Spring Migration Celebration Weekend

When:
April 26, 2024 – April 28, 2024 all-day
2024-04-26T00:00:00-05:00
2024-04-29T00:00:00-05:00

Minnesota has about 444 different species of birds, and almost 90% of them migrate! What is the advantage of traveling long distances? What are the things you must know to migrate? Does the whole population of a species go at once? How do you learn the routes? Is the timing different this year, it seems like things are moving earlier than normal this year? It is a complicated business, and each species has its own fascinating story of how they get it done.  Join us for an exploration of spring migration in Duluth.

Hawk Ridge has been monitoring the fall bird migration since the 1950’s, but did you know that the West Skyline Hawk Count ranks as one of the top sites in the US for numbers and diversity of raptors during the spring migration? Late April is likely to provide a wide variety and ages of raptors traveling through on their way north, as well as plenty of other species of birds.

This field-oriented program will explore different locations based on what is happening with the weather and the birds! Late April can be a mix of arriving birds, residents, and birds that have spent the winter here from points north. The weather can be unpredictable, so we have an indoor space where we can meet to warm up, dry off and explore things indoors if needed. We will take advantage of a variety of locations including time at the spring count locations to learn what raptors are flying and how to identify who is who. We will go where the birds are, so beyond the spring count sites, other locations might include Park Point, portions of Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail (The Western Waterfront Trail), Mud Lake, Stony Point, and others. CLICK HERE FOR THE BASIC SCHEDULE or see below. Note: Schedule will maintain basic timeline, but locations may vary depending on conditions.

Field trips and sessions will be lead by Margie Menzies, Hawk Ridge Education Director, and assisted by other Hawk Ridge Staff/Volunteers, and other potential experts present through the weekend.

What to bring: Dress in layers for weather, hiking shoes/boots, binoculars (note: we will have loaner binoculars available for use), water/drink, and other optional items might include field guide, camera, spotting scope, snacks, and portable chair for the sessions at the West Skyline Spring Count.

REGISTRATION INFO

The workshop includes 8 sessions with breaks for meals and transit between locations. Full workshop fee is $180.00 ($200.00 after April 15) for Hawk Ridge Members, Students, Master Naturalists or $250.00 ($300.00 after April 15 for non-members.) If you’d like to attend, but need financial help to do it, please contact Janelle at jlong@hawkridge.org for assistance- we want our programming accessible to all.

NOTE:  Full weekend workshop discounted registration due by Mon. 4/15. The workshop is limited to 15 participants with minimum of 5. Please complete the following online form to register for the Hawk Ridge Spring Migration Weekend.

Further information regarding logistics will be provided to participants prior to the workshop. General visitor viewing at the West Skyline Spring Count takes place daily through May 31 (visiting the site is free of charge and does not require registration – you can just show up and enjoy the migration with us!). Questions? Contact Margie Menzies at mmenzies@hawkridge.org

CLICK BELOW REGISTER! 



Trip options



SCHEDULE

Friday, April 26- 6:30-8:00 PM

VIRTUAL Spring Migration Intro Session (via Zoom)

We will begin the workshop with an online overview session addressing the mechanics of migration, how weather impacts bird movement, and tools to use to predict bird movement, and other material better suited for online presentation. The Zoom link for the presentation will be emailed to you the week of the presentation.

Saturday, April 27- 6:30-8:30 AM

IN PERSON Park Point Field Trip

Join us bright and early Saturday morning to start our birding at Park Point and discover who’s on the lake, who’s in the harbor, and who’s present on the land between. Park Point is one of the great birding destinations in Duluth during migration. A wide variety of waterfowl can be seen here- unusual loon species, shorebirds, and plenty of songbirds as well. Many birds migrate over the length of the point as they move through the area, which can be breathtaking! Plan to meet at Park Point Recreation Area in the main parking area across from the restroom building and community sailing dock.

Saturday, April 27- 9:30-11:30 AM

IN PERSON West Skyline Spring Count Intro Field Session

We will spend the morning at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will focus on basic ID skills by families of birds, learn about where these birds are coming from and where they are likely headed, and learn basic flight styles at the count area. Note: We will plan to meet at Twin Ponds Parking area on West Skyline Parkway and have a short hike in via the road in to the Enger count site (below Enger Park). However, if the winds are from the East or Northeast directly off the lake, we may need to change meeting location to the Thompson Hill count site (below Thompson Hill rest area) or move indoors with inclement weather. We will give notice of this change via cell phone (be sure to include cell number in your registration information, so we can contact you if needed).

