This year's Minnesota Bioblitz is at my National Park (The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area) in the Crosby Farm Park area. The Bioblitz is a 24-hour survey where the public can help scientists find different plants and animals. The event is coordinated by the University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History, is free (except for the river boat ride) and open to the public. Here is the current schedule of events--All events are free of change and open to the public until otherwise noted:
Friday, June 12 5 p.m. BioBlitz Kick Off 8:30 p.m. Night Creatures Ramble 9:30 p.m. Insect Survey*
Saturday, June 13 6 to 8 a.m. Bird Hike (I will be leading this) 8:30 to10 a.m. Bird Cruise/Bird Survey on the Jonathan Padelford. Tickets are $15; regist ration is required. 8 to 11 a.m. Bird Banding (led by Mark Newstrom & I'll help) 8 to 9 a.m. Mammal/”Herp” Survey* 9 to 10 a.m. Floodplain Forest Foray 10:30 a.m. Fun with Fish—Electro-fishing Demonstration* 10 to 11 a.m. Disappearing Waterfall Walk 10:30 a.m. Fun with Fish—Electro-fishing Demonstration* 11 a.m. to noon Mussel Madness
* These programs include special activities for children involved in the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program.
Every year BioBlitz attracts hundreds of families and scientists from around the state who use sonar detectors, bug lights, live traps and laptops to count and chronicle an area’s floral and fauna. Volunteers of all ages work alongside biologists to collect plants and insects and live-trap animals, which are identified before being released back into the wild. Collection stations and inventory “leader boards” will be set up inside the Padelford which will be docked at Crosby Farm Park, the BioBliz base-camp.
This year’s BioBlitz will feature a Saturday morning birding cruise aboard the Padelford as it makes its way to dock at base-camp. The cruise leaves St. Paul’s Harriet Island at 8:30 a.m. and arrives at Crosby Farm Park two hours later. Tickets are $15 and shuttle service is included, click here to make reservations.
The Bioblitz should be a great time, Mark and I scouted the park for net locations and I think we saw at least six male indigo bunting on different territories and heard broad-winged hawks calling. This is also the park where I suspect a pileated woodpecker is nesting.