Chequamegon Bay  Birding & Nature Festival
May
16
to May 19

Chequamegon Bay Birding & Nature Festival

13th Anniversary of Chequamegon Bay Birding & Nature Festival -- 3 days of birding and nature activities on Wisconsin's south shore of Lake Superior at the peak of spring migration. 

With over 100 field trips and programs on all things nature, such as birds, butterflies, wildflowers, snails, spiders, elk, frogs, fish, and mushrooms. We also have birding by bicycle, kayaking trips, Apostle Islands cruises, Loon Pontoon, live birds, mammal tracking, and more. New this year Extreme Weather theme with associated field trips, including a drone demo; our first geology field trip; smartphone birding, program on purple martins, several field trips on finding and preparing wild edibles. Our bird fest has renowned speakers and trip leaders, such as Ruth Oppedahl (Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin), Adrian Wydeven (Timber Wolf Alliance), Tracy Hames (Wisconsin Wetlands Association), and local birding experts Ryan Brady, Nick Anich, Tim Oksiuta, Dick Verch, David Bratley, and more and the Birdchick as our keynote speaker.

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The Big Watch!
May
4
6:00 AM06:00

The Big Watch!

  • Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

It's kind of a big sit but only bigger at Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area! Join Peter Nichols, Greg Jahner and me for a day of documenting how many birds we can tally from Grey Cloud Dunes from sunrise to sundown. The event will also include walks out into the SNA to look for sparrows, warblers, vireos or anything else. This is a casual and fun event--perfect for people who would like to enhance their birding skills, bird with a group, find out what the big deal is about an SNA and have a little fun. You can come first thing in the morning or show up late in the afternoon. You can join us for only an hour or stay for the whole event--it's up to you. No matter how you do it, it will be a great time.

Last year we had 87 species on an overcast April day...how many will we get with some warbler action in May?

Are you interested in volunteering for this event as a guide, greeter or official big sit participant? Email me at sharon@birdchick.com.

Meet us at the south park lot.

Meet us at the south park lot.

The event will meet at the south parking lot for the Dunes and we will have a tent set up as well as a port-a-potty, spotting scopes, field guides and a few binoculars. Items you might want to bring:

Binoculars
Spotting Scope
Camera
Food
Water (alcohol is not permitted at this event)
Sun Screen
Insect repellent (be prepared for ticks)
Camp Chair
 

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Welcome Back the Herons
Mar
23
11:00 AM11:00

Welcome Back the Herons

Join us as we welcome back the great blue herons to their rookery on the islands just off of Marshall Terrace Park. We will hang out on the banks of the Mississippi River and watch birds arrive, rebuild their nests and make their croaky mating (and fighting calls). We should also have a great chance to se the local peregrine falcons, bald eagles and migrating waterfowl like common goldeneye, hooded mergansers and maybe even a loon.

I’ll have my scope and a couple of binoculars, but please feel free to bring your own as well as a camera. This is a great place to practice digiscoping.

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Cheap Theatre Storeytelling
Mar
16
7:30 PM19:30

Cheap Theatre Storeytelling

Join us for a one-night-only storytelling show on the theme, Keep. Six performers tell a tale or read a poem or do what they do, around the theme. Each performance is different just as each show is different. This month’s theme is Gamble and I’ll share a story on how birding is a gamble.

Even though this is at the Black Forest, there’s no dinner service during the show. You can get food and drinks from the bar and bring it in with you. Tickets are $10 at the door. Ticket price includes a beverage. See you there!

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Encyclopedia Show: Invasions!
Mar
10
7:00 PM19:00

Encyclopedia Show: Invasions!

They come from elsewhere to take your stuff! I made it sound light and fun just there but also they probably kill you and it has been the cause of more suffering than the human mind can imagine! Come and hear some of the Twin Cities' very finest performers hold forth on the topic of 'invasions'! Why, performers like:

Pat Harrigan
Khary Jackson
Matt Kessen
Dave Rand-McKay
Cole Sarar
Sharon Stiteler (I’ll be she’ll talk about invasive species)
Rob Ward
Tim Wick

Fact-checked by Becci Schmidt! And hosted by Duck Washington and Matt Kessen! Whooba-dow!


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Tech Nature
Feb
16
1:00 PM13:00

Tech Nature

  • Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is a workshop that is free and open to the public that covers the many different ways you can use a smartphone to enjoy nature from taking photos, recording calls and the many, many apps to help find and identify the wildlife around you. The first half we will talk apps and the second half we will play with photos and apps. You can even ask me questions on how to use your phone. 

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Tech Nature
Jan
12
1:00 PM13:00

Tech Nature

  • Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

NOTICE: If the federal government is still shutdown this program will not happen since it takes place at a National Wildlife Refuge visitor center.

This is a workshop that is free and open to the public that covers the many different ways you can use a smartphone to enjoy nature from taking photos, recording calls and the many, many apps to help find and identify the wildlife around you. The first half we will talk apps and the second half we will play with photos and apps. You can even ask me questions on how to use your phone. 

