Volume 32 Issue 1 - Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter

The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
Volume 47 Issue 6–Bloomington MN
May & June 2015
Special Presentation May 21
Open to the Public
Birds in Love
by Steve Weston,
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
I will be talking about Bird Behavior drawn from my years
of observing birds and trying to figure out what is going
on. I will be talking about courting, mating, nesting, and
raising young. Many of us have been lucky enough to
watch birds mate, but have you seen them do it on the
wing? And, what species mating habits suggest an orgy
at a dance hall with the females lining up with their butts
in the air and fluttering their wings?
This may be the raciest talk given since I have been
When: Please join us Thursday, May 21 from 7:00-7:30
pm to socialize over cookies. A brief business meeting
including the board of director’ elections and the featured
speaker begin at 7:30 pm. The meeting will conclude
before 9:00 pm.
Where: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Visitor Center 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington.
Take Hwy 494 to 34th Ave. Go south to American Blvd;
turn left and go 2 blocks. Center will be on your right.
Enter through the door at the middle of the building.
Public Transit: Accessible by METRO Blue line
(Hiawatha light rail), The Visitor Center is a couple of
blocks east of the American Blvd. stop.
Anne Hanley, articles editor
Greg Burnes, field trips editor
Potluck Supper & Birding Thursday
June 4 at Hyland Park
The MRVAC potluck picnic will be held the first Thursday
of June - June 4th at Richardson Nature Center (8737
East Bush Lake Road, Bloomington) in the Aspen and
Bluestem rooms (we’ll have room for 50 people).
Everyone is enthusiastically invited to join in: eat, hike,
bird and visit with other MRVAC members and friends.
The room is rented from 5pm-8pm, so you may arrive
with potluck items any time after 5pm and we'll plan to
eat at 6pm. Birding can be done either before or after
supper, whatever works best with your schedule
Please bring a salad, fruit, main dish or dessert to share.
Lemonade will be provided. Also, to help make this a
minimal-waste event, please bring your own plates, cups
and cutlery. Be sure to bring your binoculars for birding
before or after the potluck.
Non-members are enthusiastically invited; bring your
friends or bring yourself – take this opportunity to get
acquainted at this mostly-social event.
Elect 2015-16 Board Members Please join us at the meeting on Thursday May 21 to
vote on the slate of nine candidates for the Minnesota
River Valley Audubon Chapter board of directors:
President: Greg Burnes
President Elect = ????
Vice President: Steve Weston
Treasurer: Bob Williams,
Secretary: Matthew Schaut,
Members at Large: Becky Lystig, Ken Oulman, Patti
Larson, Rick Magee, Dianne Rowse
A Chapter of the National Audubon Society
May & June 2015 Trumpeter
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
MRVAC Chapter News
Chip Notes
By Greg Burnes, MRVAC President
As you read this addition of the Trumpeter the spring
migration will be in full swing and spring should have
arrived (but hopefully not the mosquitoes and black
flies!) I hope you’ve signed up for the MRVAC Bird-athon. It’s one of the most important fundraising events
we hold each year and your contributions, regardless of
size, are critical for us to continue our support of many
important programs that directly align with our mission.
If you need more information regarding the Bird-a-thon
you can go to our website, mrvac.org, or call me at 612205-3071.
In the last Trumpeter, I promised to communicate where
the board has decided to invest your generous
donations. We considered a number of grant requests
and because of your generosity we were able to fund a
large majority of them.
Wood Lake Nature Center: WLNC held a Bird-a-thon
in April and we provided $400 so they could engage the
raptor center to provide live birds and educational
sessions. Hope you all had a chance to attend.
Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge:
This is our home base and we donated $3,500 for the
Blue Goose Fund (transportation for underserved youth
to experience the great educational programs at
MRVNWR), educational programming, and the yearly
intern program. We thank them for being such great
hosts for our refuge meetings and are excited to
continue our partnership. See more about the Refuge’s
Partner Schools program here:
Audubon Center of the North Woods: We have
approved a $1,000 grant to the Audubon Center of the
North Woods in support of youth scholarships for the
Birding Bonanza Weekend and to the Ways of Wildlife
Youth Camp for children ages 10-12.
