Saturday, December 14, 2019

First Sighting of a Lesser Goldfinch 
in Minnesota - Near Warren 
December 8 - 11, 2019

Lesser Goldfinch in Warren, MN on
on Sunday, December 8, 2019
 photo ©HvHughes

There are 444 birds on the official 2019 "Checklist of the Birds of Minnesota."   Spotting a bird that's not on the list doesn't happen very often.  But when it does, birdwatchers flock to see it - even when the temperature drops below zero.  That's what happened on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, near the Agassiz Valley impoundment, 8 miles southeast of Warren.

The bird was first photographed at a feeder on Sunday, December 8th.  Experts from the Twin Cities confirmed the identification, first from photographs - then birders came up to see it first-hand.  The lone Lesser Goldfinch spent 4 days hanging out with dozens of Pine Siskins at feeders full of hulled sunflowers.    According to, these birds are normally found on the west coast, the southwestern states and parts of Central America.  

What's it doing here in Warren, Minnesota?  

It's impossible to know for sure.  It could be it got blown here in a storm.  It could be that they've been coming here every winter here and nobody noticed.  It could be that the bird was directionally challeged.  It could be that this species is expanding its range.  Or it could be another reason altogether. 

No matter where you live, you can help scientists keep track of wild birds at  
For more information about Minnesota's wild birds, go to

If you spot an unusual bird in the Red River Valley, Agassiz Audubon Society wants to know.  Call, text (218-745-5663) or email (  Please include

1.  your name and phone number
2.  your email address, phone number,
3.  when and where you spotted the bird and
4.  a photo - if you have one.

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