Sherburne refuge offers free bird, wildflower, butterfly and family nature tours

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman has several events coming up this summer.

Summer Bird Tour

Warblers, sparrows, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, bald eagles and hundreds of other

A bald eagle. (stock photo)

birds call the refuge home during the summer months. Join other birdwatchers on a rambling tour of the woodlands, marshes and oak savanna habitats of the refuge, looking for birds, and learning to recognize them by both sight and song.

Meet the leader, Al Schirmacher, at the Mahnomen Trail at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 2. The tour will end at approximately 11 a.m. Recent sightings, weather and preferences of the group will determine the itinerary, which may include a car caravan tour along the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive, as well as hiking refuge trails.

The tour is free and open to everyone. Pre-registration is appreciated, although not required. Contact the refuge at 763-389-3323, ext. 10, to sign up for the trip and get more details. The Mahnomen Trail is located along Sherburne County Road 9, 5 miles west of Highway 169.

Summer Wildflower Tour

Join volunteer naturalists for a guided tour of the oak savanna on Saturday, June 9. See and learn to identify some of the more common wildflowers. Meet for the tour at 10 a.m. in the parking lot by the old school house on Sherburne County Road 9, 5.5 miles west of Highway 169. Participants will go by car caravan, making a few stops for short walks to view wildflowers. The tour will end at approximately noon.

The tour is free and open to everyone. Pre-registration is appreciated, although not required. Contact the refuge at 763-389-3323, ext. 10, to sign up for the trip.

Family Nature Walk

Families are invited to take part in a free nature walk along the Oak Savanna Trail, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 9. An experienced naturalist will be the guide.

The trail is located at the beginning of the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive, just off Sherburne County Road 5, about 2 miles north of Orrock. Pre-registration is requested for this walk. Call 763- 389-3323, ext. 10, or TTY 1-800-877-8339.

Butterfly Tour

Butterflies are abundant at the refuge in summer. Learn to identify some of the most common species during a tour of the prairie and woodland edges with an experienced naturalist and guide. The tour is on Saturday, June 23, from 10-11 a.m. Meet the guide at the Blue Hill Trail parking lot, which is located along Sherburne County Road 9, 6 miles west of Highway 169. The tour is free and open to everyone. Sunscreen, insect repellent and close-focusing binoculars are recommended, if you have them. Call the refuge to sign up for the tour, at 763/ 389-3323, ext. 10, or TTY 1-800-877-8339.

For more information on the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/sherburne/

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