Red Headed Woodpecker Recovery Project: Many of
you know about the great work this program is providing,
doing research and providing habitat for this wonderful
and formerly very numerous bird. We donated $500
earlier this year in support of their work. To read more
about their work, see their web site at
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Annually the
Arboretum serves over 36,000 K-6 students and has an
active outreach program to engage underserved, low
income schools from across the Twin Cities Metro area.
They requested 15 pairs of binoculars to support their
program and we are sending them 16 pairs ($850).
Again, I want to thank each of you for your contributions
of time and money to MRVAC. I hope you agree we are
supporting a wide-range of programs that align with our
mission of promoting the understanding, enjoyment, and
protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitat.
Warren Nelson Memorial Fund: If you’ve visited the
Sax-Zim Bog you’ve heard of, or possibly met Warren
Nelson. Sadly, he passed away last year and a
memorial fund has been established to purchase 40
acres of land in the Bog, on Blue Spruce Road. MRVAC
is donating $1,000 and recently learned that our
donation helped garner matching funds. If you would
like to read more about Friends of Sax-Zim Bog or to
contribute to the memorial yourself, please visit
Amy Simso-Dean: Amy is a 4th grade teacher at
Burroughs Community School in Minneapolis and she’s
started a birding club. We are assisting her by donating
$250 for field guides and other expenses for the 14
students in the club. Thanks Amy for getting these
students interested in birding.
Page 2
Good health and good birding.
Birdathon 2015
By Bob Williams, MRVAC Treasurer
The dates for this year’s Birdathon are May 1st through
May 17th. Participating birders may use the form on
page 3. If you need additional pages, pick up a sponsor
sheet at one of our monthly meetings or request one
from Bob Williams at 612-728-2232 or via email at
[email protected] The Birdathon is
really a great way to combine the pleasures of birding
with the rewards of raising money for some great
environmental projects.
Printed on recycled paper
May & June 2015 Trumpeter
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
2015 Birdathon Sponsor Pledge Form
Number of birds seen: ____________
on May ___, 2015
Location(s) ___________________________________:
I, the undersigned, pledge __ per bird or a flat amount to support Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC)
projects that get children outside and provide environmental education.
Please make checks payable to MRVAC. MRVAC is a 501(c)3 organization and your contributions are tax deductible.
Sponsor Name
$ amount
per bird
Flat $
Turn in donations & sponsor sheet(s) to MRVAC Treasurer Bob Williams at the May 21 meeting
Page 3
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May & June 2015 Trumpeter
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
Upcoming Events
Burnsville Native Plant Market
May 30, 2015
Audubon Center of the North Woods
2015 Summer Camps and Expeditions
Burnsville will host a Native Plant Market as a way
to encourage people to grow native plants in their
yards. In addition to beautifying the community, native
plants provide food for pollinators, help improve water
quality, and require less care than traditional garden
Native wildflowers, ferns, and grasses will be
available for sale from multiple vendors. Arrive early for
the best selection!
All of our camps have a focus on wildlife, nature,
challenge and outdoor skills. Experience the great
outdoors and make memories that last a lifetime!
The event will be held rain or shine.
Only CASH and CHECKS will be accepted for
Partial scholarships are available for all our youth camps
June 28 - July 3: Outdoor Adventures (Ages 12-14)
July 26-31: Ways of Wildlife (Ages 10-12)
Aug. 2-7: Backpacking Superior Hiking Trail (Ages 12-14)
Aug. 9-14: BWCA Expedition Camp (Ages 12-14)
Aug. 16-21: Hooked on Fishing (Ages 10-12)
Native Plant Market
Saturday, May 30, 2015
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Where: Parking lot across from Burnsville City Hall
(100 Civic Center Parkway)
Open to all (including non-residents)
• July 5-10: Summer Family Escape
• July 12-17: Woods, Waters, & Wildlife - A Family
Nature Adventure at the Lake (Road Scholar® #4966)
Plant list and more info available on Burnsville web site:
Online review of the Woods Waters and Wildlife camp:
See more at http://audubon-center.org/
and click on Summer Camps or call 1-888-404-7743
“This was my first experience with Road Scholar and
I'm extremely satisfied with the whole experience. The
facilities were comfortable and the food was great and
plentiful. The instructors were excellent, their
interaction with the kids was super and the activities
were engaging and informative. All in all, this was a
great value for a minimal cost. I'd recommend it to any
grandparents that want to spend a fun week with their
grandchildren. Thanks for offering such a fun
intergenerational program.”
