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Bird Checklists of the United States

Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

McGregor, Minnesota


Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, containing over 18,000 acres, is located in the bog country of north-central Minnesota. It is an important resting and feeding area for ducks, especially ring-necked ducks, scaup and mallards.

The Refuge is located in the transition zone between the coniferous forests of northern Minnesota and the hardwood forests of the southern part of the state. Habitat varies from open water to heavily forested uplands. Scattered grasslands, brushlands, small lakes and croplands result in a variety of bird species.

Many species of waterfowl nest on the refuge, including an established Canada goose flock. 4,500-acre Rice Lake is noted for its extensive wild rice beds, an important waterfowl food. Waterfowl are best observed in September and October, and again in April and May. Of special interest are the large numbers of ring-necked and other diving ducks in the fall.

The following list contains 227 species which have been observed at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Another 15 species are listed which have been seen on the refuge, but are not normally expected to be present.

The English, or common, names of birds are in accordance with the American Ornithologists' Union's "Checklist of North American Birds," revised in 1996.


Solid lines indicate approximate taxonomic divisions by Orders
Dashed lines between species indicate Families

Season
S - March-May
s - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

Status
a - abundant: a common species which is very numerous
c - common: certain to be seen in suitable habitat, not in large numbers
u - uncommon:present, but not always seen
o - occasional: usually present, but seldom seen
r - rare: seen at irregular intervals


