Bird Images, Just for You

National Audubon Society

Decorate your computer, tablet, or smartphone with the best photos from past Audubon Photography Awards. Download images of your favorite birds with a single click.

Stay tuned, we’ll announce this year’s winning photos on April 27th.

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Wild turkey hunters in 5 counties asked to help with avian influenza surveillance

Successful wild turkey hunters in Kandiyohi, Pope, Meeker, Swift and Stearns counties can help determine if highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is present in Minnesota wildlife by allowing a sample to be collected from their turkeys.

“HPAI has not yet been found in wild turkeys, but it has been found in domestic turkeys in these and other Minnesota counties,” said Michelle Carstensen, wildlife health program supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We chose those five counties to enlist the help of hunters because they have sufficient wild turkey populations.”

Starting Monday, April 20, the DNR is asking successful hunters in these counties to call to schedule an appointment at one of the participating wildlife offices and allow a sample to be collected from their turkey. Samples will include a swab of the trachea and, if the bird has not yet been field dressed, a swab of the cloaca as well.

Successful turkey hunters in these counties must call the following offices beginning April 20 to schedule an appointment:

  • Sauk Rapids, 320-223-7840
  • New London, 320-354-2154
  • Glenwood, 320-634-0342
  • Carlos Avery, 651-296-5290

Sampling only takes a few minutes and the hunter will retain the bird. Hunters are asked to keep wild turkeys in their vehicles, and DNR staff will come out to take the samples at the vehicles. Hunters also will be asked to provide their contact information, harvest information and approximate harvest location.

The 2015 spring wild turkey season is open until Thursday, May 28. The DNR hopes to collect 300 total samples from turkeys to test for HPAI. At this time, the DNR will not be sampling wild turkeys harvested in other counties.

Unless their bird is found positive, individual hunters will not be notified of results.

The DNR recommends turkey hunters practice good hygiene while field dressing their birds and cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any viruses and bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people from HPAI infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected.

More information about safe handling of wild turkeys and other information on avian influenza in Minnesota is available on the DNR website at

Find more topics related to avian influenza on the Minnesota Board of Animal Health website at

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Legislative update, April 17, 2015

Greetings from the Capitol,


The House Environment & Natural Resources Policy & Finance Committee spent the week on HF846 (Omnibus Environment Finance bill). The bill contains policy provisions from HF1329(DNR policy bill), the game and fish bill (HF1406) and other provisions. The bill passed out of committee on Thursday.

The Senate Finance – Subcommittee on Legacyheard numerous bills on Tuesday, including SF1754 (Clean water fund appropriations), SF701 (Cuyuna mountain bike system appropriation), SF242 (Outdoor heritage fund appropriations, SF1433 (Comprehensive watershed management planning program provisions), SF1772 (Wilderness Inquiry programs grant appropriation), SF752 (Red River watershed management board water quality enhancement), and SF83 (Washington County Grey Cloud Slough habitat improvement appropriation). The Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Budget Divisionpassed, as amended, their Omnibus Budget Bill (the bill has no number as of this writing).

For the most up to date list of meetings and bills, please visit committee web pages or currently posted meetings for the House and Senate.

Please contact me at or Bob Meier ( ) if you have any comments on concerns. I hope you find time this weekend to enjoy Minnesota’s great outdoors!


Combined Legislative Meeting Calendar Upcoming Meetings

Week of: April 20, 2015



Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015 3:30 PM House

The House Meets in Session

Monday, April 20, 2015 11:00 AM Senate


Monday, April 20, 2015 12:45 PM House

Meeting Time Note: We will convene at our regular time and we have the committee room for the evening.

Legacy Funding Finance

Room: Basement Hearing Room Chair: Rep. Dean Urdahl, Josh Heintzeman


HF303 Urdahl Minnesota Historical Society funding provided, and money appropriated.

