Link to May 23 meeting/program recording: Peregrine Falcon Restoration

Here are the links to MRVAC's May 23 program on Forty Years of Peregrine Falcon Restoration by Jacquelyn Fallon, the Minnesota State coordinator and vice president of the Midwest Peregrine Society.  The remarkable success of the Peregrine Falcon recovery program is one of the most highly celebrated restoration efforts of the 20th Century. Today, the Peregrine Falcon has expanded its range and surpassed historical population levels to a level no one could have possibly imagined decades ago.  Fallon discussed the history, process, monitoring discoveries and adaptability to an ever-changing landscape.

MRVAC's April Meeting: U of M ornithology research on urban birds' brains and swan migration

The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) invites you to join us for a "Special Report on Ornithology Research at the University of Minnesota" with Simone Maddox and David Wolfson Thursday, April 25.  We'll have a reception at 7 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Simone is a researcher and Ph.D. candidate in the Barker Lab and David is a wildlife ecologist and Ph.D. candidate in the Fieberg Lab.

We’ll get a look into some interesting ornithological research at the university with the two speakers.  First, Simone will speak about her research investigating the ways that city living affects our local birds, especially their brains.  David will report on his research on the annual movement and migration patterns of Trumpeter Swans in the Midwest.

This meeting will be held in-person at the headquarters building's auditorium at the refuge and simulcast via Zoom beginning at 7:30 p.m. The refuge visitor center is located at 3815 American Boulevard East in Bloomington and is accessible after a short walk from the METRO blue line. All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.  To join the Zoom meeting click on this link:
Meeting ID: 856 2570 6373
Passcode: 112650
One tap mobile http://+16469313860,,85625706373#,,,,*112650#

Link to March 28 program recording: Laura Erickson's Birding in Hawai'i

Below are the links (video and audio) to the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter's (MRVAC) March 28 program, a presentation by Laura Erickson on Birding in Hawai'i.

Because of a last-minute conflict, our scheduled speaker had to cancel, but we were fortunate to get Laura Erickson to join us.

Laura just returned from a two-week birding tour of Hawaiʻi, visiting Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and the Big Island. Her big goals before the trip were to 1) learn everything she could about Hawaiʻian birds and the challenges they face; 2) see and photograph a White Tern on the nest; 3) see and photograph a Nēnē, the state bird of Hawai’i; 4) and the beautiful ʻIʻiwi (which non-natives call a Scarlet Honeycreeper).  You have to see the resulting photographs!

All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.  The April 25 meeting will be via Zoom and in-person at 7:30 p.m. at the headquarters building at the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.  You're also invited to come at 7 p.m. to meet, greet and enjoy snacks and drinks.



Links to Feb. 22 MRVAC "Think Like A Raven" recording

Here are the audio and video links for Dr. Marzluff's presentation:


The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) invites you to join us for “Think Like A Raven,” a presentation by Dr. John Marzluff, award-winning author and James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington and a National Geographic Explorer Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

This presentation is a culmination of Dr. Marzluff’s work detailing the intertwined lives of ravens, wolves, pumas, and people. The talk will follow the seasons of Yellowstone and the scientific journey to decode the mysteries of raven life. Join us to find out what secrets the birds reveal.  This meeting will be held virtually on Zoom only.  All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public.  The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. To join the Zoom meeting click on this link:
Meeting ID: 834 5940 6457
Passcode: 754760
One tap mobile +16469313860,,83459406457#,,,,*754760#

MRVAC & the Loons (soccer species)

Minnesota Loons major league soccer and MRVAC!  Wait.  What?  Soccer, not the bird?  Turns out this year, it’s both.

Loons are something to listen to and look at in wonder – and mark down on our checklists.  But this year the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter has teamed up with the Minnesota Loons United Football Club to help each other’s causes.  The Loons approached MRVAC saying its fans like the team’s focus on environmental issues.   To promote its commitment to the conservation community, the team offered to partner with MRVAC and donate a portion of the fans jersey purchases during the February kickoff month to the chapter for its conservation and grant programs.

We’ve exchanged each other’s digital logos with MRVAC promoting the Loons and the Loons promoting MRVAC’s mission.  Saturday, Feb. 17, some of our members and spouses are scheduled to staff a table at the Loons’ Boot Soccer tournament at Allianz Field in St. Paul to preview the Loons 2024 schedule, it’s “kit reveal” and spread the good word about MRVAC.  In soccer-speak, “kit reveal” is when the team shows off its jersey and uniform for the first time.

Thanks to the Loons and all our dedicated MRVAC members – and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources folk who gave us some handouts – who worked hard to make this a success.  They’ve helped spread the good word about MRVAC’s conservation mission, helped the Loons reach its target market and collected a few bucks for MRVAC’s grant program.

You can read more about the Minnesota Loons UFC here Minnesota United FC (

Salt Lake Birding Weekend set for April 26-27

The 46th Salt Lake Birding Weekend will take place in Lac qui Parle County over the last weekend in April, with the main count day being Saturday, April 27, 2024.

Last year’s highlights included 67 White-faced Ibises in one location, Black-necked Stilt, Cattle Egret, American Goshawk, Short-eared Owl, and the Grand Slam of Grebes (five species together) on one wetland.

On the evening of Friday, April 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m. birders are invited to stop by Madison Mercantile for a potluck dinner and live music. It is a coffee shop/art gallery with a wine and beer selection.

Birders will meet at the American Legion in Marietta at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 27, with breakfast and coffee, available for a modest fee. They will assemble with guides into caravans for the day. While most of the birding is centered around Lac qui Parle County, they also make their way to sites in Big Stone or Yellow Medicine counties.

Maps and checklists will be provided. After returning to the legion at noon to buy lunch, birders will share their finds and then embark on the afternoon leg of the journey. At 7 p.m. they will meet at the Sons of Norway Lodge in Madison for supper and the final tally. Supper is roasted chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, and pie for $15. Reservations are necessary for dinner with prepayment preferred; please contact Bernice Oelien or Camey Maland, Sons of Norway Lodge, at, (507) 829-0676, or (320) 752-4757. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available upon request via RSVP. Payment at the door without a reservation will be $20 per dinner (limited meal availability).

The Salt Lake Birding Weekend is free and open to all, though advance registration is appreciated, to help us with the planning.

To register, visit

(Thanks to the Minnesota Ornithologists Union for this announcement.)

Thursday, Jan. 26 Program Zoom Link: Birding Northern Peru

The Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) invites you to join us for:
“Birding Northern Peru”
Lee Ann Landstrom
MRVAC Conservation Chair
Thursday, Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m.
We will explore the birds, habitats, sights, and flavors of Northern Peru. This South American country is a hot bed for hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers and many other interesting species. Savor the mountain views -- and not the road construction during this presentation.  This meeting will be held virtually on Zoom no matter what the weather. All MRVAC meetings are free and open to the public. The meeting will be virtual on Zoom only beginning at 7:30 p.m.   Because of Zoom subscriber requirements we have to limit attendance to the first 100 to join the meeting.  Clink this link to join:
Meeting ID: 856 2570 6373
Passcode: 112650
One tap mobile +1 312 626 6799,,85625706373#,,,,*112650#

At the presenter's request, the program was not recorded.


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.

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

After five years, “Kiwi-sotan” Jordana Whyte returned 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 reported 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).

The link to the recording of her program is here:


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.