LOONS S s F W ___ Common Loon u u u -
GREBES S s F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe u u u - ___ Horned Grebe u - u - ___ Red-necked Grebe o - o - ___ Eared Grebe r - r -
PELICANS S s F W ___ American White Pelican o o o -
CORMORANTS S s F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant o o o -
HERONS S s F W ___ Great Blue Heron c c c - ___ American Bittern u u u - ___ Green Heron u u u - ___ Great Egret o - o - ___ Least Bittern r r - - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r - r -
WATERFOWL S s F W ___ Tundra Swan c - c - ___ Canada Goose c c a - ___ White-fronted Goose r - r - ___ Snow Goose u - u - ___ Mallard a c a - ___ American Black Duck u u c - ___ Gadwall o - u - ___ Northern Pintail u u u - ___ Green-winged Teal c c c - ___ Blue-winged Teal c c c - ___ Cinnamon Teal r - r - ___ American Wigeon c c c - ___ Northern Shoveler u - o - ___ Wood Duck c c c - ___ Redhead o - o - ___ Ring-necked Duck a c a - ___ Canvasback o - o - ___ Greater Scaup r - r - ___ Lesser Scaup c - a - ___ Common Goldeneye c - u - ___ Bufflehead c - c - ___ Ruddy Duck r - r - ___ Hooded Merganser u u u - ___ Common Merganser u - u - ___ Red-breasted Merganser u - u -
VULTURES S s F W ___ Turkey Vulture o o o -
HAWKS S s F W ___ Osprey u u u - ___ Northern Goshawk o o o o ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u u u - ___ Cooper's Hawk u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk u u u - ___ Red-shouldered Hawk r - r - ___ Broad-winged Hawk u u u - ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - - c ___ Golden Eagle r - r r ___ Bald Eagle u u c - ___ Northern Harrier c a c -
FALCONS S s F W ___ Peregrine Falcon r - r - ___ Merlin u - u - ___ American Kestrel c c c -
GROUSE S s F W ___ Ruffed Grouse c c c c ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse u u u u
RAILS S s F W ___ Virginia Rail u u u - ___ Sora u u u - ___ Yellow Rail o o - - ___ American Coot c c a -
CRANES S s F W ___ Sandhill Crane u - u -
PLOVERS S s F W ___ Semipalmated Plover r - r - ___ Killdeer c c c - ___ American Golden-Plover r - r - ___ Black-bellied Plover r - r -
SANDPIPERS S s F W ___ American Woodcock u c u - ___ Common Snipe u u u - ___ Upland Sandpiper u - u - ___ Spotted Sandpiper c c c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u - u - ___ Greater Yellowlegs u - u - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u - u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u - u - ___ Least Sandpiper u - u - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u - u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher u - u - ___ Stilt Sandpiper u - u - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u - u - ___ Sanderling r - r -
PHALAROPES S s F W ___ Wilson's Phalarope u - u - ___ Red-necked Phalarope r - r -
GULLS, TERNS S s F W ___ Herring Gull o - o - ___ Ring-billed Gull u u u - ___ Franklin's Gull r - r - ___ Bonaparte's Gull o - o - ___ Forster's Tern r - r - ___ Common Tern o - o - ___ Caspian Tern o - o - ___ Black Tern - c u -
DOVES S s F W ___ Mourning Dove - c u -
CUCKOOS S s F W ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo r r r - ___ Black-billed Cuckoo - u - -
OWLS S s F W ___ Eastern Screech-Owl u u u - ___ Great Horned Owl u u u u ___ Snowy Owl - - o o ___ Northern Hawk-Owl - - - r ___ Barred Owl u u u u ___ Great Gray Owl - - - u ___ Short-eared Owl u u u - ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl - - r r
GOATSUCKERS S s F W ___ Whip-poor-will u u u - ___ Common Nighthawk c c c -
SWIFTS S s F W ___ Chimney Swift c c c -
HUMMINGBIRDS S s F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird u c u -
KINGFISHERS S s F W ___ Belted Kingfisher c c c -
WOODPECKERS S s F W ___ Northern Flicker c c c - ___ Pileated Woodpecker u u u u ___ Red-headed Woodpecker u u u - ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker u u u u ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u u u - ___ Hairy Woodpecker c c c c ___ Downy Woodpecker c c c c ___ Black-backed Woodpecker r - r r
FLYCATCHERS S s F W ___ Eastern Kingbird c a c - ___ Western Kingbird r - r - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher c c c - ___ Eastern Phoebe c c c - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher u u u - ___ Alder Flycatcher u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher c c c - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee u u u - ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher u u u -
LARKS S s F W ___ Horned Lark c c c -
SWALLOWS S s F W ___ Tree Swallow c c c - ___ Bank Swallow - u u - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow - u u - ___ Barn Swallow c c u - ___ Cliff Swallow c c u - ___ Purple Martin u u u -
JAYS, CROWS S s F W ___ Gray Jay - - - o ___ Blue Jay c c c c ___ Black-billed Magpie u - u - ___ Common Raven c c c c ___ American Crow c c c -
CHICKADEES S s F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee c c c c
NUTHATCHES S s F W ___ White-breasted Nuthatch c c c c ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o - o -
CREEPERS S s F W ___ Brown Creeper u - u -
WRENS S s F W ___ House Wren c c c - ___ Marsh Wren c c c - ___ Sedge Wren c c c -
THRASHERS S s F W ___ Northern Mockingbird r - r - ___ Gray Catbird c c c - ___ Brown Thrasher c c u -
THRUSHES S s F W ___ American Robin c c c - ___ Wood Thrush u u u - ___ Hermit Thrush u u u - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Veery c c c - ___ Eastern Bluebird c c c -
KINGLETS S s F W ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - u - ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u - u -
PIPITS S s F W ___ American Pipit o - o -
WAXWINGS S s F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing - - - r ___ Cedar Waxwing c c c -
SHRIKES S s F W ___ Northern Shrike - - - u
STARLINGS S s F W ___ European Starling c c c c
VIREOS S s F W ___ Red-eyed Vireo c c c - ___ Warbling Vireo u u u - ___ Philadelphia Vireo u r u - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo c c c -
WARBLERS S s F W ___ Black-and-white Warbler u u u - ___ Cape May Warbler u u u - ___ Golden-winged Warbler u u u - ___ Tennessee Warbler u - u - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler u u u - ___ Northern Parula o o o - ___ Yellow Warbler c c c - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler u u u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler u u u - ___ Pine Warbler u u u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler u u u - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - u - ___ Palm Warbler u - u - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler u u u - ___ Ovenbird c c c - ___ Northern Waterthrush o - o - ___ Connecticut Warbler u u u - ___ Mourning Warbler u u u - ___ Common Yellowthroat c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - u - ___ Canada Warbler o o o - ___ American Redstart c c c -
SPARROWS S s F W ___ Northern Cardinal r r r - ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak c c c - ___ Indigo Bunting c c c - ___ Eastern Towhee u u u - ___ Henslow's Sparrow u c u - ___ LeConte's Sparrow c c u - ___ Savannah Sparrow c c c - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow - r - - ___ Vesper Sparrow u u u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c - ___ Chipping Sparrow c c c - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow c c u - ___ Field Sparrow - r - - ___ Harris' Sparrow u - u - ___ White-crowned Sparrow u - u - ___ White-throated Sparrow u u u - ___ Fox Sparrow u - u - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u - ___ Swamp Sparrow c c c - ___ Song Sparrow c c c - ___ Lapland Longspur u - u - ___ Snow Bunting - - - c
WEAVER FINCH S s F W ___ House Sparrow c c c c
BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES S s F W ___ Bobolink c c c - ___ Eastern Meadowlark u u u - ___ Western Meadowlark o o o - ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird u u u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird c c c - ___ Baltimore Oriole c c c - ___ Rusty Blackbird u - u - ___ Brewer's Blackbird c c c - ___ Common Grackle c c c - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird c c c -
TANAGERS S s F W ___ Scarlet Tanager u u u -
FINCH S s F W ___ Evening Grosbeak - - - u ___ Purple Finch u - u - ___ Pine Grosbeak - - - r ___ Common Redpoll - - - r ___ Pine Siskin - - - o ___ American Goldfinch u c c -

The following birds have been seen at Rice Lake but are either no longer present, are not normally found in this area, or do not ordinarily stop here during migration:
Brant                                 Western Sandpiper
Gyrfalcon                             Marbled Godwit
Greater Prairie Chicken               Hudsonian Godwit
Ring-necked Pheasant                  Red Crossbill
Whooping Crane                        Mountain Bluebird
Ruddy Turnstone                       White-winged Crossbill
Willet                                White-winged Scoter
Ross' Goose

We wish to thank Jo Blanich and Warren Nelson for their assistance in reviewing the bird list.
Field Notes
Date______________________________________ No. Species_________________________________________

Time Afield____________________________________________________________________________________

Observers______________________________________________________________________________________

Weather________________________________________________________________________________________

Remarks________________________________________________________________________________________

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Please report unusual bird sightings to the refuge office listed below.
                 Refuge Manager
                 Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge
                 Route 2, Box 67
                 McGregor, Minnesota 55760
                 Telephone: 218/768-2402

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Bird list of Rice Lake National 
     Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Bird list of Rice Lake National 
     Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govricelake.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

Equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is available to all individuals regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should contact: U.S. Department of Interior.
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