We believe in connecting people with nature.
Most of our programs are FREE and open to the public.
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September 26, 2023 - Exploring the Driftless
A big shout out to Sean Macaday on his presentation to ZVAS Tuesday night about the Driftless Area. Sean told a crowd of 45 about how the area was formed, what it's like now, about the unique birds, plants and animals that evolved to live there and what threatens its existence now and in the future. Being located in a karst region means the ground is very porous and susceptible to pollution which quickly enters our ground water. He emphasized the need for us all to work together to protect this beautiful region. Want to learn more? There are several great web sites about the area, here's just one of them: https://eaglebluffmn.org/resources/driftless/#:~:text=While%20no%20formal%20boundaries%20define,rest%20of%20the%20Upper%20Midwest.
September 24, 2023 - Cascade Lake Open House
Things were hopping at Cascade Lake Park in Rochester this afternoon during the big Community Celebration and Open House! Hundreds of kids visited the ZVAS booth to spin our bird wheel and learn a little about the birds in our area. Cascade Lake is a fantastic spot to see all sorts of bird and during the event we spotted several Coots, Canada Geese, some Gulls and even an Osprey. The beach area often attracts several kinds of shorebirds and Bald Eagles fish in the lake on a regular basis.
Congratulations to the City of Rochester for creating such as great park with space for kids to play, a community center and outdoor concert area, places for adults to walk or sit, and even space for wildlife to thrive ... we especially like the native plantings that will provide living space for our pollinators and seeds for birds.
Thanks go to all the volunteers who made this day a great success!
September 23, 2023 - Sparrow Walk at Kalmar
Despite the threat of rain, 11 people came out on our Sparrow walk at the Kalmar reservoir this morning. The grass was quite wet from rain overnight but we were able to look for birds for about 45 minutes before the skies opened up again (we need the rain so no one complained).
Jerry Pruett led us from the lower parking lot along the outlet stream up to the base of the dam. He had seen a Nelson's Sparrow there on an earlier scouting trip and sure enough, we found it again. Remarkably it was the only sparrow we found this morning. There was not much bird activity (the probably knew the rain was cominmg in), but we did manage to see or hear the following species:
1 Ring-necked Pheasant, 1 Blue Jay, 1 American Crow, 2 Sedge Wren, 1 Marsh Wren, 1 American Pipit, 1 Nelson's Sparrow, 1 Eastern Meadowlark, 1 Common Yellow-throat, 1 Palm Warbler
Most people then left the area. However Mike Degerstrom waited for a pause in the rain and then got his scope out to check for ducks and shorebirds near the water. He found: 4 Blue-winged Teal, 5 Northern Shoveler, 9 Mallard, 3 Sandhill Crane, 1 Semipalmated Plover, 2 Killdeer, 5 Pectoral Sandpiper, 1 Wilson's Snipe, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Great Blue Heron
If you're looking for migrating sparrows be sure to check out this area - though you may want to wait for a sunnier day. The sparrows should be moving through for the next couple weeks or so.
Some of the photos shown were taken by Jerry on his earlier scouting trip. Others are by Sandy Hokanson.
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© ZVAS 2023 - Zumbro Valley Audubon Society - PO Box 6244 - Rochester, MN 55903