Weekend Nature Activities: April 10–12

Ready or not—it’s migration time! The first returning Robins and Starlings are showing up in flocks in St. Paul. If maple march madness didn’t get you feeling springy then get outside this weekend to experience the great April unthaw and return of the song birds!

Saturday, April 11

Early Signs of Spring Photo Hike
6:30–8:30 am Head out early to capture some early signs of spring on the national wildlife refuge. April is when the birds are returning, trees are starting to bud, and grasses are starting to grow. With some luck we will be able to capture some shots of our feathered friends as we look for redwing blackbirds in the swampy areas, and migrating waterfowl in the ponds. Led by Don Tredinnick and Peter Berman, Volunteer Refuge Naturalists
Bass Ponds, 2501 East 86th St, Bloomington

Bird Watching Trek
8:00–10:30 am Join us for a bird walk on one of the many refuge units during spring migration. The Rapids Lake Unit is a great place to see early spring songbird migrants! Birders of all skill levels are welcome on this walk. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather. Led by Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist
Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center, 15865 Rapids Lake Road, Carver

Bluebird Recovery Program Expo.
8–4 p.m. For more info call Jenean Mortenson, 507-332-7003.
Northfield Middle School

Minnesota Whitetail Expo
9–5 p.m., Sun. 9–1 p.m. www.krugerfarms.com for more info
Kruger Farms, Starbuck

Stream Trout 101
10–11 am Learn about trouts that inhabit cold-water streams of the region in anticipation of the April 18 Trout Open. Jim Clark, avid trout fisherman and member of Trout Unlimited, will give this indoor presentation as well as provide you with tips for selecting fishing equipment and navigating small trout streams.
Whitewater State Park

Buffalo Youth Shooting Sports, BBGun Tournament
10–2 p.m. Call for info. 952-250-3443.
Buffalo Middle School

Maple Syrup Demo
10–3 Celebrate the end of the maple tapping season. Stop in anytime.
Maplewood State Park

Annual Orienteering Skill Development Clinic
11:30 am–3 pm Learn this fun activity to enjoy events all summer long. Schedule of events and registration HERE.
French Regional Park, Plymouth, MN (Visitor Center)

Minnesota Snakes
1–3 pm Learn all about these gentle, shy, fascinating creatures in anticipation of them coming out of hibernation. This talk presentation will answer many questions people have about snakes. Questions such as: Which snakes are poisonous? Do they ever blink? Why do they stick out their tongues? Or do they have tails?
Fort Snelling State Park

Signs of Spring Hike
1 pm Discover phenology and be the first to find and record spring plants and animals. Hike will be about a mile in length.
Wild River State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center)

 

Sunday, April 12

Fishing & Hunting Collectibles Show
9–2 p.m. For more info call Wally Wegleitner, 651-771-8926.
Medina Entertainment Center, Medina.

Neigels Authentic Arms 2015 Shows
9–3 p.m. Adm. $4. Open to the public. Call 218-736-2133 or neigel@prtel.com for more info or tables.
Sauk Centre, MN Civic Ice Arena

Bird Feathers
1–2 pm Stan Tekeila, photographer and author, will present a powerpoint on the different types and uses of feathers.
Lake Maria State Park

Crocodile Productions, Inc. Gun & Knife Show
For more info www.CrocodileProductionsInc.com or call 763-754-7140.
Anoka Armory

Call of the Wild Film Fest
3:00 pm Join in on 60-90 minutes of films featuring our favorite wildlife and their unique behaviors, habitat needs, and special adaptations. Experience the drama of survival in the wild and discover how community partners work together to protect habitat for wildlife. Recommended for all ages.
April 12-Living with White-tailed Deer
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington

Bicycle gravel training routes and paths to explore, HERE.

 

Upcoming . . .

April 14 Nordic Walking with Hoigaard’s, 1 & 6 p.m., MN Landscape Arboretum, Oswald Visitor Center

April 18: Aurora Borealis and Other Natural Night Lights, 1–2 pm presentation by photographer Marcella Chester. Whitewater State Park

April 18: Smart Gardening: Troubleshooting Common Problems in Your Yard and Garden, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Registration and info. HERE.

May 3: 2015 Arboretum Bud Break 5K Run/Walk, start time 9 a.m. Registration and info. HERE.

Several fun spring and summer volunteer training opportunities—from marine hosts to loon surveys—in April. See DNR list for your area HERE

 

Season dates
April 14: MN/Canada, Walleye and sauger seasons ends (border waters)
April 15: Wild turkey spring season opens.
April 18: MN/SD, Walleye and northern pike seasons open (border waters)
April 18; Stream trout in streams (summer) season opens.