Wildlife Over Waste

Credit to Environment Minnesota for the article:  https://environmentminnesota.org/feature/mne/wildlife-over-waste

Every day people are throwing away tons of single-use cups, containers and other plastic “stuff.” Among the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam (the stuff most of us call Styrofoam), which never fully degrades. Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our oceans and rivers and threaten wildlife for centuries. That’s why we’re calling on state leaders to ban take-out foam cups and containers.

A costly mistake

For a bird or fish or turtle, it’s easy to mistake a small piece of plastic for food—especially when there are millions of pieces of plastic floating in our rivers and ultimately our oceans.

Scientists have found plastic fragments in literally hundreds of species, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species. Ingesting these fragments is often fatal. Animals can starve when they ingest too much plastic that they can’t digest. When animals ingest plastic waste, it can block their digestive tracts. As a result, they starve. Toxic chemicals in plastic can harm animals’ health—and people can ingest these chemicals as they make their way up the food chain.

Pollution that lasts for hundreds of years

Scientists are still documenting the scope of plastic pollution and investigating its effects. But for decades we’ve known that one of the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam, the kind used in foam cups and take-out containers, what most of us call Styrofoam.

Polystyrene foam breaks apart easily, but it persists in the environment in tiny particles—and every bit of it ever made is still out there and could continue to threaten wildlife for hundreds of years to come.

Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our rivers and oceans for hundreds of years—especially when we don’t really need it. That’s why, along with our national network, we’re calling on more than 25 states to ban take-out foam cups and containers.

Moving beyond plastic pollution

Of course, there are plastics companies that don’t like this idea. Earlier this year, their opposition helped block a bill banning plastic foam containers in California.

But across the country, plastic foam bans have passed in over 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Me. Some companies are also getting with the program. By the end of this year, McDonald’s will phase out foam cups and containers worldwide, in favor of 100% recycled materials. It’s time to take this effort to the next level, but we’re going to need all the support we can find.

Our national network has won similar efforts to reduce waste and plastic pollution, from statewide pro-recycling laws to the first statewide plastic bag ban in California. We know how to combine professional research and advocacy with citizen support to get results.

Minnesota Vacation Deals

Some great vacation packages for the summer 2019 at www.whitebirchresort.net Call 218-835-4552 for the best deals.

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Explore Minnesota Deals Update – June 13, 2019
Great day on the lake / Francisco DelaRosa IV

New deals are added to our website all the time – visit the Deals page to get the latest discounts for your visit to Minnesota. Here are this week’s highlights:

Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort

Adventure North Resort

New Ulm Chamber and CVB

Gull Four Seasons Resort

Minnesota birding report

Minnesota birding report brought to you by White Birch Resort.

For the best lodging deals visit www.whitebirchresort.net

Tundra swans; photo by Jim Williams


This is your monthly Explore Minnesota Birding Update.  Happy birding!

November Nature Notes

Tundra swans are migrating in large numbers with thousands viewed from the Brownsville Overlook on Nov. 6. Anyone who admires the beauty of tundra swans will want to visit the Weaver Bottoms marshes and the Brownsville Overlook along the Mississippi River during the month of November. The spectacular sights and haunting sounds of huge concentrations of these birds is something everyone should experience. From 25- to 40-percent of the eastern population of tundra swans use the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge as a resting site prior to their long journey to wintering areas on the Atlantic Coast. Bird counts for various locations within the refuge can be found at the Upper Mississippi River Recent Bird Sightings web page.

Sandhill cranes continue to gather at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Zimmerman. Cranes from all over the state come to Sherburne, with numbers sometimes exceeding 10,000. In fact, as of Nov. 8, 11,286 sandhill cranes were at the refuge. Since cranes venture out to feed in area croplands during the day, morning and evening hours offer the most amazing views of vast numbers of birds. Stop by the headquarters for a map of the viewing sites, or print a crane viewing map ahead of time to help you plan your trip.

Did You Know?

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers a wonderful Winter Bird Feeding guide on what to feed winter birds and which feeders are best for your backyard. Some winter birds you may attract include American tree sparrows, pine grosbeaksevening grosbeakscommon redpollshoary redpollsred crossbillswhite-winged crossbills and purple finches.

You can help scientists track the movements of winter bird populations, as well as bird distribution and abundance by participating in Project Feeder Watch. All you need to do is gather and report data while enjoying the birds at your feeders. This year’s Project Feeder Watch begins Nov. 11. Join now!

Those who enjoy photographing birds will want to participate in the Bird Spotter Photo Contest. Submit your favorite birding stories and photos corresponding with a specific category every other week for a chance to win!

Upcoming Birding Events

Nov. 11, Winona
Swan Watch Bus Tour
This bus tour is open to the general public. Witness the spectacular tundra swan migration that takes place on the refuge. Bus tour, instruction and lunch included. Reservations are required. Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge. 507-454-7351

Nov. 11, Hastings
Minnesota Campus Bird Hike
Join bird expert Kevin Smith on a morning hike around the nature center. Field guides and binoculars are available or bring your own. Carpenter Nature Center. 651-437-4359

Nov. 18, Carlton
Winter Bird I.D. 
Ever wonder what kinds of birds are flocking to the bird feeders? Learn how to identify some common Minnesota winter birds, what their favorite foods are and make and take your own winter bird mobile. Binoculars are available to use. Pre-registration is required. Jay Cooke State Park. 218-673-7006

Nov. 18, Victoria
Bird Banding
See wild birds safely trapped, studied, and tagged with numbered rings. Lowry Nature Center at Carver Park Reserve. 763-694-7700763-694-7650