Saturday, April 27- 11:30 AM-1:00 PM

LUNCH BREAK (NO SESSION)

Lunch and creature comfort break. Restrooms are generally not very close- though there are usually porta-potties at Enger Park. We won’t cover content formally during this time- but feel free to bring a lunch if you just want to stick around the count area during this break. Otherwise plan to meet back at the same location as the morning count session for the afternoon session.

Saturday, April 27- 1:00-2:30 or 3:00 PM

IN PERSON Continue at West Skyline Spring Count Site

We will spend the afternoon at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will take advantage of whatever happens to fly by in the afternoon, but concentrate on specific flight behaviors, natural history information, Hawk Ridge research efforts, and of course identification basics for families of raptors covering Accipiters, Buteos, Falcons, Eagles, Vultures, Harriers, and Osprey during the weekend. Note: We will plan to meet at Twin Ponds Parking area on West Skyline Parkway and have a short hike in via the road to the Enger count site (below Enger Park). However, if the winds are from the East or Northeast directly off the lake, we may need to change meeting location to the Thompson Hill count site (below Thompson Hill rest area) or move indoors with inclement weather. We will give notice of this change via cell phone (be sure to include cell number in your registration information, so we can contact you if needed).

Saturday, April 27- 3:00-5:30 PM

IN PERSON Later Afternoon Field Trip

Late afternoon and early evening can be a good time for watching bird behaviors as they begin to settle prior to the night. Location TBD based on conditions. Specific directions for this location will be provided.

Sunday, April 28- 6:30-8:30 AM

IN PERSON Indian Point & Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail Field Trip

Indian Point will be our destination this morning. This is a great location for exploring the arrival of early passerine species along the woody hillside that surrounds the public campground area. Wetlands and waterfowl also surround the campground area. Specific directions for this location will be provided.

Sunday, April 28- 9:30-11:30 AM

IN PERSON West Skyline Spring Count Field Session

We will spend the morning at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will of course take advantage of whatever happens to fly by in the morning, but concentrate on specific flight behaviors, natural history information, Hawk Ridge research efforts, and of course identification basics for families of raptors covering Accipiters, Buteos, Falcons, Eagles, Vultures, Harriers, and Osprey during the weekend. Note: We will plan to meet at Twin Ponds Parking area on West Skyline Parkway and have a short hike in via the road to the Enger count site (below Enger Park). However, if the winds are from the East or Northeast directly off the lake, we may need to change meeting location to the Thompson Hill count site (below Thompson Hill rest area) or move indoors with inclement weather. We will give notice of this change via cell phone (be sure to include cell number in your registration information, so we can contact you if needed).

Sunday, April 28, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM

LUNCH BREAK (NO SESSION)

Lunch and creature comfort break. Restrooms are generally not very close- though there are usually porta-potties at Enger Park. We won’t cover content formally during this time- but feel free to bring a lunch if you just want to stick around the count area during this break. Otherwise plan to meet back at the same location as the morning count session for the afternoon session.

Sunday, April 28, 1:00-3:00 PM

IN PERSON Location TBD determined by group- either continue at Spring Count Location or bird another Duluth area location.

Specific directions for this location will be provided as needed.

Margie Menzies is a lifelong naturalist, educator, and lover of birds, rocks and all things of the natural world. She spent years in the formal classroom as a science teacher but abandoned the indoors for the great outdoor classroom. Margie Menzies joined Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in 2011 as a fall naturalist and is currently the full-time year-round Education Director at Hawk Ridge. She has a passion for birds and helps lead the songbird banding at Hawk Ridge during fall migration as well as two MAPS stations studying summer breeding birds at Hawk Ridge, Sugarloaf Cove, and assists at the Wolf Ridge station when she can. She recently added coordinating birding tours for Hawk Ridge to her job, exploring the diverse world of birds with fellow travelers in incredible international locations. She has served as the naturalist at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center up the North Shore in Schroeder, MN and served as an adjunct member of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Education Department, and has long been an instructor in the UMN Extension Minnesota Master Naturalist certification program. She has a BA in Biology from Bethel University and a MA in Education from University of St. Thomas and was recently awarded the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education 2023 Non-formal Educator of the Year Award. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and sharing the wonders of the natural world with people of all ages is Margie’s happy place.  mmenzies@hawkridge.org or 218-428-8722.

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