaying at arms length right out side. It was possible to hear every sound and see everything. The birds were not very spooky either. When it became obvious that they were going to display all morning, my friend and I finally got out to leave and the birds barely flushed with some only moving 30 yards or so to continue their activities. Another bonus, the blind in Aitkin County has great habitat around and there were singing eastern meadowlarks, hunting northern harriers, savannah sparrows, Brewer's blackbirds, and lots of other species around. I saw a snowy owl there this winter...and a few of those are still around.
  13. They're all over the spruce bogs in Koochiching and Lake Counties and can be found in northern St. Louis and Cook as well. They're occasionally seen in Itasca County and I wouldn't doubt there are a few in the counties along the periphery of the area I just mentioned.
  14. The color, pattern, and tail band of that bird are that of a ruffed grouse. Cheers.
  15. Well, I'm pretty much done with FM...haven't logged on in months, probably won't again as I took issue with the moderating there. However, I lurked here and caught these unidentified bird photos...something I'm always a sucker for. Your "flying rat" is actually a Bonaparte's Gull, which is actually a great sighting in my book and hardly your average Mickey D's fry-sucking Ring-bill. Your hawk appears to be a Red-shouldered Hawk, but I have little experience with the species. I haven't gotten to the other photos just yet, but I'm beginning to think your vacation was in California. Wait, nope. The next photo tells me Florida...I think it might be a Reddish Egret...pretty tough to id from that particular view. After that, the other 2 photos both appear to be Little Blue Herons. Those are my guesses. Bye.
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