Chippewa Valley Nature Festival 2017




Chippewa Valley Nature Festival

Schedule at a Glance – (find detailed schedule under “Schedule” drop-down tab at

Friday, June 2nd

University of Wisconsin – Stout

Memorial Student Center, Ballroom A and B

6:30 – 7:30 pm Social Hour and Silent Auction (cash bar)
7:30 pm Keynote Speaker:  Beverly Paulan  “Trying to bring back the Whooping crane in 4 not-so-easy Steps (A Brief History in Time)”

Saturday, June 3rd

Indoor sessions  

University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Memorial Student Center, Ballroom A or B

9:00 am  Making a Bluebird House Workshop for Kids – David Uher and Friends
10:00 am Lake and Stream Monitoring – Ted and Lisa Ludwig
11:00 am Birding by Ear – Brian Collins
1:00 pm Early Detection, Delayed Reaction Repercussions of Amur Cork Tree and Wild Chervil –Chris Gaetzke
2:00 pm Monarch of the Butterflies – Ken Parejko
3:00 pm The Night Sky – Heidi Conde

Lucette Brewing Company (910 Hudson Road, Menomonie) 5:30 – 7:00 pm Avian Pursuit – Steve Betchkal

University of Wisconsin – Stout

Memorial Student Center, Ballroom A and B

7:30 pm  Keynote Speaker:  Craig Allen “Oconto County Woodlot to New Mexico Mountains, and the Fate of Earth’s Ancient Original Forests”

 Outdoor field trips Throughout the Chippewa Valley

6:00 am Early Birds at Dunnville Bottoms, Larrabee Road – Bill Hogseth – Limit 14 Full
Early Birds 2 at Dunnville Bottoms, Downsville – Steve Betchkal – Limit 14
7:00 am Birding while Canoeing the Red Cedar and Chippewa Rivers – Anne Geraghty – Limit 14
Beginning Birding at Hoffman Hill (meet at UW – Stout, Menomonie) – Brian Collins – limit 20
10:00 am Exploration of Terrestrial Insects & Sampling Methods at Menomin Park – Dr. Arthur Kneeland – Limit 15
1:00 pm Plants of the Prairie at Dunnville State Wildlife Area, Downsville – Kathy Ruggles – Limit 20
Plant and Paddling Eco Tour at Braun’s Bay, Eau Claire – Gigi Stafne – Limit 12
3:30 pm Nature Photography Workshop at Hoffman Hills (meet at UW – Stout, Menomonie) – Brian Collins – Limit 20
9:00pm    Astronomy Observation at Phelan Park, Menomonie – Heidi Conde – limit 20

Sunday, June 4th

 7:00 –  11:00 am Tiffany Bottoms Bird and Plant Tour by Rail – (Durand) 4 Hours – Steve Betchkal, Kathy Ruggles, and Dave Linderud – Limit 65




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Golden Eagle and Snowy Owl field trips this weekend!

Don’t let the winter weather keep you from getting outside! Anne Geraghty (and several other local birding experts) will lead two field trips in search of golden eagles in Buffalo County and snowy owls in Dunn County.

Anne Geraghty

On Saturday Jan 28, we’ll meet in Alma then head up into the bluff country in search of golden eagles.  Trip runs 11:30-2:30.  On Sunday Jan 29, we’ll meet in Menomonie and scour the nearby countryside for snowy owls.  Trip runs 3:00-5:00.  In each case, we’ll have local experts helping us track down birds they’ve seen in the area. While there’s no guarantee, we’re very optimistic about finding our target birds.  We may also encounter other winter specialties such as rough-legged hawks, northern shrikes, or snow buntings.  At a very minimum, it will be an informative afternoon spent with other area birders!

Registration is required. To register, visit this link:

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Annual Summit, Saturday February 11th in Menomonie, WI

Gaylord Nelson Audubon is holding its Annual Summit on Saturday, February 11th, 2017, from 1:30-4 PM at the Menomonie Market Food Coop (2nd Floor), at the corner of 9th and Main Street in Menomonie.

We will be discussing plans and projects for 2017 and beyond. The public (and not just Audubon members) is invited to attend. This is a great opportunity to meet other nature lovers and conservationists.

Also, if you would like to get involved with Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society, this meeting will be your opportunity! We will be electing officers and we welcome nominations for enthusiastic members to serve as secretary and treasurer. Please consider taking on a role with GNAS and contributing to local conservation efforts.

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Hot off the press! 2017 GNAS Newsletter

There’s a lot in store for 2017 and you can find out what Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society has planned in our annual newsletter.

This year’s issue features the President’s Message as well as updates on the Christmas Bird Counts, Chippewa Valley Nature Festival, Welcome Back Bird Day, and Bird School. To read the newsletter, follow this link: 2017 GNAS Newsletter

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2017 Bird School is happening!

Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society is teaming up with Beaver Creek Reserve to offer an expanded and enhanced version of “Bird School” in 2017. The class will offer beginning birders a whirlwind introduction to all things avian including bird identification, behavior, songs and calls, anatomy, migration, and conservation. Held at the Beaver Creek Reserve facilities, we’ll have a great line up of speakers and field trip leaders; and this year we’re including a morning session devoted to bird banding to offer students a chance to see living birds up close.

Registration will be open in January. Before then, you can sign up now to be notified when registration is open. Don’t miss out!

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2016 Christmas Bird Counts

Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society is pleased to announce the annual Christmas Bird Count.  There are eleven Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) that are annually held within the GNAS territory.  Christmas Bird Counts are a national tradition where an attempt is made to find, identify and count every bird within a 15 mile diameter circle in one day.2016 CBC Map

Anyone can participate in a Christmas Bird Count. Novice birders will be assigned to a team to spend a morning, afternoon or all day counting birds.  Each team will have an experienced birder as they search their assigned territory within the count circle.  You can even participate by counting birds at your feeder if you are within one of the CBC circles.

You can sign up by going to or directly contacting the compiler for the count within which you wish to participate.

For more information contact Robin Maercklein at 715-501-0527 or or one of the folks listed below for the count in your area.

Below is the list of the Christmas Bird Counts in the GNAS area which includes the following sponsored by Chippewa Valley Birders, St. Croix Valley Bird Club and Gaylord Nelson Audubon among others:

CBC Name          Date              County         Compiler                   Phone                  email
Holcombe           12/14/2016    Chippewa        Bruce Steger              715-723-0209
Grantsburg        12/17/2016    Burnett            Dennis Allaman           715-463-2365
Luck                    12/18/2016    Polk               Robin Maercklein      715-501-0527
New Richmond  12/20/2016     St. Croix    Joe Merchak       715-425-1169
Chippewa Falls    12/21/2016     Chippewa     Bruce Steger         715-723-0209
Spring Valley       12/26/2016     Pierce            James Beix           715-425-6981
Durand                12/28/2016     Dunn             Bruce Steger             715-723-0209
Rice Lake             12/29/2016     Barron         Robin Maercklein   715-501-0527
Hudson/Afton    1/1/2017       St. Croix      Joe Merchak       715-425-1169
Ellsworth             1/2/2017        Pierce              James Beix              715-425-6981
Nelson                  1/4/2017           Pepin           Bruce Steger               715-723-0209
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Spring birding with Robin Maercklein

Robin Maercklein

Robin Maercklein

Annual Spring Hike – May 15, 2016
Spring Birding with Robin Maercklein

Are you interested in putting a name to that bird song or that flash of color in the trees? Join the Indianhead Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance and Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society for a spring birding hike on the trail on May 15.

When:  7-9 a.m.
Where:  Lundberg Property at 2918 140th Street (north side of Straight Lake State Park in Polk County)

This year’s spring hike will be held from 7-9 a.m. It will leave from the Lundberg pole barn at 2918 140th Street, or about three-quarters of a mile south of County W, or about one-half mile south of the trail parking lot.  Look for the yellow Ice Age Trail event signs.

Field biologist Naturalist Robin Maercklein will lead our easy-paced look at birds of our area. A lifelong birder and biologist, Robin has been studying birds in Wisconsin since 1968. He has conducted bird surveys for University of Minnesota, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wisconsin DNR and others, including over 20 years with the National Park Service. He currently serves as Polk County Coordinator for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas and is an eBird reviewer for five northwest Wisconsin counties. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s eBird is the world’s largest wildlife database.

The Lundberg property is awaiting final state approval for acquisition by the DNR. The 250-plus acre property includes headwaters of the Trade River and adjoins Straight Lake State Park. Bring water, comfortable hiking boots or shoes, insect repellent and an appetite to learn about the bird life of Polk County. Questions? Call Brook Waalen at 715-566-3061.

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Registration is Open!

Registration for the Chippewa Valley Nature FestivaCVNF Logo 2016 Color cropped2l is now open! Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Wisconsin’s most biologically diverse landscapes with expert naturalists, speakers, and field trip leaders! Join us on June 3-5! Sign up today at:

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Save the date! Chippewa Valley Nature Festival! June 3-5!

Mark your calendars for this fun-filled weekend in Menomonie! The schedule is full of presentations, field trips, and activities led by expert naturalists from around the state!

Click here for more details!

CVNF web horizontal

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“Bird School”! An introduction to birds just for beginners…

Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society is proud to announce an exciting new educational event designed just for beginning birders! Head over to the Bird School webpage to learn more…

Bird school Web


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