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 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.