The H303DE5 Amendment is the language for the Legacy Funding Omnibus bill. Committee Documents: H0303DE5.pdf


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 10:15 AM House

Government Operations and Elections Policy

Room: Room 10 Chair: Rep. Tim Sanders


HF1508 O’Driscoll Public retirement plans; outdated or obsolete allowable service credit provisions eliminated, outdated date references in pension provisions eliminated, ambiguous retirement provisions clarified or eliminated; and pension-related headnotes corrected.
HF2215 Hancock Wetland replacement high priority area identification required.
HF2054 Torkelson Clean Water Council membership modified.

HF2235 (Albright) Workers’ compensation advisory council recommendations adopted regarding inpatient hospital payments, rulemaking authorized, and report required. HF2236 (Albright) Metropolitan county commissioners provided to serve as members of the Metropolitan Council, Metropolitan Council modified, and money appropriated. Committee Documents: H1508-12A.pdf


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 10:30 AM House

Meeting Time Note: The hearing will begin at 10:30am or at the Call of the Chair.

Mining & Outdoor Recreation Policy

Room: 5 State Office Building Chair: Rep. Tom Hackbarth


Informational hearing on the DNR’s 2015 Fishing Regulations for Mille Lacs Lake.


Thursday, April 23, 2015


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015 8:00 AM

Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council

Room: 5 State Office Building Chair: Bob Anderson Agenda: TBD


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Minnesota Hooked On Mille Lacs – April 2015

Reminder: Experts’ review of Mille Lacs management is presentation topic

Results from an independent review of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Mille Lacs Lake management, and DNR comments on those findings, will be the topic of a presentation from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, at Garrison City Hall, 27069 Central St. in Garrison.

Paul Venturelli, a nationally recognized University of Minnesota fisheries professor, will present the review conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of national and international fisheries experts. Melissa Treml, DNR fisheries research manager, will comment on the panel’s findings. The panel issued a report on its findings in mid-January, available at

The event is part of a series called “Hooked on Mille Lacs: On the Road” intended to share biological information and answer citizen questions on important and timely topics related to the ecology and management of Mille Lacs Lake. There is no charge for admission, and doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

To learn about Mille Lacs Lake management, visit

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DNR releases new book about birds in state parks


A new book, Birds in Minnesota State Parks, has just been released by the Department of Natural Resources. It was 11 years in the making and includes more than 200 pages of maps, color photos and insider tips on finding and identifying birds that can be seen in Minnesota state parks.


  • Jan Shaw Wolff, Minnesota state parks and trails, central region manager.
  • Robert Janssen, author, Birds of Minnesota State Parks.
  • Alex Watson and Krista Jensen, interpretive naturalists.
  • Lori Naumann, information officer, Nongame Wildlife Program.
  • Students from Upper Mississippi Academy.

Fort Snelling State Park, Visitor Center.
The park is on Post Road, off state Highway 5 in St. Paul, just west of the Terminal 1 exit for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

10 a.m., Thursday, April 16.

We live in an indoor, computer-dominated world in which children have fewer and fewer opportunities to see birds in the wild…Thankfully, in Minnesota we have an absolutely wonderful state park system that is one of the best—if not the best—in the nation. Our 75 state parks and recreation areas provide the opportunity for nearly 9 million visitors a year to discover the beauty and diversity of natural habitats in our land of 10,000 lakes. One of the great natural assets of these parks is the diversity of birdlife that can be experienced in every season of the year!
—from the foreword by Carrol Henderson, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program supervisor

  • Live raptors from the Raptor Center—an owl, a hawk and a falcon.
  • Bird call demonstrations by Alex Watson, interpretive naturalist.
  • Presentation of signed book to students for their school library.
  • Also possible:
    o Turkeys (often visible from the main park road).
    o Swans and other waterfowl (often visible on Snelling Lake).
    o A barred owl (often seen near the beach parking area).

MEDIA ADVISORY-P&T Bird book advisory 4-15-15.docx

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DNR invites public input on Invasive Carp Action Plan

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on a statewide plan to combat invasive carp threatening Minnesota rivers and lakes.