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Tech Nature
Dec
15
1:00 PM13:00

Tech Nature

  • Minnesota Valley National Widlife Refuge (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is a workshop that is free and open to the public that covers the many different ways you can use a smartphone to enjoy nature from taking photos, recording calls and the many, many apps to help find and identify the wildlife around you. The first half we will talk apps and the second half we will play with photos and apps. You can even ask me questions on how to use your phone. 

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Tech Nature
Nov
3
1:00 PM13:00

Tech Nature

  • Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is a workshop that is free and open to the public that covers the many different ways you can use a smartphone to enjoy nature from taking photos, recording calls and the many, many apps to help find and identify the wildlife around you. The first half we will talk apps and the second half we will play with photos and apps. You can even ask me questions on how to use your phone. 

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Encyclopedia Show--Cats
Oct
7
7:00 PM19:00

Encyclopedia Show--Cats

We here at the Encyclopedia Show have recently been led to believe that some people like cats. If you are one of this rare and discerning breed, you really ought to come and see Encyclopedia Show: Cats, in which a variety of extraordinary performers present to you about our feline companions who are of course so pretty.

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Big Sit
Oct
6
7:00 AM07:00

Big Sit

This is an annual event where we hang out at Coldwater Spring from sunrise to sunset and document all the birds we see and hear. It's a great way to enjoy fall migration and learn more about native sparrows, thrushes, hawks and warblers. You can learn tips from other birders, help document what we see in eBird or iNaturalist or help chat with the curious public as they wonder what the heck we are doing. It's a fun all day birding party!

This year's Big Sit is going to be on the same day as eBird's Global Big Day.

It's ok if you're not the best birder out there. If you can point out a bird, you are qualified for the Big Sit. 

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Moth Program
Sep
15
to Sep 16

Moth Program

I've been experimenting with moth programs at Coldwater Spring with entomologist Jessica Miller. It's late in the season but who knows what we will find--perhaps some sphinx moth? Two weeks ago we had a crazy caddisfly hatch. Maybe we will even hear some night migrants. If you want to get your naturalist on, join us for this free event. 

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Migration Madness
Sep
15
8:00 AM08:00

Migration Madness

This is a course through the Learning Life program at the University of Minnesota. We will start at Carpenter Nature Center and spend the morning looking for migrating birds. Class afterwards will teach you about all the great fall migration spots you can visit through December. This is a great opportunity to learn about raptors, native sparrows, apps for birding and just plain have fun. 

Further details forthcoming, contact Learning Life to sign up. 

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Murder on the Mississippi
Sep
12
7:00 PM19:00

Murder on the Mississippi

  • Padleford Packet Boat Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I'll be your host for this evening that is part social event, part theater production, and all aboard the Jonathan Padelford riverboat! Mississippi Park Connection and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in collaboration with Fearless Comedy Productions, brings an immersive murder mystery theatrical experience to life, Murder on the Mississippi. Cruise down the Mississippi River while enjoying a beverage, taking in gorgeous scenery, and helping to solve a murder mystery on this unique riverboat experience. You are welcome to come dress up in early 1940s style!

It is 1944 and the United States is in the middle of World War II. Using local contributions to the war including the Cargill shipyards, the Language School at Fort Snelling, and contributions by Shipmen from St. Paul stationed on the USS Ward during Pearl Harbor, we are creating a world of propaganda and espionage. At the Cargill shipyards, a man has been murdered and a spy has stolen the plans to a new naval vessel. If those plans make it into the hands of the enemy, the impact on the war effort could be disastrous. Audience members will be enlisted as counter intelligence agents tasked with identifying their contact and helping that contact expose the enemy agent before they can escape the country. Was it the young soldier getting ready to ship out overseas? The welder working at the shipyards while her husband is away fighting for his country? The wealthy industrialist? The show will tie in historical information about the river and the war as well as look at the contributions made by Minnesota companies and Minnesota citizens to the war effort.

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Murder on the Mississippi
Jul
18
7:00 PM19:00

Murder on the Mississippi

I am your host for this evening that is part social event, part theater production, and all aboard the Jonathan PadelfordMississippi Park Connection and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in collaboration with Fearless Comedy Productions, brings an immersive murder mystery theatrical experience to life, Murder on the Mississippi. Cruise down the Mississippi River while enjoying a beverage, taking in gorgeous scenery, and helping to solve a World War 2 murder mystery on this unique riverboat experience. You are welcome to come dress up in early 1940s style!

