Today’s Events

No events today, but take a look below to see what's coming up.

MRVAC Programs

May 21: Birds in Love by Steve Weston, MRVAC Vice President

June 4: Potluck Supper and Birding at Hyland Park Everyone Welcome!

  • ~ May 25, 2015. 6:00 am. Road Trip: Maplewood State Park, June 25-26
  • ~ May 30, 2015. 8:30 am. Field Trip: Louisville Swamp MN Valley NWR
  • ~ May 30, 2015. 9:00 am. Family Outing: Burnsville Native Plant Market
  • ~ June 1, 2015. 7:00 am. Field Trip: Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
  • ~ June 4, 2015. 5:00 pm. MRVAC Program: MRVAC Potluck & Birding
  • ~ June 6, 2015. 8:30 am. Field Trip: Rapids Lake Unit – MVNWR Ed. Center
  • ~ June 7, 2015. 7:00 am. Field Trip: Dakota County Prairie Birds
  • ~ June 13, 2015. 8:00 am. Field Trip: Bird Watching Trek at Refuge: Black Dog Unit *
  • ~ June 14, 2015. 7:00 am. Field Trip: Cannon River Bottoms
  • ~ June 15, 2015. 8:00 am. Field Trip: Bird Watching Trek at Refuge: Louisville Swamp Unit
  • ~ June 16, 2015. All Day Event. Family Outing: Young Birder Summer Day Camp, June 16-19

Chip Notes: May-June, 2015

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-a-thon. 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 follow this link, or call me at 612-205-3071.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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:,  or view the PDF flier here:

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

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.

Good health and good birding.

Elect 2015-26 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

Join Birdathon 2015: May 1-16

Help raise money for MRVAC’s educational programs for kids, and have fun watching birds this spring! Follow the link to find out how to sign up. Learn more.

Birding Trail Guides now online!

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

Change the Glass Now!
New Vikings stadium deadly for migrating birds

The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis has partnered with award-winning filmmaker and producer Jim Gambone in the making of this short and informative film. The clear glass called for in the stadium design will be deadly for migrating birds. But it’s not too late to change the design and incorporate bird-friendly glass.

Take action! Make a phone call and tell our leaders to “Change the Glass Now!”

  • Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority: 612-335-3319
  • Governor Mark Dayton: 651-201-3400

Join the Environmental Action Committee

Help MRVAC make a difference for birds and wildlife – and the special places we like to visit. Learn more.

Treats needed for upcoming meetings

We always need treats! If you can bring a few dozen cookies, bars or some easy-to-eat snack to share at the September or October meeting, please call Jan at 952-858-8604.

Fire codes affect seating in Refuge Visitor Center auditorium

At upcoming MRVAC meetings (the 4th Thursday of the month, during the school year) you may be asked to fill up empty seats or move in towards the center to allow others to sit down in the auditorium. We cannot bring in extra chairs and sit in the back when the room starts to get crowded, due to fire regulations.

Please help us comply with the rules and allow us to continue meeting at the Visitor Center by switching seats if necessary and by not carrying chairs into the auditorium. Thanks.