We believe in connecting with people with nature. Our monthly programs are FREE and open to the public. Meetings are usually held on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Quarry Hill Nature Center and our speakers give presentations about a wide range of subjects (not just birds). Check our program listing, mark your calendar and come on out!


We didn't see a single Junco on the Feb 7th Junco Walk at Quarry Hill which was surprising, but they have been scarce here this winter. The sixteen folks who came out for the walk did see Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downies, White Breasted Nuthatches, House Sparrows, Chickadees, Mallards, a Canada Goose, Cardinals, Blue Jays (one of which was doing a terrific imitation of a Red Tail Hawk call), a few Pine Siskins, and a pair of Red Tail Hawks bringing sticks to a nest site and actually sitting on the nest. Thanks to Terry & Joyce Grier for leading this walk and teaching us more about some of Minnesota's winter birds.


grasshopper sparrow

Photo by Carrol Henderson


ZVAS Monthly Program - Grasshopper Sparrows in Decline

Tues., February 24, 2015
7-8 pm at Quarry Hill Nature Center

Speaker: Lisa Harn - Grad. Research Asst. in the
Univ. of MN Conservation Biology Program

Native grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. The Minnesota Grasshopper Sparrow population has declined by 6.8% annually from 1966 to 2010, according to Breeding Bird Survey data. As a result, the sparrow has been identified as a species in need of conservation. Ms. Harn’s work focuses on identifying priority areas for Grasshopper Sparrows, to aid in their conservation, then determining if they can be used as an indicator species for either the health of prairie ecosystems or the presence of other grassland birds

Click for flier of this event


saw whet owl


International Owl Festival

Friday - Sunday, March 6-8, 2015
Houston, MN

Visit the Zumbro Valley Audubon booth at the International Owl Festival on Saturday, March 7th. This incredible festival is a terrific way to learn about Minnesota owls and owls from around the world. Many events and classes are held throughout the weekend. Get all the details at www.festivalofowls.com.

red bellied woodpecker  

Woodpecker Bird Walk at Quarry Hill

Sat., March 7, 2015
9 am for approx 1 hour
Leaders: Terry and Joyce Grier
Meet at the Nature Center, bring binoculars if you have them.
All ages welcome

root river  

ZVAS Monthly Program Olmsted County's Best Kept Secret -

Tues., March 24, 2015
7-8 pm at Quarry Hill Nature Center

Speaker: Tom Ryan, Olmsted County Parks Superintendent

Many people don’t even know that there are three large, wonderful parks in rural Olmsted County, along with yet another inside the Rochester City limits. Tom Ryan has seen it all during his tenure of watching over our county parks. Come hear his stories and find out what's happening out in the wooly wilds of Chester Woods, Oxbow Park, Graham Park, Root River, and more as he gives us a virtual tour of our county parks while also describing the plans for future development of our parks. There are great new possibilities afoot!

Click for flier of this event


Robin Bird Walk at Quarry Hill

Sat., April 4, 2015
9 am for approx 1 hour
Leaders: Terry and Joyce Grier
Meet at the Nature Center, bring binoculars if you have them.
All ages welcome




Woodcock Walk - Field Trip to Chester Woods

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 7:30 pm
Led by Jim Peterson

Every spring the Woodcock perform one of the strangest and most interesting mating rituals.  We will observe it up close just be dusk.  Meet near the entrance at Chester Woods County Park at 7:30 PM or in the horse corral parking lot.

Photo by Richard Baetsen / USFW

Note: a County Park Sticker or daily pass is required for entry to the park.Click here for more info about Chester Woods.


Click here for our complete program listing


© ZVAS 2015 - Zumbro Valley Audubon Society - PO Box 6244 - Rochester, MN 55903




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