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.

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

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:

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