NEWSLETTERS ~ CURRENT PROJECTS ~ BUTTERFLY COUNT ~ CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT ~ NATIVE PLANTS & PRAIRIE ~ VOLUNTEERING & ADVOCACY
Current News and Projects
February 3, 2018 - Bird Walk at Quarry Hill
The snow fell gently throughout our walk at Quarry Hill today and temps were near 20 ... a perfect winter day. Most of the bird activity was near the feeders where we found Chickadees, Mourning Doves, Juncos, Nuthatches, Downy, Hairy, and Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, a Crow and House Sparrows. Before the walk started a pair of Red Tail Hawks flew by overhead and briefly perched for a quick photo. Eight people participated along with leaders Terry and Joyce Grier. Click to see more photo on our Facebook page.
January 23, 2018
Many thanks to Sara Holger from Whitewater State Park for her lively and entertaining presentation about Minnesota Owls last night at our monthly program at Quarry Hill. Sara's talk was fun, informative and when she performed her expert level owl calls she had the entire room "hooting" right along with her!
January 11, 2018
Here are some pics that ZVAS member Terry Grier took at his recently. The Cooper's Hawk shows an unusual pattern of white spots on the wings. Sibley says "all perched accipiters can show bright white spots on back when feathers are fluffed" as this Coopers was during a snowfall. The Northern Flicker should have migrated south but a few do stay most winters. The Tufted Titmouse is becoming more common in our area.
Christmas Bird Count - Rochester - Dec. 16, 2017 - Our birders were out in force today ... and a much nicer day it was compared to the minus 20 temps we had to deal with in 2016. Initial bird species count seemed low at our tally tonight and individual numbers seemed low as well ... but not all groups have reported in yet so there may be more to come.
Click here for the preliminary species count.
This file will be updated as additional reports come in.
Many thanks to Clifford Hanson for organizing the count and to all the participants who helped out during the day.
December 2, 2017 - Quarry Hill Bird Walk
26 people came out on unseasonably warm, wonderful day to look for birds at Quarry Hill. Birds seen included a very accommodating Red Tailed Hawk by the nature center, a Brown Creeper, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, a Flicker, a White-throated Sparrow, and a scruffy-looking yellow-bellied sapsucker. Also seen were the normal Cardinals, Goldfinches, Chickadees, WB Nuthatches, Blue Jays, and House Sparrows. Heard only birds included Crows, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a Pileated Woodpecker. Thanks to Joyce Grier for leading our group and to Brendan Lanpher for taking the photos..
November 28, 2017 - Monthly Program at Quarry Hill
"Bird Chick" Sharon Stiteler was a big hit at tonight's program. Sharon discussed birding tech, compared various apps for identifying and recording your finds, showed us how to "digiscope" (take photos with a smart phone and a spotting scope), and shared stories and photos from some of her birding adventures. With a smart phone and a few birding apps you're all set to do some serious citizen science. If you'd like to know more about Sharon and the various projects she is working on, visit her site at http://www.birdchick.com/
November 18, 2017 - Tundra Swan Field Trip
Eleven people made the trip to Brownsville today to see the migrating swans and other waterfowl. The day started out gray,windy and cold, but we were all properly bundled up. Thousands of swans were still present as well as many other birds including Mallards, Pintails, Greenwing Teal, Hooded Merganzers, Goldeneye, Canada Geese, Widgeon, Ringnecks, Gadwall, Shovelers, Canvasbacks, Scaup, Coot. Ring billed Gulls, Pelicans, Crows, Blue Jays, and dozens of Bald Eagles.
On the way back to Rochester we drove through the Whitewater WMA and added Trumpeter Swans, Kingfisher, Redwing Blackbirds, Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White Breasted Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Red Tail Hawk, and Chickadees to our list. But the find of the day was yet to come. On the final leg of the trip home, driver Terry Grier suddenly pulled off the road - he'd spotted a Snowy Owl. We had a fantastic time on this trip. Our thanks to Terry & Joyce Grier for leading!
Photos by Sandy Hokanson unless otherwise noted.