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Italian and Dutchman to speak at Owl Festival banquet in Caledonia


Mon, Feb 9th, 2015
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The International Festival of Owls has the word ‘international’ in its name for a reason: it is where the annual World Owl Hall of Fame Awards are presented. Past owl experts who have traveled to the festival to receive awards have come from as far away as Nepal, Taiwan, South Africa, Kenya, and all over Europe. This year’s festival will include award winners from The Netherlands, Italy, and Ariz., as well as other presenters from Norway and Calif.

While the festival started simply as a hatch-day party for Alice the great horned owl, who worked at the Houston Nature Center, it has grown dramatically from its humble beginnings. Roughly 1,800 people attend the festival each year, which leaves Houston bursting at its seams trying to find large enough indoor facilities. This year the banquet is being moved to the Four Seasons Community Center in Caledonia on March 7.

Banquet attendees will have the privilege of witnessing the World Owl Hall of Fame award presentations. In addition, two award winners will speak during the banquet: Marco Mastrorilli from Italy and Wouter van der Weijden from The Netherlands.

Marco is best known to the public for masterminding the Festival dei Gufi (the Italian Owl Festival). Last year the Italian festival, modeled after our own but with an Italian flair, attracted a whopping 25,000 visitors. He is also the leading owl researcher in Italy, putting in over 20 years studying a variety of species so far.

Wouter van der Weijden from The Netherlands will be receiving the Champion of Owls Award on behalf of the late Dr. Karel Voous, his doctoral professor. Dr. Voous is best known for his monumental book, “Owls of the Northern Hemisphere.” Voous was one of the first owl biologists to realize that owl vocalizations could be used to classify species before the advent of DNA analysis.

Elsewhere in the festival’s jam-packed schedule, Roar Solheim from Norway will demonstrate his owl specimen mounting techniques, spotted owl expert Rocky Gutierrez from California will speak about spotted owl and Blakiston’s fish owl conservation, and Bob Fox from Wild at Heart in Ariz. will talk about his work with burrowing owls and endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy owls.

Pre-registration is required for the banquet and Sunday bus trip, but for the rest of the festival you can just show up and pay admission at the door. Banquet and bus trip fees will increas .....
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No CWD detected among sampled deer in southeastern Minnesota

Mon, Jan 12th, 2015
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

No chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in hunter-harvested deer in southeastern Minnesota during the 2014 firearms season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The discovery of the disease in a wild deer earlier this ..... 
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Only 1 of 500 Mississippi River samples test positive for invasive carp

Mon, Jan 12th, 2015
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Water samples from southeastern Minnesota pools of the Mississippi River that were collected in August and analyzed in December indicate only a small presence of bighead carp eDNA, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The U.S. Fish a ..... 
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Preston’s Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-Off

Mon, Jan 5th, 2015
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Let it snow, just in time for Preston’s annual Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-Off event! Bundle up and come on down to the Trailhead Inn office on Saturday evening, January 17 to ski on the trail and to sample some wonderful chili contest entries. ..... 
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Public information meeting about the International Owl Center & Houston Nature Center

Mon, Jan 5th, 2015
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Find out more about the short-term and long-term plans for the International Owl Center at a public informational meeting on Wednesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. at the Owl Center, 126 E Cedar Street in Houston. There will also be changes to the Houston ..... 
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DNR expands winter trout fishing in SE Minnesota

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By David Schueller DNR Information Officer Fly fishing guide Dan Michener walked to a partially snow-covered riverbank in Whitewater State Park. He cast a tiny nymph into the water several times then let it drift through deeper pools, hoping to en ..... 
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DNR awards $5.7 million in habitat grants to conservation groups

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Department of Natural Resources has awarded 46 conservation grants to various organizations and entities for restoring, enhancing and protecting habitat in Minnesota. This latest round of habitat funding comes from the agency’s Conservation ..... 
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Drive safely this snowmobile season

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

As another snowmobile season gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages snowmobilers to get this season off to a smooth, safe start. Snowmobile trails in Minnesota opened Dec. 1. Minnesota residents born after Dec. 3 ..... 
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Spring wild turkey hunters can apply for permits starting today

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

People can apply for early season spring wild turkey hunting permits now through Friday, Jan. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The spring season, which runs from April 15 to May 28, is divided into eight time periods ..... 
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