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Field Trip:

Upper Midwest Audubon Convention

Minneapolis, MN -- Oct. 12-13, 2007

Photo Gallery 

In October, 4 members of the Peoria Audubon Society motored to Minneapolis to attend the Upper Midwest Regional Audubon Conference.  While in Minneapolis our humble webmaster took a few photos from two local Minneapolis field trips.

The first field trip was on an open riverboat, barge actually.  With the temperature in the 40s and a 15-20 mph wind, it got quite cold out there.  Conditions were solid overcast, poor for photography.  But here are a few of the better river & bird shots anyway. 

Entrance to boat landing in St. Paul

Confluence of Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers

Interestingly enough, when looking down at the water, the Minnesota River (on right) was significantly more muddy than the Mississippi (on left).  There was a sharp line of demarcation when the muddy Minnesota River water started mixing in with the Mississippi.  The tour guide on the boat stated that there was significantly more agricultural ground surrounding the Minnesota River.

Bald Eagle and Mallards along the Mississippi

Some of the more interesting birds spotted along the river were 9 bald eagles and numerous ducks. 

Wild Turkey Along the River

At one point, we spotted a group of 3 wild turkeys at the river's edge.  Pretty remarkable for a place that was between Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Double-Crested Cormorant on Takeoff

Double-crested Cormorant

Ring-Billed Gulls

The second day's field trips were by the "Bass Ponds" in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses a portion of the the upper Mississippi River between St. Paul and Minneapolis.  One of the remarkable factoids was that this NWR was just a little over a mile away from the Mall of America.  The Bass Ponds were once the location of a fish hatchery in Bloomington, MN. 

Birding by the "Bass Ponds"

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Yellow-Rumped Warbler finding food

We came across a small flock of 12-15 yellow-rumped warblers feeding on the warm October day.  We watched this small flock for perhaps 10-15 minutes feeding in the shadows, near the location shown in the above two photos.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Note to any photographer that views the above image.  Be sure to use fill flash, even though the sun is out.  The bird is in the shadows and the colors are not showing up without the needed illumination.

Two Yellow-rumped Warblers Looking for Food

Orange-Crowned Warbler

We found an orange-crowned warbler in the cattails.

Plane Directly Overhead

To provide a perspective on how close the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is to to Minneapolis, the final approach to the Minneapolis airport is only 200-300 (?) feet directly overhead. 

Debbie spreading milkweed down

Debbie from a nearby Minnesota town couldn't resist the temptation to soak up the warmth of the sun and reminisce about the care-free days of childhood by scattering milkweed down. 

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

We saw several kinglets on the field trip. 

Purple Martin Houses - New Entrance Design to Discourage Starlings

At the conference, one supplier showed a new entrance design on purple martin houses that are designed to discourage starlings. 

Lots of very interesting presentations on conservation of Upper Mississippi region.  Please contact the webmaster for more information



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