It's Auction Week: See you Thursday!

The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) invites you to join us for the MRVAC holiday auction this Thursday (Nov. 9) at The Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Rd, in Bloomington.

The auction will begin at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. for those who want to come early for snacks or to scope out some of the nifty auction items.  Here is your chance to walk away with your own pair of Swarovski binoculars. There is no minimum bid on the used Swarovskis, so someone could walk away with a treasure for a bargain. Thanks to Vortex for two pairs of brand new binoculars, and there are other binoculars, as well.

There will be about 200 books on birds and nature, including many field guides (foreign and domestic), special topics, and some old classics.   One of the signal items up for auction is a rare collection of Cornell Labs Birds of North American, a set of some 700 pamphlets by the top experts on each species.   Steve Weston, one of the key auction item curators, said he couldn't find another copy anywhere on the web.  There also is a first edition of T.S. Roberts' 1932 Birds of Minnesota.

The first 50 people will get a free bag of bird seed, compliments of Wild Birds Unlimited in Eden Prairie.  Other auction items include bird houses and feeders, some incredible nature art, including a signed Walter Breckenridge, J. J. Audubon prints, and a watercolor by Lars Jonsson.  There are many non-birding gifts, including tickets to Chanhassen Theater, the Minnesota Zoo, the Science Museum, and food basket from Lunds & Byerlys.  Make sure you bring a shopping bag to bring your treasures home.

This auction will not be simulcast on Zoom.

Oct. 26 Program: Wildlife on the Edge: Conservation in New Zealand

After five years, “Kiwi-sotan” Jordana Whyte is returning from the South Island of New Zealand to visit her family and update us on protecting the birds and animals of New Zealand, home to some of the world’s most unique and endangered wildlife. She will be reporting on the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital — now the busiest facility of its kind in the country — and her summer in the New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands with the hoiho/takaraka (the rare Yellow-Eyed Penguin), and the whakahao (New Zealand Sea Lion).

This meeting will be held in person Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington, and will be simulcast via Zoom. The refuge visitor center is a short walk from the METRO blue line. While this will be an exclusive program at MRVAC, all meetings are free and open to the public.

The meeting will be simulcast on Zoom beginning at 7:30 p.m. To join the Zoom meeting click on this link:
Meeting ID: 856 6387 6921
Passcode: 724006
One tap mobile: +1 312 626 6799,,85663876921#,,,,*724006# US (Chicago)

The MRVAC Auction is back! Save the date: Thursday, Nov. 9

After a Covid-driven hiatus, the MRVAC holiday auction is back.  Save the date:  Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Richardson Nature Center in Bloomington. Here is your chance to walk away with your own pair of Swarovski binoculars.  The auction also will include more than 60 books on birds and nature, including many state field guides.  There will be bird houses and feeders for auction, too.  And heads up, St. Paulites: The auction will include antique St. Paul Bird Club stickers.  Wanna contribute?  Give one of the board members a shout or bring your items to the auction at 6 p.m. during the social hour (yes, drinks and snacks, just like in the pre-Covid shutdown days).  There will be more information in the next edition of the Trumper and watch this space for more details.

Recording of Sept. 28 Program: Stan Tekiela on "How to forage for mushrooms and not die"

Learn the fun and enjoyable way to forage for wild mushrooms and not kill yourself. Minnesota naturalist and best-selling author Stan Tekiela makes this serious topic fun and interesting. You, too, can safely get out and collect wild edible mushrooms without fear. Learn the seven edible mushrooms and how to safely collect, cook and store them.

We will meet live at the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge Bloomington Visitor Center at 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington, which is also accessible after a short walk from the METRO Blue Line (Hiawatha Light Rail) at American Blvd. Join us for a social gathering at 7 p.m. All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.  Seating is limited.

Below is the link to the recording of Stan's talk.

