At the Refuge

Below, we've highlighted a few of the more recent "happenings". And if that doesn't inspire you to visit, here's a list of suggested FREE activities:

  • Participate in a refuge event or program at the Oak Savanna Learning Center.

  • Take advantage of the fall waterfowl and deer hunts. 

  • Bring your friends, family, scout troop, or school class to enjoy a nature hike.

  • Marvel at the sight and sound of bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans. 

  • Cruise the Wildlife Drive to spot river otters popping their heads in and out of the water or a loon parent feeding its fuzzy chick. (Then record your findings via the iNaturalist app. Our custom Field Guides can help with your idenitifications)  

  • Add to your birding life list. (Our favorite app is eBird!)  Check for recent sightings within the refuge.

  • Capture a sunset with your camera. 

  • Enjoy the constantly changing palette of wildflowers and grasses. Peruse our phenology guide, Nature's Calendar, to check out what's happening now.

  • Explore the Blue Hill and Mahnomen Trails on skis or snowshoes.

An educational event, a rare bird sighting, or a deer hunt... no matter the time of year, there is always something going on at the refuge.

Mark Nicholson Prairie Smoke May.JPG

Photo by Mark Nicholson

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Annual Meeting

January 14, 2021

Conducting our annual meeting remotely turned out to be a metaphor for the entire Friends year.  Not only were meetings held with Zoom but our nature programs, fundraisers and Nature Store sales all found a home on-line.

You can learn about our challenges and successes from the downloadable Annual Report. Minutes from the meeting will be made available shortly.

 

Photo by Zoom

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Christmas Bird Count

December 16, 2020

We had 16 teams totaling 20 people for this year's count. In order to comply with COVID restrictions we had to restrict teams to family members or close friends. Our thanks to Daniel Orr for organizing this event.

 

We had a total of 82 hours counting of which included 58 hours driving and 30.5 walking (the numbers don't add up due to different numbers of people involved).  The survey area is a 7.5 mile radius extending in all directions from the intersection of Sherburne County Roads 9 and 5.

 

We ended up with 2350 individual birds from 43 species on count day and three additional species/birds during count week.  Notable sightings include Trumpeter Swans, Wild Turkeys, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Saw-whet Owl.   

Check here for details on this annual national event: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count 

 

Photo by John Casey

David Halgrimson July

COVID-19 and Seasonal Info

As of December, 2020

Currently the Wildlife Drive, Oak Savanna Learning Center and Refuge Headquarters are closed. Programs and Events are canceled, postponed or moved to virtual (on-line) delivery.   Click here for up to date official refuge guidance.

Photo by David Halgrimson

PRAIRIE'S EDGE AND PRAIRIE INSIDER

Besides our website and social media, we share information about the refuge via Prairie Insider, an e-newsletter sent about once a month. Anyone can subscribe to Prairie Insider; simply fill out the form below! 

 

Prairie's Edge, is a publication that is printed and mailed twice a year and is a benefit that's exclusive to our members. Here are a few of our most recent Prairie's Edge publications: 

Refuge Resources

NATURALIST RESOURCES

Here's a list of our favorite resources to help you learn something new, connect with others, or just enjoy your experience even more! 

The refuge has a wealth of on-line and printed resources as well. Visit their website to learn more. 

Sign up for Prairie Insider!