Recording of MRVAC May Program: Kim Eckert Updates 5th Edition of "A Birder's Guide to Minnesota"

Kim Eckert, one of Minnesota’s preeminent birders, will give a preview of the fifth edition of A Birder’s Guide to Minnesota. The program is Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.  The publication is a county-by-county guide of more than 1,400 birding locations with an annotated list of all 447 Minnesota species with numerous identification tips. It includes references and resources, a directory of birding contacts for each county and regular online updates with corrections and additions. Kim served for more than 30 years on the MOU Records Committee since its inception in the 1970s.  In 1996 he launched the Minnesota Birding Weekends and Weeks program of tours throughout Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada, which is now in its 37th season.

Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter presentations are free and open to the public. Feel free to share the link with friends.

The recording of the session is here:
Passcode: mh4JYP*5


Apr. 28 MRVAC Program - UMD Chickadee and raptor research

MRVAC hosts UMD graduate students Kara Snow and Emily Pavlovic Thursday, Apr. 28 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about their master’s research at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Kara’s research on Boreal Chickadees, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Research Institute, focuses on breeding ecology, nestling diet, post-fledgling movement and habitat use. Emily’s research in collaboration with the Hawk Ridge Observatory analyzes stable isotopes in feathers to reveal where raptors are migrating from and band recovery data for improving knowledge of migratory connectivity. Join us for a glimpse of some of the latest research today in ornithology.

To Join the Zoom meeting click on this link:

Meeting ID: 862 0788 0126
Passcode: 183342
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+13126266799,,862 0788 0126#,,,,,,0#,,183342# US (Chicago)
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Maintaining feeders during the bird flu infestation

By Rob Daves

Avian influenza – AKA the “bird flu” – has been detected in domestic poultry and wild birds in Minnesota (Blue Earth, Hennepin, Anoka counties).  But what does that mean to those of us who maintain backyard feeders?

Recommendations are mixed.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), for example, says it doesn’t have a record of songbirds being infected with AI right now, and recommends “taking down and cleaning your bird feeders during spring.”  Oh, and be sure and report any sick or dead birds to the DNR at 888-646-6367, the Minnesota Raptor Center helpline at 612-624-4745 (if the sick bird is a raptor), or the Board of Animal Health Avian Influenza hotline at 833-454-0156.

On the other hand, the Minneapolis Audubon Chapter’s blog recommends taking down feeders during the spring migration to avoid birds clustering together and increasing the virus’ spread.

One MRVAC member, Liz Stanley, has a specific program she’s put in place:  reducing the number of her feeders, using the types that don’t allow birds to congregate, putting less food out at a time and cleaning between refills, sweeping underneath and removing bird baths. Laura Erickson, our MRVAC friend in Duluth, has a great discussion on her blog noting how importing feeding birds is for human mental health, and has recommendations for a targeted approach such as Liz’s.

More info:

Recording of March 24 Program - Bird Song: Ten Lessons in Listening

The recording of the March MRVAC program from well-known author and ornithologist Donald Kroodsma is now available at the link below.  Kroodsma  one of the world’s leading experts on the science of birdsong and a retired University of Massachusetts biology professor, has researched and written on innate and learned songs, and the functions, evolution, and ecology of bird song.

Topic: MRVAC member meeting March 24 2022
Date: Mar 24, 2022 07:17 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting Recording:
Access Passcode: j.W5L9.K

Feb. 24 MRVAC Program recording: Spiders in Minnesota

Chad Heins, associate professor of biology at Bethany Lutheran College, used humor and great presentations skills to spin a tale about how a simple question about Minnesota’s spiders entangled him in spider research and how that work has ballooned into a bigger project that utilizes the web – the World Wide Web, that is.  Here's the link in case you missed it. (Passcode: VAS.5Q7V)


Recording of Jan. 27 program: Karla Bloem - Studying Owls with Sound

Karla Bloem

Here is the link to the recording of MRVAC's Jan. 27 program with international owl expert, Karla Bloem from the International Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota. (Passcode: .1Zj+^8F)


Burnsville bluebirds could use some help

The city of Burnsville is looking for volunteers interested in building, installing, or monitoring bluebird boxes in select parks. The city has been turning about 10 acres of mostly turf grass to prairie, which is now a fine bluebird habitat. It's in five different units or sections within two parks. If you are interested in building the houses (there may be funding to purchase the materials), installing them or continued monitoring, please contact Caleb Ashling at


November program: Recording of Alex Sundval, "Journey to Attu Island"

“Journey to Attu Island”
Alex Sundvall, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
Presented Thursday, November 18, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Here's the recording for those who missed it:


It's time to Give, MN! MRVAC needs your donation

By Bob Williams

Every year has a special day for non-profits to raise money for their organization.  This year that day is Nov. 18.  MRVAC’s board encourages you to make a donation to MRVAC on that day.

It’s easy:  Just go to the GiveMN website (you can find the link here  The advantage of making a donation on that day is that we could get a bonus if we are fortunate.

We already received $550 in donations, so you need not wait until the eighteenth.  And because we are not able to have our Holiday Auction again this year, this will be our primary means of raising money at the end of the year.  Much of the money that we raise is given in the form of grants to area organizations that have projects that further our mission of providing leadership in environmental awareness, education and advocacy, especially relating to the wildlife of the Minnesota River Valley.  Please donate.

October program: Dr. Elena West and the Red-Headed Woodpecker Project


Find out what an intense study of Minnesota's largest concentration of red-headed woodpeckers has revealed about migration routes and wintering locations.  Tracking devices on some of the birds and nest cameras are several of the tools researchers are using to discover some surprising stories.  Join Dr. Elena West, the lead researcher, as she reveals some of these beautiful birds' secrets at the MRVAC members meeting Thursday, Oct. 28, 7;30-9 p.m.

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