Recordings from the June meeting: Minnesota's invasive carp

The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) heard “The Natural and Unnatural History of Carp: Implications for Minnesota’s Aquatic Ecosystems and Fisheries,” a presentation of Dr. Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota's biology department.   Dr. Sorensen, is an internationally recognized expert on invasive fish and addressed the history of invasive fish control and management in Minnesota. He spoke about the biology of silver carp, how this fish threatens our ecosystem, the potential to control the carp and the status of proposed controls.  Here are the links to his presentation.


Apr. 27 Program: A Big Mammal Day in Tanzania

Dr. Charles Foley, senior conservation scientist at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, will discuss the history of Big Mammal Days, and describe how he, his wife, and two good friends set about attempting a new world record for mammals seen in 24 hours in the Tarangire ecosystem in northern Tanzania. He will show photographs of many of the mammals they saw, including leopard, yellow-winged bats, and the wonderful aardvark.  Join MRVAC in person at the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge headquarters building Thursday, Apr. 27 in person or use the link below to join by Zoom.  For in-person folks there will be a social with snacks and refreshments at 7 p.m. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.

The MVNWR Bloomington Visitor Center is located at 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington and is accessible after a short walk from the METRO Blue Line (Hiawatha Light Rail) at American Blvd.  All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 870 3290 0044
Passcode: 128178
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,87032900044#,,,,*128178# US (Chicago)




Becky Lystig's memorial service April 30

There will be an informal gathering to share memories and celebrate Becky Lystig's life at
Wood Lake Nature Center (6710 Lake Shore Drive, Richfield) Sunday, April 30, from 2-4 p.m. with short comments around 3 p.m.

Becky died Dec. 3, 2022, at age 78.  A MRVAC member for many years, she and Mark received the Trumpeter Award in 2016.

Friends are encouraged to bring binoculars and plan to walk the trails and the boardwalk to look for birds before or after the gathering.

Mark requests that folks bring no gifts other than memories for sharing.

March 23 Program: Minnesota State Wildlife Action Plan

Join MRVAC and Kristin Hall, wildlife action plan coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. for an update on the Minnesota State Wildlife Action Plan.  The plan focuses on conservation action for species in greatest conservation need (SGCN) and their required habitats. Currently, Minnesota has 346 SGCN, not including plants, of which 28 percent are bird species. Importantly, up to 16 percent of the state’s invertebrates (aka bird food) are also SGCN. The DNR is in the process of revising the plan for the next 10 years (2025-2035), Kristin will share with us what this means for conservation in our state and how you can be engaged.

Topic: MRVAC General Meeting
Time: Mar 23, 2023 7:30 p.m. Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 9743 9741
Passcode: 124488
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,81797439741#,,,,*124488# US (Chicago)

Spring migration is starting: Time to dim the lights

As we approach spring migration in the Upper Midwest, this is your friendly reminder to dim lights from March 15 to May 31.

Lighting can disorient birds and draw them to buildings where they face many hazards. Save birds and save energy by turning off unnecessary lights during migration -- on any building, regardless of size.  When to do it?  In the spring from March 15 to May 31 and in the fall from Aug.  15 to Oct. 31.  What to do?

From midnight to dawn:

  • Turn off exterior decorative lighting;
  • Dim or turn off lobby and atrium lighting;
  • Turn off interior lights, especially upper floors.

Want more info?  Thanks to the good folks at the Audubon Society, you can get reminders by going here, Lights Out Sign-Up (, and more information by going to

Lights Out has been a win-win program in Minnesota for many years.  If you're a homeowner, you can participate by just turning out the lights.  Alert facilities managers you may know about the program and share the links above.

Recordings of Feb. 23 program: Scott Weidensaul -- "A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

Even as scientists make astounding discoveries about the navigational and physiological feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, humans have brought many migrants to the brink. Based on his bestselling new book, A World on the Wing, Scott Weidensaul takes you around the globe to learn how people are fighting to understand and save the world’s great bird migrations. Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history and is a contributing editor for Audubon. He is an active field researcher, studying Saw-whet Owl migration for more than two decades and the winter movements of snowy owls through Project SNOWstorm.

Here are the recordings for the program.