Nov. 19, Maple Grove
Raptors in the Yard
Meet captive raptors and learn about these amazing birds of prey. Cameras are welcome, and participants may drop in anytime. Eastman Nature Center at Elm Creek Park Reserve. 763-694-7894

Nov. 24, Hastings
Minnesota Campus Bird Banding
Bird banders welcome you to see birds up close and learn about the birds who share our ecosystem. Banding runs continuously for 3 ½ hours but visitors may come and go at any time. Please call ahead of time to say you are coming — donations of bird seed or suet are greatly appreciated. Carpenter Nature Center. 651-437-4359

Dec. 1, Marine on St. Croix
Rise & Shine Morning Bird Walk
Join Kyle TePoel on a special bird walk in the park. Kyle is a naturalist who has been guiding bird hikes since 2008. Bring a pair of binoculars or one will be provided for your use. Beginners and advanced birders are welcome. William O’Brien State Park. 651-433-0500

Dec. 2, Rochester
Zumbro Valley Audubon Society Bird Walk
Enjoy a casual walk through Quarry Hill Park to look for over-wintering and migrating birds. Bring binoculars if you have them or borrow a pair from the nature center. Quarry Hill Nature Center.

Dec. 2, Houston
Owl Prowl to Call in Wild Owls
Experience wild owls outdoors and learn how to identify owls by size, shape, silhouette and sound. Following an indoor portion of the program, participants will carpool to known owl territories in and around Houston to call for eastern screech-owlsbarred owls, and great horned owls. International Owl Center. 507-896-6957

Recent Bird Sightings

rough-legged hawk was seen on Nov. 8 in Scott County by David C. Keyes.

An American tree sparrow was discovered by Allan Meadows on Rainy Lake in Koochiching County on Nov. 8.

Sparky Stensaas found a short-eared owl hunting for voles in the Sax-Zim Bog in St. Louis County on Nov. 6.

Check the Duluth/North Shore Rare Bird Alert and the Northwestern Minnesota/Detroit Lakes Rare Bird Alert for other recent bird sightings. Recent sightings throughout the state can be found on the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Unionwebsite. For additional information, consider joining the Minnesota Birding community on Facebook.


Tundra swans near Brownsville on the Mississippi River; photo by Wayne Bartz

Sandhill cranes at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge; photo by Jim Williams

Evening grosbeak in St. Louis County; photo by Jon Swanson

Purple finch; photo by David Brislance

Common redpoll in the Sax Zim Bog; photo by Mike Lentz

Red crossbill; photo by David Brislance

American tree sparrow in Koochiching County; photo by Allan Meadows

Short-eared owl in the Sax-Zim Bog in St. Louis County; photo by Sparky Stensaas

Rough-legged hawk in Scott County; photo by David C. Keyes

Experience the Northwoods of Minnesota

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”- George Washington Carver

The Minnesota’s Northwoods define this statement perfectly, isn’t it?
The speechless charm, an isolated pathway surrounded by the sky-high trees, the peeping sunrays, the flora till the horizon, water skiing fun— Welcome to Northwoods! You are in the mid of the shrubby woods of Minnesota.

The Northwoods are eminent as the boreal forests of North America and an amazing spot to explore adventures and hunting at the most. Blessed with a rich heritage of “evergreens”, these forests are the unexampled beauty to cherish. It is because of the presence of wood’s mammoth area and variation in the soil as well as climate. Therefore, you can become the witness of natural flora and fauna by visiting here. Such an adorable view it will be!

Basically, Northwoods embody the regions of Minnesota, Montana, Michigan, New York, etc. of the USA. No matter, whether you are an American or belong to some other country, if you want a refreshing break from your hectic life, then look no further than the Northwoods. Here, you will definitely get an unbeatable vacation experience of your life. As you enter this habitat, you will find various luxury resorts and accommodations to stay in. The best part is that these resorts offer multiple recreational activities for fun and entertainment.

The Best 3’s of Northwoods

Perfect Season for Hunting in Northwoods

If you are off to Northwoods in the current season, then you are lucky enough to enjoy hunting. Usually, this recreational activity turns on in September and lasts long till the end of the year. October is in succession and you can take the best advantage of hunting in the Northwoods of Minnesota. More precisely, October is perfect for woodcock and grouse hunting, as it will cease at the end of this month.

Wonderful Lake Recreational Activities

Northwoods is quite prominent for pristine lakes, such as Gull Lake, etc. And, the tourists can relish every second in the lakes in several fun activities, like- fishing, water skiing, canoeing, boating, kayaking, and swimming in summers, whereas, snowshoeing, ice fishing,  cross-country skiing, ice fishing, etc. in winters.

Crystal Clear Sky with Multiple Constellations at Night

The night view is just heart stealing. Away from the noise pollution and other pollutants of the city, the Northwoods bestow the tourists upon with the striking and lovely sky full of numerous constellations. The entire sky lights up with infinite numbers of stars and the natural luster of the Moon.

Do you want to disappear in this blissful splendor of the Northwoods? Book a splendid resort and get ready to feel the revitalizing air of Northwoods.

The White Birch Resort is one of the dazzling resorts in Minnesota’s Northwoods. Integrated with comfortable & opulent rooms, this resort will definitely give you a reason to stay here. It is only an ace as a unique hi-end boutique resort in Minnesota. Regardless of the season, you are cordially greeted here to acquire the life’s finest matchless moments. With a lot to explore, this resort is an unexampled spot with many superb packages, in sync with the requisites of all tourists.

Don’t miss out! Walk a mile ahead and admire the invincible ecstasy of Northwoods!