Birders’ rendezvous planned at Voyageurs

Voyageurs National Park across the river invites everyone to its sixth-annual Birders’ Rendezvous, which will take place Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5.
Events begin on the Friday from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and are free to the public.
The evening kicks off with “Birds at Dusk”—a one-hour walk on the Oberholtzer Trail by Richard Oehlenschlager of the Science Museum of Minnesota, a “Birders’ Social,” and keynote speakers Cory MacNulty from Voyageurs National Park Association and Jen Fox from Voyageurs National Park.
The latter will give a presentation on the common loon, its adaptations, and the importance of loon monitoring in Voyageurs National Park.
Pre-registration is requested.
Then get up early on the Saturday morning to participate in one of five different bird hikes. These will run from 6:30-10:30 a.m. for the intermediate or advanced birder and 9-11 a.m. for the beginning birder.
Participants may choose from the following hikes:
•“Little Brown Birds” with Ahlan Johnason on the Oberholtzer Trail (participants will learn to identify some of the more common birds in voyageur country);
•Join Steve Windels for a “Birds of the Voyageur Country” hike on the Tilson Creek Trail (Voyageurs is dominated by a boreal forest rich in bird diversity);
•Hike with Gaea Crozier on the Kab-Ash Trail and search for the “Birds of the Boreal Forest;”
•Join Lee Grim on the Echo Bay Trail for a “Warbler & Rookery Watch” that includes viewing a great blue heron rookery; or
•Join Ilka Milne for a “Pack and Paddle” across Black Bay (once across the bay, rest your paddles and search for birds of the Kabetogama Peninsula as you hike to a beaver pond).
Coffee is provided, but a fee and registration is required.
After a morning hike, return to the Rainy Lake Visitor Center to join master gardener Elizabeth Nauertz for a class on wildlife gardening from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A small fee and registration is required.
As well, from noon-1 p.m., Grandma’s Pantry in Ranier is catering lunch at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Again, registration and a small fee is required.
After lunch, participate in one of four different events. From 1-3 p.m. there is a choice of three events:
•board a boat for a discovery cruise to view an active bald eagle’s nest and then a hike on the Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail;
•join a class on bird call identification at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center; or
•canoe along the wetlands in Black Bay.
Or from 1:30-3:30 p.m., join a park ranger and go on a pelican search on Lake Kabetogama.
A fee and registration is required for all events.
Finally, start out Sunday morning with your choice of five different activities (all require a fee and registration, but coffee will be provided).
For the early risers, from 6:30-10:30 a.m., there is a choice of two events: “Birding By Ear” with Lee Grim on the Tilson Bay Trail and “Birds of Daley Bay” with Bob Smalley;
From 7-9 a.m., join Marshall Helmberger for a sunrise walk along the boardwalk in Orr, Mn. to learn about the birds of the boreal forest bog.
Join Don Graves for a rookery watch from 9-11 a.m., where you will visit a herring gull and cormorant rookery.
Or join a class at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center on nature and bird photography from 9-11 a.m. (this class is for the beginning to intermediate photographer).
For more information or to register, visit www.nps.gov/voya and click on the “Special Events” link. Or call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at
1-888-381-2873 on Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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