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#ABArare – Cassin’s Kingbird – Minnesota

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I missed the significance of this bird earlier in the week, but as it's still present several days hence, I figured late is better than never.

On October 27, Tony Hertzel and Peder Svingen discovered a Cassin's Kingbird in Grand Marais, Minnesota, in Cook County. The bird was initially seen around the East Bay Hotel, moving up and down the lake shore. This is a first state record for Minnesota.

 

CAKI MN

photo by Scott B. Meyer

Grand Marais is in the far north of Minnesota, on the north shore of Lake Superior two hours northeast of Duluth on Highway 61.  In the just over two weeks since this bird was initially found, it has prefered to be in the vicinity of the Cook County courthouse at the corner of 3rd Avenue West and 2nd Street.  It was still there as of November 8. 

Despite its extensive range in the Great Basin, Cassin's Kingbird is the least likely of the western Tyrannus flycatchers to stray eastward.  Like many of its co-geners it turns up in Florida semi-annually – usually in winter – but outside of the Sunshine State records are much fewer and farther between.  In addition to the recent Minnesota record, Cassin's Kingbird has been seen in North Dakota (2010), Ontario (1953, 1970), Massachusetts (1962, 1993, 2002, 2011), New York (2007),  Louisiana (1991), Arkansas (1965), and Nova Scotia (1999).

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
  • Erin

    I found this page while researching the identity of a bird I found dead in my front yard in northern Minnesota. It looks very much like Cassin’s kingbird, but the specimen is somewhat dessicated and raggedy, so is a little difficult to get a good ID on. Are there any other species endemic to northern Minnesota that resemble this one?

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