Spring Migration Workshop Weekend

April 16, 17 and 18, 2021

Field Trips and Sessions
(a la carte or full 8 programs)

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? Mid 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. Join us for an exciting workshop exploring the spring 2021 migration!

Have you ever wondered about differences in spring migration versus fall? Do birds use the same route
in the spring that they used in the fall? Do adult birds and immature birds travel at the same time? Can
you age and sex a bird in flight? How does weather impact migration patterns, what is fallout – is there raptor fallout? This workshop will address all of these questions, as well as the overall science of spring migration, learning basic ID skills, and counting essentials, natural history, current Hawk Ridge Research, and exploring first hand one of the top spring raptor migration sites in the US, and the Duluth Harbor and St. Louis River area for migrants of all types!

This field-oriented program will explore different count locations based on what is happening with the weather. We will drive to other locations as needed. Mid-April weather can be unpredictable, so we will plan to have an indoor space where we can meet as needed to warm up, dry off and explore things indoors as needed. CLICK HERE FOR FULL SCHEDULE or see below.

We will practice safe distancing and masking with participants and will ask participants to only carpool with family groups. Participants will have multiple options for how they choose to participate in the workshop. Sessions will be either grouped as the whole experience at a discounted price, or select which activities you would like to attend and choose them a la carte.

Workshop sessions will be lead by Margie Menzies, Hawk Ridge Education Director, and assisted at times by Hawk Ridge Count Staff/Volunteers (John Richardson, Frank Nicoletti, Erik Bruhnke, and other potential experts present during the time of the workshop sessions).

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 individual sessions, or you may select sessions a la carte for which you would like to attend. Full workshop fee is $120.00 for Hawk Ridge Members, Students, Master Naturalists or $200.00 for non-members. If you choose to select a la carte, each session is $25.00 for Hawk Ridge Members, Students, and Master Naturalists or $35.00 for non-members. If you’d like to attend, but are financially unable at this time, please contact Janelle at jlong@hawkridge.org for assistance.

 

NOTE: Full weekend workshop discounted registration due by Fri. 4/9 or until limited slots are filled. A la carte registration open until Wed. 4/15 or until limited slots are filled. Each workshop session 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!).

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

SCHEDULE

Friday, April 16- 6:30-8:30 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 17- 6:30-8:30 AM
IN PERSON Park Point Field Trip

Join us bright and early Saturday morning for a fantastic birding trip. We will bird at Park Point to 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 parking area just beyond the playground.

Saturday, April 17- 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 to the Enger count site (below Enger Park), as the front side of the Hank Jensen Loop of West Skyline Parkway is closed to vehicles through the end of May. 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 17- 11:30 AM-1:30 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 17- 1:30-3:30 PM
IN PERSON Eagles, Turkey Vultures and Osprey Field Session (at West Skyline Spring Count Site)

We will spend the afternoon at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will of course take advantage to learn about 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 Eagles, Turkey Vultures, and Ospreys. 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), as the front side of the Hank Jensen Loop of West Skyline Parkway is closed to vehicles through the end of May. 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 17- 4:30-6:30 PM
IN PERSON Mud Lake 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. Mud Lake is one of the best places for observing a wide variety of waterfowl including Tundra Swans. Sandhill Cranes, Herons, and Pelicans are often observed flying over, and early sparrows are all possibilities here along with Red-winged Blackbirds, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds historically bred here. Grebes, rails, and mergansers are common here as well. We will hike on a railroad track through wetland areas. Specific directions for this location will be provided after registration.

Sunday, April 18- 6:30-8:30 AM
IN PERSON Indian Point & Western Waterfront Trail Field Trip

Indian Point and the Western Waterfront Trail 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 after registration.

Sunday, April 18- 9:30-11:30 AM
IN PERSON Accipiters and Falcons Field Session (at West Skyline Spring Count Site)

We will spend the morning at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will of course take advantage to learn about 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 Accipiters (Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, & Goshawks) and Falcons (Merlin, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon). 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), as the front side of the Hank Jensen Loop of West Skyline Parkway is closed to vehicles through the end of May. 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 18, 11:30 AM-1:30 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 18, 1:30-3:30 PM
IN PERSON Buteos, Harriers, & Occasional Raptors Field Session (at West Skyline Spring Count Site)

We will spend the afternoon at the Hawk Ridge West Skyline Spring Count. We will of course take advantage to learn about 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 Buteos (Broad-winged, Red-tailed, and Rough-legged Hawks), Harriers, and Occasional Raptors (Swainson’s, Red-shouldered, Mississippi Kite). We will explore the wonders of these birds, as well as some of finer points of the migration count. We will pull all the pieces of the workshop together during this last session. 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), as the front side of the Hank Jensen Loop of West Skyline Parkway is closed to vehicles through the end of May. 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).

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