My New Book


The Anniversary Of The Great Blue Heron Rookery Destroyed By A Tornado

Screen shot 2012-05-23 at 9.00.30 PM

This has been an action packed week for me, it’s the one year anniversary of the Minneapolis Tornado that ripped through a great blue heron rookery, destroying all the nests (and almost all the offspring) and displacing most of the adults. The herons ended up renesting, some at an older rookery at Coon Rapids Dam [...]

Winter Surveys


I’m still doing some of my bird surveys. And up until this week I was having a cheery time in the field, but now it’s so incredibly silent. I can’t believe this is the same spot that was chock full of bobolinks not so long ago. It’s so strange to suddenly have a spot [...]

Post Tornado Heron ReNesting Has Chicks!

Young herons

Well the big theme story in the blog this summer was the tornado ravaged great blue herons. Their rookery was blown away in May and some birds attempted to re-nest at Coon Rapids Dam and Marshall Terrace Park. I headed out last week to Marshall Terrace to see if chicks were visible. I had heard [...]

Final two rescued herons released


Photo by Brian Peterson.

Hello all, NBB here.

The StarTribune has a story about the final two heron chicks that were rescued after a tornado destroyed their rookery on the Mississippi River. Sharon’s been involved with this story as one of the first people to investigate the damage, [...]

Young Herons From Tornado Released!

Heron release

If you’ve been following this blog this summer, you are aware of the tornado that hit Minneapolis in May and destroyed a heron rookery and the recovery and rebuilding.

I got a call from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center that last week and they planned to release 7 of the 9 great blue heron chicks [...]

Birding and the Government Shutdown

purple finch

I was out at Mr. Neil’s the other day doing some final inspecting of bee equipment (they should be here in a week and a half). We’re getting seven new hives this spring and poor Hans (the groundskeeper) was trying to finish removing our dead hives in time for the new bees. I had [...]

Unusual Bird Watching Training


For the second time in my life, I have questioned how much I love birds and wondered if I need an intervention. The first time with the Horned Guan Death March , especially in Part 2 of that epic hike up a volcano to see one of the rarest birds in the Americas.

But the [...]

Waterfowl Surveys & Flooding

1 miss bluffs

Monday was our first flight out for our annual fall waterfowl surveys on the upper Mississippi. This is our initial flight to get back into the swing of things, make sure our maps are correct and to get a refresher course on identifying and counting waterfowl while flying over them. Last year my route [...]

More Lock & Dam 1 Peregrines

ld pereines

As part of my duties as a park ranger, we go out and rove in the park. Basically, we tote around a back pack with park info and you’re on hand to answer questions–it’s fun, it’s a bit like improv. I like to take my scope for birding of course, but it gives me [...]

Peregrine Falcon Viewing At Lock & Dam 1

peregrine 1

Just a heads up that right now is an excellent time for peregrine falcon viewing at Lock and Dam 1 in Minneapolis near Minnehaha Creek. I took the above photo of one of the chicks Saturday. Look at that baby peregrine–doesn’t it look like quite the thug?

Here’s a screen capture of the [...]