Marilyn Hagerty: Spring is for the birds

Marilyn Hagerty

This might have been a beautiful Friday in April. Among other things, students at Central High School had their senior prom scheduled at the Alerus Center. And along with so many other events, it is postponed.

On the bright side, there was a new moon Thursday.

But now, most everything is on hold because of the catastrophe called coronavirus. Nobody even knew what coronavirus was when plans were made for this last weekend in April.

Maybe the birds knew. After all, the North Dakota Century Code says April 26 is designated as Bird Day in North Dakota. This year, that’s Sunday. It was so named to promote and encourage the conservation and enjoyment of one of nature’s most attractive features. And it was named to honor the birth and work of naturalist John James Audubon. The code says he made America’s birds known to the world through his drawings and vivid prose.

For the birds

Some wags have come up with ways to celebrate Happy Bird Day.


They say:

+ Give your feather duster a rest.

+ Have a party to welcome back the Snow Birds.

+ Give your spouse something to crow about.

+ If your cat is a hunter, keep the cat inside today.

+ Don’t call someone a “bird brain” – unless you mean it as a compliment.

Capt. Alexander Griggs

It was on April 27 in 1871 that the steamer Selkirk, on her maiden trip down the Red River to Winnipeg, landed in Grand Forks. According to Herald history, Capt. Alexander Griggs was in command.

The report in the Herald said the steamer Selkirk set out from Fort Abercrombie. The Selkirk landed in Dakota Territory at the place later named Grand Forks. At that time, they set off shore machinery for a saw mill and material for a small store of general merchandise.


The trip of the Selkirk marked the beginning of the first practical navigation on the Red River of the North.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

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