Rare birds hang around northern MN farm – 1,500 miles from home


You'd think a celebrity was staying at the home of Steve and Patrice Roberts in Detroit Lakes.

But it's actually a pair of Vermillion Flycatchers, a bird last seen in Minnesota more than two decades ago, according to the Grand Forks Herald, which says "crowds have been gathering" at the rural farm to see two of the birds making a temporary home there.

Flycatchers are native to South and Central America, as well as a few southern U.S. border states, and are noted for distinctive red coloring, All About Birds writes.

The paper says the couple noticed one of them and thought it was unusual, so they called a wildlife biologist, who eventually showed up and confirmed that it was, indeed, a Vermillion Flycatcher.

Since then, WDAY reports, more than 100 birders have come to see the little visitors, with some traveling from more than five hours away.

Roberts told the station he and his wife don't mind all the company, saying, "It's fun to see people be happy that's what it really boils down to."

While reports say only two are hanging around the Roberts farm, Minnesota birding blog "A Boy Who Cried Heron" says the state had "not one, not two, but three Vermilion Flycatchers" earlier this month – suggesting maybe there are more.

According to the The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, the first sighting of a Flycatcher was in Cook County (the northeastern tip of the state – a considerable distance away from Detroit Lakes) on Nov. 2.

It's not clear how or why they made it all the way to Minnesota, but the homeowner speculated that it might have something to do with the recent hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

Earlier this month bird-watchers were reporting sightings of Snowy Owls, which are native to Canada and only show up in Minnesota occasionally.

Next Up

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.


McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."