Today’s Events

MRVAC Programs

January 26, 7:00 pm: Fledgling Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration by Jennifer Vieth, Carpenter Nature Center

February 23, 7:00 pm: The Elegance of our Tallest Birds: Cranes, Herons & Egrets by by Stan Tekiela, NatureSmart

Upcoming Events

37th Annual Salt Lake Birding Weekend

Spring is just around the corner and so is the 37th annual Salt Lake Birding Weekend. On Saturday, April 28, 2012 volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge and the lakes, wetlands, and native prairies around Lac qui Parle and southern Big Stone counties.

In 2011, despite low temperatures and gusty winds, over 90 hardy birders found 140 different species of birds. The most unusual sightings were a Mountain Bluebird near Marietta, two Buff-breasted Sandpipers south of Highway 212 on Sunday and a Peregrine Falcon south of Lac qui Parle WMA. At Salt Lake we found three Snowy Egrets, two American Avocets, and five species of grebe. West of Madison we found five Hudsonian Godwits and over a thousand Lesser Yellowlegs. Over the three-day weekend 21 different shore birds were seen.

On Saturday April 28 at 7 a.m., meet at the Marietta American Legion, located one block west of the intersection of County Road 7 and State Highway 40, 11 miles west of Madison. Coffee, sweet rolls, juice and milk will be available for purchase. Guided car caravans will leave between 7 and 8 am. At noon, stop back at the Legion for a sloppy joes and cake (available at a modest cost) and to compare notes.

A Saturday chicken dinner, for $10, will be served at 7:30 pm at the Sons of Norway Hall on Highway 75 in Madison. Reservations are necessary for dinner; please contact Lillian Johnson at 320-598-3535 or by email at After dinner there will be a short program and then the species count for the day will be recorded. Sunday birding is on your own but you may stop by Prairie Marsh Farm for advice and directions to local sites.

Local lodging is available at Lou’s Lodge in Madison 320-598-7518, the Vali Vu Motel in Ortonville 320-839-2558, Prairie Waters Inn in Appleton 320-289-2500, and the Country Inn by Carlson in Montevideo 320-269-8000. Free camping is available at Prairie Marsh Farm, 1770 151st Ave, Marietta, located 7 miles west of US 75 and 1.5 miles south of 212.

Contact Ken Larson for more information or to reserve a camping site – home 952-595-9265, cell 612-210-8486 or email