The Great Backyard Bird Count: It's Feb. 17 and here's help on "how to"

The 26th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, Feb. 17, through Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. Bird and nature lovers everywhere unite in the effort to tally as many of the world's bird species as possible over these four days.

All skill levels and all abilities are welcome to count birds from anywhere and enter their checklists online. Learn how to join the GBBC from Audubon and partners Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada by visiting birdcount.org.

Want to know how, or know more.  Audubon will have a free Q&A webinar on Feb. 15 that will include more information on how to participate. Register for the webinar here


January program & link: Managing forests for bird conservation

"Collaborative Approaches in Forest Management for Bird Conservation"

Linnea Rowse: Great Lakes Private Lands Director for
the American Bird Conservancy

Thursday, January 26, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

To Join Zoom Meeting click on this link:

To Join Zoom Meeting click on this link:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86741396772?pwd=dUNESUExVFY3dFFvOStIclNFdTU1Zz09

Meeting ID: 867 4139 6772
Passcode: 480773
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,86741396772#,,,,*480773# US (Chicago)

The dramatic loss of 2.9 billion birds in 50 years drives natural resource workers to meet the critical conservation needs of species with steep declines in addition to working to keep common birds common. To address conservation needs, land managers and private landowners must collaborate to restore, maintain, and improve habitat quality and availability. Planning for forest bird conservation includes not only bird habitat but also healthy forest ecosystems.

 


Bloomington Wood Duck house volunteers needed

In partnership with the City of Bloomington, the Bush Lake Chapter of Isaac Walton League set up 17 cedar wood duck houses on Normandale Lake.  Its volunteer can no longer head this project. It is looking for MRVAC or Master Naturalist volunteers to take over cleaning out houses and installing fresh wood chips in January or February when the ice is thick, making notes on number of eggs and make repairs or replace boards if necessary.

Work days are set up for Feb. 4 and Feb. 18 for new folks to learn the ropes.  For more information or to volunteer, contact Paul Erdmann at pwerdmann@yahoo.com.


Come help: Join MRVAC's annual Christmas Bird Count

It’s citizen science at the most interesting, and the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter needs your help.  There's food involved, too!

The Bloomington Christmas Bird Count will be Dec. 17, 2022. Counting generally is attempting to do a census of all the birds seen and heard in a count area. There are 20 areas within Bloomington’s count circle, which centers on the intersection of Hwy. 13 and Hwy. 77.  MRVAC and could use a few more counters to ensure full coverage. If you're interested in participating, please fill out this participant questionnaire, which will help us distribute counters evenly:  2022 Bloomington CBC Participant Questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes to complete.

After the count, we will gather at the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, where folks can warm up and share results over hot soup, hot dishes, and hot drinks. We will provide soup, coffee, and tea. Please feel free to bring something to share, as many do. The gathering will start at 4:30 p.m. at the center, which is at 3815 American Blvd. East in Bloomington.  Enter through the side door. Contact Dave and Rita Baden at (952) 445-4353 with any questions regarding the post-count gathering.

Count results can be submitted by email, USPS mail (extra points for bird stamps), or in person at the post count gathering. Contact your count circle coordinator, Liz Stanley, at lizmstanley@gmail.com.

 


October program: Northern Red-tailed Hawk research

Duluth has been a hot spot for diverse – but not well-studied – types of Red-tailed Hawks. Utilizing microsatellite markers and satellite transmitters, Alexandra Pesano, a UMD master’s student, has been able to increase understanding of the geographical origins and subspecies classification of dark-morph-plumaged birds and the B.j.abieticola (Northern Red-tailed) subspecies.

Join us in person at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, to socialize over cookies. A brief business meeting followed by the featured presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will conclude before 9 p.m. The MVNWR Bloomington Visitor Center is located at 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington. By car, take Hwy 494 to 34th Avenue and go south to American Boulevard. Turn east (left) and go two blocks. The center is on the right. It is accessible after a short walk from the Metro Blue Line (Hiawatha Light Rail) at American Boulevard. Enter at the middle door (not the main entrance). MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.

This meeting (starting at 7:30 p.m.) will also be available by Zoom but limited to first 100 participants. To Join by Zoom click on this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89328113901?pwd=b0MzQTBwL1UwbkUxN3J5WHRzK1FaQT09
Meeting ID: 893 2811 3901
Passcode: 588381
One tap mobile:
+13126266799,,89328113901#,,,,*588381# US (Chicago)
We are also planning on having a recording of this meeting available on our website a few days later.


Birding weekend fundraiser a hit!

By Bob Williams
MRVAC Board member

This year’s Aug. 27-28 fundraiser was a great success, and MRVAC thanks you for helping raise funds for birds and their habitats!