The Minnesota Invasive Carp Action Plan includes 35 measures for combatting the threat of bighead, black, grass and silver carp. Invasive carp, which feed on vital plankton, aquatic vegetation and mussels, reach weights of 40 to more than 100 pounds. Invasive carp populations compete with native species for food and habitat. Silver carp leap out of the water when they hear approaching watercraft, potentially injuring boaters and water skiers.

The plan updates a 2011 document and is focused on efforts to monitor, prevent, and slow the spread of invasive carp in major rivers and lakes, according to Nick Frohnauer, DNR invasive fish coordinator. “Since the 2011 plan was developed, we’ve made tremendous progress, including repairs to the Coon Rapids dam and the upcoming closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock. The updated plan, developed by a broad range of stakeholders, will allow us to leverage new information and improved technology to monitor, prevent and manage these destructive species.”

Invasive carp have been progressing upstream since escaping into the Mississippi River in the 1970s. While no breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters of the Mississippi, individual fish have been caught near the Twin Cities and in the St. Croix River.

The DNR will accept public comments on the draft plan through May 8.

Action plan copy requests, questions and public input can be directed to Nick Frohnauer, DNR invasive fish coordinator, at, 651-259-5670 or Box 25, Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN  55155.

The draft plan is also available on the DNR website:

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DNR offers guidance for turkey hunters in areas near avian flu

DNR offers guidance for turkey hunters in areas near avian flu

While avian influenza has not yet been found in wild turkeys, hunters are nonetheless reminded of ways to avoid potentially spreading the virus.

To date, highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been found in Cottonwood, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lyon, Meeker, Nobles, Pope, Stearns and Watonwan counties. So far, it has only been confirmed in domestic turkey farms. Waterfowl are the natural reservoirs for the virus.

Wild turkeys are presumed to be susceptible to HPAI. Raptors are known to be susceptible.The virus presents a low risk to humans but it is important to avoid contact with sick birds.

“Turkey hunters can take steps to minimize the risk of spreading HPAI, and they can be excellent scouts in helping identify wild birds like raptors or turkeys that could have been affected,” said Michelle Carstensen, wildlife health program supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The USDA makes the following recommendations for turkey hunters to protect themselves and their birds from avian influenza.

In the field

  • Do not harvest or handle wild birds that are obviously sick or found dead.
  • Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible.
  • Use dedicated tools for cleaning game, whether in the field or at home. Do not use those tools around your poultry or pet birds.
  • Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning game.
  • Double bag the internal organs and feathers. Tie the inner bag, and be sure to take off your rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before tying it closed. Place the bag in a trash can that poultry and pet birds cannot access. This trash can should also be secure against access by children, pets, or other animals.
  • Wash hands with soap and water immediately after handling game. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes.
  • Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water. Then, disinfect them. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning game.

At home

  • If you clean a bird at home, keep a separate pair of shoes to wear only in your game cleaning area. If this is not possible, wear rubber footwear and clean/disinfect your shoes before entering or leaving the area.
  • Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water. Then, disinfect them.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep uncooked game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • You should always cook game meat thoroughly; poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.

The risk to the public is very low, and there is no food safety concern, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The DNR also advises hunters that if they see any birds that have died in the field or appear sick (ruffled feathers, swollen wattles, discoloration of the feet and impaired balance) notify DNR staff as soon as possible and don’t touch or attempt to move the birds.

If you see a dead or sick wild turkey or raptor, mark the location by GPS if possible and contact DNR with the coordinates. Contacts are:

  • Wildlife Health Program Supervisor Michelle Carstensen at 612-390-9979;
  • Wildlife Health Specialist Erik Hildebrand at 612-597-8141; or
  • Contact your local area wildlife manager by finding their information at and clicking on the area contact map.

Additional information about avian influenza is on  the DNR website at

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Small but Mighty: Streams and Wetlands that Matter

Marshes, wetlands, intermittent streams, and even some lakes fill from rainwater or snowmelt then empty through evaporation—coming and going throughout the year. These small but mighty habitats filter out pollution, ease the effects of flooding, and provide water for wildlife in dry climates.T…

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