Chip Notes: July/August, 2017

By Greg Burnes, MRVAC President 

By Tim from Ithaca, via Wikimedia Commons

In late May I found a female and male Mourning Warbler along Nine-Mile Creek. I was elated that I was able to pick its song out from the vocalizing of many other birds and return the next day to hear and get a glimpse of these beautiful warblers. I know many of you are thinking, “what’s the big deal?”, but I consider myself an AA (Avid but Average) birder, so for me this was very exciting accomplishment.

But, before I got too proud of myself I got to thinking about how indebted I am to all those who have helped me gain the birding skills I do possess and have stoked my excitement for birding over the years,. This type of mentoring and support is really what binds any community together. It may be a metaphorical leap, but if we as a city, state, country and world could apply the same community-minded principles and selflessness we enjoy in our birding “lives”, we would live in a better world.

As many of you know MRVAC is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. In honor of this milestone, we are holding a special event at Cedar Creek on July 8th. Many of you know about the great work that the Red-Headed Woodpecker Recover Project (RHWRP) does at Cedar Creek and we will be getting a “back-stage” look at their work. Specifically we’ll learn about their new project to track the migratory habits of this amazing bird. Next, we will tour the “closed-to-the-public” RHWP nesting areas. There is more information in the Trumpeter and on mrvac.org and I encourage all of you to attend. There is no charge but limited space. Send an email to gburnes@comcast.net to register.

Lastly, I am stepping down as MRVAC President. I want to thank all of you who support our wonderful organization and I am proud to have had a very small part in its success.

2017 Youth Summer Camps at Audubon Center of the North Woods

The Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) in Sandstone MN offers a variety of youth camps that have a focus on wildlife, nature, challenge and outdoor skills. Give your child the gift of the great outdoors and memories that last a lifetime!

ACNW provides great accommodations, wonderful scratch-based meal service, a top-notch, experienced staff and engaging activities to provide one of the best outdoor camp experiences around.

Photo courtesy of ACNW

In June and July: Rocks, Ropes & Rafts (entering grades 6-8), Ways of Wildlife (entering grades 5-7 ), Outdoor Explorations (entering grades 5-7). Need-based partial scholarships are available.

ACNW has been providing environmental and outdoor education programs since 1971. Our focus is on developing an understanding, ethics and responsibility regarding the environment and the role of humans through formal and informal experiences that link nature and humans.

SPECIAL EVENT – MRVAC Day at Cedar Creek on July 8th

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), Dave Menke, USFWS
On July 8. 9:30 – noon, you will have a unique opportunity to get a “back-stage” look at the Red-Headed Woodpecker Recover Project and the many nesting RHWP at Cedar Creek. 

As part of MRVAC’s 50th Anniversary we are sponsoring a MRVAC Day at Cedar Creek. We will start the day with a short presentation about the RHWP Recovery Project’s new initiative to track the migratory path of the these little-studied birds and then we will have a guided walk into the closed nesting area. 

If you are interested in joining us please send an email to gburnes@comcast.net. There is no charge, though any donations would be appreciated to help support MRVAC’s on-going work.

We have limited space and will send out more information as we get closer to July 8th.

Annual MRVAC Auction – Great Success

Over 45 people attended the annual MRVAC auction last night.  They enjoyed a lot of back-and-forth bidding for a number of great items.  A few highlights were bids made on custom dinners two of our members will be preparing for parties of 4, many wonderful food items, wine, optics, books, and much more.  All of the proceeds from this auction go to support youth educational activities and other important causes that support conservation.  Thanks!