Although we only received two checklists, we raised $1,293.60, which memories say is a new record. Matt Holberg reported the most species and Dan Ahlman reported several interesting species, including Sandhill Cranes, six species of shorebird, Common Loon and Neotropic Cormorant. The highlight of my day occurred at the end when I arrived at Murphy-Hanrehan Park in Scott County. I got a great look at a Hooded Warbler and heard a Barred Owl hooting in the woods.

Thank you all for participating.


September IN-PERSON Meeting: Secret lives of the Voyageurs Wolves

MRVAC's September 22 program will be our first-ever joint in-person and streamed meeting, resuming our in-person meetings after the pandemic.

Thomas Gable, with the Voyageurs Wolf Project, will address a gap in understanding wolf ecology.  "Understanding the Secret Lives of Wolves in the Northwoods" looks at what do wolves do during summer in forested ecosystems? This question has remained elusive despite decades of research. With the help of advanced GPS-tracking technology and remote video cameras, the project has been able to get an unprecedented look at the summer wolf ecology, revealing new wolf hunting behavior and showing how variable wolf summer diets are. Come learn about the complex and fascinating lives of these elusive wolves in the north woods.

Join us in person at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, to socialize over cookies. A brief business meeting followed by the featured presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting will conclude by 9 p.m.  The MVNWR Bloomington Visitor Center is located at 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington.  By car, take I-494 to 34th Avenue and go south to American Boulevard. Turn east (left) and go two blocks. The center is on the right. It is accessible after a short walk from the METRO Blue Line (Hiawatha Light Rail) at American Blvd. Enter at the middle door (not the main entrance). MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.

This meeting (starting at 7:30 p.m.) will also be available by Zoom (limited to first 100 participants). To Join by Zoom click on this link:
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75809135166?pwd=gsoK5qpAmVzX0U8LyyUYSbdfm72ld7.1
Meeting ID: 758 0913 5166
Passcode: cBt2Re

We are also planning on having a recording of this meeting available on our website a few days later.


Take advocacy action -- here's the link

MRVAC encourages its members and other conservation and birding advocates to be engaged citizens, which includes ensuring that their representatives in the State Legislature and in the U.S. Congress get behind bills that are important to the environment.  Need help?  You can sign up for Audubon Minnesota's action alerts here: Take Action | Audubon Minnesota

That page also contains your representatives' contact information should you want to contact them with or without from an action alert.

 

 


It's the Bird-a-thon weekend -- Aug. 27-28

Heads up! (That way you can see the fall migrants better, eh?)

This is a reminder that the 2022 Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter Birding Weekend is Aug. 27-28. Visit your favorite birding spots on either Saturday or Sunday and keep a list of all the species you identify that day. Send us a complete list of the birds you find. Small prizes will be awarded to the birder who identifies the most species, and to the birder who IDs the most unusual bird. Results will be published in the Trumpeter, MRVAC’s newsletter.

If each reader can contribute or raise at least $25, we will be able to achieve our fundraising goal of $1,000. There are two ways to contribute: Elsewhere on MRVAC.org are ways to contribute online or you can mail a check made out to MRVAC to P.O. Box 20400, Bloomington, MN 55420.

Questions?  Contact Bob Williams at drbop6789@gmail.com or by text at 612-991-0727. Be safe out there and enjoy the fall migration!


Yay! It's time for the Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah

If you like hummingbirds – and who doesn't – you’ll have a blast at the Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah Aug. 20.
That’s this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., rain or shine. Speakers will be Al Batt, Donald Mitchell, Larry Pfarr and Amanda Vogel. There will be kids’ activities so bring the whole family. Located less than an hour away from Bloomington, Henderson is located on the Minnesota River in Sibley County.
The Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah is free and open to the public with vendors, food and raffle prizes. But the highlight as always is watching Donald Mitchell net, band and release hummingbirds.
Sponsored in part by MRVAC, the hurrah was the dream of Dolores Hagen, a longtime resident of Henderson, MN who passed away in 2016. In 2008 she organized the first annual hurray, which has been held nearly every year since. Bender Park in Henderson has a garden specifically to attract hummingbirds so you can sit and watch hummingbirds buzz around the feeders and sipping from flowers.
Traveling from the Twin Cities, the best route is to come down County Road 6 on the west side of the river as Highway 19 is closed from Highway 169 to the river. It is about an hour's drive from the south metro. MRVAC will once again have a table at this event staffed by board members Doug Mayo, Matthew Schaut and Bob Williams so be sure to say howdy to them.
More info? https://www.hendersonhummingbirdhurrah.com/