Birding Trail Guides now online!
Questions about the Native Plant Market? Contact
Caleb Ashling at (952) 895-4543.
Page 4
Now you can find great birding trails in Minnesota with
Audubon Minnesota’s new online birding trail guides.
The Minnesota River Valley, Great River (Headwaters to
the Minnesota-Iowa Border), and North Shore Birding
Trail Guides are now available in a beautiful, easy-to-use
map tour application. Each online interactive map
features location details, descriptions, and information
about the main trail guide you have selected and also
highlights locations from the companion bird trail guides.
Find the online guides at
Printed on recycled paper
May & June 2015 Trumpeter
Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
FIELD TRIPS – page 1 of 2 – Join us. All trips are free unless otherwise noted.
Beginners and non-members are welcome on any trip.
May & June Bird Watching Treks at Refuge
Hok-Si-La Warbler Watching
Bloomington Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington
Saturday, May 2, 2015, 8:00 am
Rapids Lake Unit
15865 Rapids Lake Rd, Carver
Monday, May 4, 2015, 8:00 am
Louisville Swamp Unit
3801 145th St. W., Shakopee
Sunday, May 10, 2015, 8:00 am
Monday, June 15, 2015, 8:00 am
Black Dog Unit, Cliff Fen Park, (if the trail is open)
120 East Cliff Road, Burnsville **
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 8:00 am
**will be canceled if trail is not open. Check
and click on the ‘Alert – Trail Closures’ link
Craig Mandel - 952-240-7647
Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units
and learn about the birds that migrate to and
through these wonderful wildlife areas. We will find a
large variety of waterfowl, flycatchers, warblers,
sparrows and other songbirds. Birders of all skill levels
are welcome on these walks. Bring along your
binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately.
Registration is not required for these refuge tours
2500 U.S. Highway 61, Lake City, MN 55041
Saturday, May 9, at 7:30 am
Steve Weston - 612-978-3993
This is often the best weekend for migrating warblers
and Hok-Si-La Park is ideally situated to see birds
traveling up the Mississippi River flyway – making this a
great Bird-a-thon trip. Meet at the parking lot at Hok-SiLa Park, a Lake City park. You may camp at Hok-Si-La
or Frontenac State Park on Friday night or drive down in
the morning. After lunch, we will hike to Sand Point.
Expect lots of walking; bring water and food – snacks
and lunch. No reservations necessary; just come.
Beginning Bird Class (Hopkins Community Ed)
19300 Ritter Trail, Lakeville
Saturday, May 19, 8:30am
Jay Miller 612-325-3066
Spend the morning with us on the shore of Lake Marion
at Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville. This park has mixed
habitat and is a good location for spring migrants.
First class is Monday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Hopkins Community Ed 952.988.4070
You must pre-register with Hopkins Community Ed for
this class. Increase your observation skills and your
knowledge of birds. Indoor session is followed by three
local field trips. Instructors George Skinner and Anne
Hanley will provide binoculars and field guides for class
use, if needed. Class will meet outdoors on May 4, 11,
and 18. $27 course fee is per family. Please pre-register
by calling 952.988.4070 (open M-F, 8 am-4 pm) or
Southeastern Minnesota Birding Days
Thursday, Friday, May 7-8, 2015 at 6:00 am
Craig Mandel 952-240-7647
$35/non-MRVAC members; $25/MRVAC members
We will be spending time birding in Houston and Winona
counties. Some of the locations we may explore
include, Beaver Creek Valley & Great River Bluff's State
Parks, some WMA's and a number of locations in the
Richard Dorer State Forest. With luck, we'll have a nice
mix of warblers and some other spring migrants. Please
contact Craig to register for this trip
Page 5
Carver Park Reserve
Monday, May 11, 2015 at 7:00 am
Craig Mandel 952-240-7647
Carver Park Reserve has a wide variety of habitat and is
an excellent birding location. Join us for this early
morning walk at the peak of spring migration. On past
spring trips to Carver Park reserve, we have observed
over 140 species of birds, including 14 species of
Sparrows and 23 species of Warblers. Each year is a
little different. Join us to find out what surprises are in
store for you. Contact Craig to register for this trip.
