It’s easy for us humans to fish food out of jars with narrow openings. We have things like utensils and opposable thumbs and if all else fails, the ability to turn the jar over. Then, presto! We have that last stubborn pickle.
On a postcard-perfect morning in September, construction is underway at Allianz Field in St. Paul, the soon-to-be new home of Minnesota’s professional soccer team. Amid the clanking, beeping, and general hullabaloo, managing partner Bill McGuire is talking about birds. Not the Loons, as fans might expect—after all, that’s the nickname of Minnesota United FC—but rather orioles: The birds are passing through on their annual long-haul journeys south, and McGuire likes to put out protein-packed morsels to help fuel the neotropical migrants’ treks. “I spent the morning getting the mealworms ready, just in case some are still moving through,” he says.
Desirée Narango has knocked on hundreds of doors in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to make an intimate request of homeowners: permission to count and identify the trees and shrubs in their yards. Luckily for Narango, now an ecologist at the City University of New York, they almost always said yes. In her counts, she’s found the tropical fronds of banana plants, pink-tufted crepe myrtles, scraggly oaks, and hundreds of other woody plants. But her interest in the greenery isn’t that of a botanist. “We’re thinking at the scale of a bird,” Narango says.
As summer turns to fall and the autumnal equinox takes hold, the colors of nature hit a more sizzling note. The verdant trees and wildflowers morph into the signature golds, oranges, crimsons, browns, and blacks of the harvest season. The local bird species are changing as well, and while most orioles are already on the wing to their southern homes, I can’t help but remember their vivid jack-o-lantern colors at this time of year.
For the visually impaired, learning to bird by ear can be a fun challenge that also makes nature more accessible. Here, one birder shares his story.
Halloween, harvest festivals, and general autumnal celebrations lead to an abundance of everyone’s fall favorite: pumpkins. While you partake in pumpkin spice lattes and jack-o-lantern carvings, why not share some gourd indulgences with the birds? This bird feeder is the perfect use of an extra or post-trick-or-treat pumpkin.
Each spring, songbirds migrate thousands of miles to breed in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Deep in a forest, Oregon State University researcher Hankyu Kim feels he has gotten inside the head of one species, the hermit warbler.
Bird sightings can happen anywhere whether you’re looking out your kitchen window or traveling to far-away places. But can you actually tell one from another? Don’t despair, there are clues you can use to identify many species. Cover the art and science of bird identification when you discuss such field marks as overall size and shape, bill structure, basic/alternative plumage, sex differences, distinctive postures when feeding or resting and much more. Learn a process to identify birds that includes their behaviors, the time of day, the time of the year and the locations seen. Leave with the visual skills and auditory skills to enhance your enjoyment of the avian world around you.
Dates: November 9-16, 2018
Meets: 12 N to 2:00 PM
Location: Creutzburg Center 100
Instructor: Phil Witmer
$55.00 Course Fee
Save $10 with a MLSN Membership
Thursday November 15
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
For Ages 4 – 6
Every day we use gifts from trees, often without even thinking about it! Go on a hike and adopt a tree which we can visit each season to see how it changes.
Tiny Trackers programs are for children and their favorite adult. Each program includes a lesson, nature exploration and a craft. Fee is for the child only.