It is 1944 and the United States is in the middle of World War II. Using local contributions to the war including the Cargill shipyards, the Language School at Fort Snelling, and contributions by Shipmen from St. Paul stationed on the USS Ward during Pearl Harbor, we are creating a world of propaganda and espionage. At the Cargill shipyards, a man has been murdered and a spy has stolen the plans to a new naval vessel. If those plans make it into the hands of the enemy, the impact on the war effort could be disastrous. Audience members will be enlisted as counter intelligence agents tasked with identifying their contact and helping that contact expose the enemy agent before they can escape the country. Was it the young soldier getting ready to ship out overseas? The welder working at the shipyards while her husband is away fighting for his country? The wealthy industrialist? The show will tie in historical information about the river and the war as well as look at the contributions made by Minnesota companies and Minnesota citizens to the war effort.

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Pride on the St. Croix
Jun
21
11:00 AM11:00

Pride on the St. Croix

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 7.48.57 AM.png

Join the St Croix River Association and National Park Service for a day of PRIDE and paddling along the lower St Croix River! Come for a variety of activities aimed at celebrating LGBTQIA members of the St Croix Valley—and beyond! Paddle a 6.5 mile stretch of the St. Croix between Minnesota Interstate State Park and Osceola Landing.

Staff and volunteers will host stations where visitors can spot birds in all colors of the RAINBOW; learn about nature photography and go on short walks with master naturalists; or share your story as a LGBTQIA visitor to the first Wild and Scenic River National Park in the nation.

Rangers will be on-hand to swear in Junior Rangers, and lead activities. Picnic as one big chosen family, and learn more about other outdoor opportunities from various outdoor specialists at the end of the day before taking the shuttle back to your vehicle.

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Birds and Beers
Jun
20
6:00 PM18:00

Birds and Beers

In Minneapolis, Birds and Beers is a social gathering of birders of all abilities to get away from our computers and meet face to face. You can meet other bird minded people–maybe find a carpool buddy, ask about where to find target birds, share cool research projects you might be working on, ask a bird feeding question, share life lists, share some digiscoping tips, promote your bird related website, book, tour company–the sky is the limit. It’s low key and it’s fun.

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Godwit Days
Apr
18
to Apr 21

Godwit Days

It's one of the oldest bird festivals in the United States. How can you not want to travel to a festival dedicated to a shorebird like a godwit? I'll be giving workshops, leading bird walks and giving the keynote. Stop on by!

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Smartphone Birding
Mar
6
7:00 PM19:00

Smartphone Birding

Smart phones have changed birding. You can take out multiple field guides, get real time bird reports and take incredible photos and videos of your favorite birds. This program gives you the latest information on how to maximize your phone for birding.

Door Prizes – register to win one of Sharon’s books. Hot Beverage available.


Sharon Stiteler, in addition to her day job with the National Park Service, runs the popular birding blog, Birdchick.com and has been in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, All Things Considered and on NBC Nightly News as well as making regular appearances on Twin Cities’ TV and radio stations. She wrote the books Disapproving Rabbits, City Birds/Country Birds and 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know. When she’s not digiscoping or banding birds, she’s a blue ribbon beekeeper. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram under Birdchick.


Free! Preregister by Monday, March 5th, online or call 651-249-2170. Program sponsored by the Friends of Maplewood Nature.

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Tech Birding
Nov
28
7:00 PM19:00

Tech Birding

Learn about the latest in apps for a smart phone to enhance your birding that can help you not only identify birds but figure out where to look for them. This will also cover a little bit of photography with your scope and binoculars as well. 

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The Big Sit
Oct
22
7:00 AM07:00

The Big Sit

Join Ranger Sharon and her friends as they tally all the birds they see and hear fly over Coldwater Spring from sunrise to sundown. This all day event is a great way to learn more about birding from the local community, hone those sparrow skills or just enjoy birds and a casual way. 

It's ok if you're not the best birder out there. If you can point out a bird, you are qualified for the Big Sit. 

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Birding By Ear
Oct
7
8:00 AM08:00

Birding By Ear

This lively immersion course through the University of Minnesota's Learning Life program combines two of my favorite things: birding and tacos! Spend the day with me as we enjoy fall birding the sounds of birds. Even though they aren't sing territory song, birds hatched this year have to learn to sing and we will talk chip notes! We could see eastern bluebirds, white-throated sparrows, warblers and thrushes. If the wind is right, we might even see some fall hawk migration. 

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Birds and Beers
Sep
5
6:00 PM18:00

Birds and Beers

Are you bird curious? This event is for you! Meet other local birders face to face: make a new friend, hear secrets on how to find nemesis birds, find a car pool buddy, promote your bird project or trip. This even is low-key and fun. 

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Birds and Beers 10 Year Anniversary!
Jul
26
6:00 PM18:00

Birds and Beers 10 Year Anniversary!

What? Can you believe it? Birds and Beers started ten years ago in July of 2007. It's still the same friendly, low-key gathering of birders of all abilities. Come and promote your birding project, find a buddy to seek out those birds missing from your life list or just come listen and enjoy the camaraderie. Join us at the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis on July 26!

Have you seen the shirts available? If you'd like one contact ornithopolis@outlook.com by July 21. 

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