Ritter Farm Park
Louisville Swamp MN Valley NWR
3801 145th St. W., Shakopee
Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 8:30 until about noon
George Skinner & Anne Hanley - 952-936-0811
Meet at the trailhead parking lot. (Take Hwy 169 S from
Shakopee, turn R on 145th St., and continue past the
Renaissance Fair parking lot.) Trailhead is on the left.
Habitat here includes a nice oak savannah, a creek, a
river and some marsh. We’ll look for Indigo Bunting,
Brown Thrasher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Orioles,
Eastern Bluebirds and check the river area for marsh
and water birds. Bring a hat, water, bug repellant and
snacks. Long sleeves and long pants highly
recommended. We will walk about 2-3 miles.
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May & June 2015 Trumpeter
FIELD TRIPS – page 2 of 2. All trips
are free unless otherwise noted.
Beginners and non-members are welcome.
Minnesota River Valley
Audubon Chapter
P.O. Box 20400
Bloomington, MN 55420
PERMIT NO. 90227
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Monday, June 1, 2015 at 7:00 am
Craig Mandel - 952-546-3407
Early June is a prime time to visit Murphy-Hanrehan
Park Reserve. Bobolinks, Grasshopper and Henslow's
Sparrows can be found on the trails that run through the
prairie, while Wood Thrush, Acadian Flycatcher
and Hooded, Cerulean and Blue-winged Warblers can
be found along the wooded trails. Please contact Craig
to register for this trip.
MRVAC Picnic
Richardson Nature Center,
8737 East Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington
Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 5:00-8:00 pm.
Please join us for an evening of fun, conversation and of
course food. We will begin eating at 6 pm but you are
welcome to arrive earlier. The room will be available at
5 pm. See article on page 1 for more details.
Rapids Lake Unit – MVNWR Ed. Center
15865 Rapids Lake Rd, Carver
(formerly Carver Highlands Dr.)
Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 8:30am
George Skinner & Anne Hanley – 952-936-0811
Grassland sparrows, Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted
Grosbeaks and Eastern Bluebirds can all be found at
this Refuge unit in Carver County, south of the town of
Carver. We’ll also check out the Minnesota River and
see what’s on Rapids Lake. We’ll bring extra binoculars
and a scope. If you have a scope, please bring it for
viewing the lake. RSVPs not required.
Dakota County Prairie Birds
8395 127th Street East, Hastings, 55033
Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 7am
Steve Weston – 612-978-3993
We will drive the “prairies” of Dakota County in search of
a number of grassland species. Meet at Schaar's Bluff.
No reservations needed.
June Bird Watching Treks at Refuge
Black Dog Unit, meet at Cliff Fen Park**
120 East Cliff Road, Burnsville
Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 8:00 am
**will be canceled if trail is not open
Louisville Swamp Unit
3801 145th St. W., Shakopee
Monday, June 15, 2015, 8:00 am
Craig Mandel - 952-240-7647
See description on page 5
Page 6
Cannon River Bottoms
Sunday, June 15, 2015 at 7am
Steve Weston – 612-978-3993
We will explore a little known, but very productive trail
near Red Wing in search of a surprising variety of birds.
Target birds include Cerulean Warbler, Acadian
Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager and Wood Thrush. Please
call Steve for more details about the meeting location.
Maplewood State Park
Thursday, Friday, June 25-26, 2015 at 6:00 am
Craig Mandel 952-546-3407
$35/non-MRVAC members; $25/MRVAC members
Thursday will be spent exploring parts of nearby Wilkin
County, with stops at Rothsay WMA, Nature
Conservancy tracts and maybe a water treatment plant.
Friday will be spent birding in Maplewood State Park and
in some nearby areas of Otter Tail County. Some of the
species we may see on this trip include Greater Prairie
Chicken, Upland Sandpiper and Marbled Godwit's.
Passerines seen may include Grasshopper Sparrows
and Orchard Orioles. Please contact Craig to register
for this trip.
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