Conservation Corner

To find out what FMR staff are currently working on and encountering in the field, please see our conservation blog.

Archives from our previous features "Conservation Corner" and "Nature Notes" are below.


January: Who goes there?

Snowy days make tracks easier to spot.

February: Turtles on the go under the ice

Thanks to local researchers we now know that turtles are far more active in winter than we thought. However, we're still not sure why.

March: If you build it, will they come? Investigating whether restored habitat means more wildlife.

Thanks to local researchers we now know that turtles are far more active in winter than we thought. However, we're still not sure why.

April: What's the best way to control buckthorn and protect native plants? FMR investigates.

We set up a new research project in Hampton Woods to control buckthorn and see how different methods (such as the forestry mower, bottom right) best protect and encourage native plants (like the yellow ladyslipper, bottom left).

May: Burn, baby, burn! But only when we say so.

A prescribed burn rolls through a blufftop prairie at the Flint Hills Pind Bend Bluffs restoration site.

June: Wildlife returning to FMR habitat restoration sites

Recent surveys reveal red-headed woodpeckers, frogs, and turtles benefiting from FMR's efforts to restore and build wildlife habitat in the Twin Cities river corridor.

July: Skinks and pollinators returning to restored prairie

prairie skink

August: Goldenrod vs. ragweed: Which causes allergies and which benefits pollinators?


September: Restoring habitat on an urban island

Aerial photo of Nicollet Island

October: Why do volunteers hand-collect seed for FMR?

Native prairie seeds collected by hand.

November: Habitat in the city: the power of the single yard

Black capped chickadee.

December: Bird surveys reveal steady increases at FMR prairie restorations

Henslow's Sparrow.


January: Misty mornings on the Mighty Miss

Reflecting the warm orange of the rising sun, an ethereal mist rises from the cold river.

February: A murder most fowl

Thousands of crows ... with thousands of facebook fans.

March: 'What’s it got in its pocketses?'

The plains pocket gopher.

April: DNR Eagle Cam provides a close-up view of eagle family life

Feeding time.

May: Unassuming little beetle's clever (gross?) 'shield defense'

Sumac flea beetle.

June: It's a sign! Giant stonefly found in downtown St. Paul

Stoneflies indicate good water quality.

July: 'Don't worry, I come in peace!' Meet the one-of-a-kind pelecinid wasp

This striking and unusual pollinator is sure to catch your eye.

August: It’s a bee! It’s a bird! It’s a … moth?

Sphinx moth enjoying a pollinator patch planted by FMR volunteers.

September: Beautiful berries 'ecological traps' for birds

These bright red and shiny berries offer no nutrition to hungry birds.

October: Fall is for the squirrels

Fall is often a frenzy of winter prep for these adaptable critters.

November: Let's talk turkeys

Wild turkeys are a familiar and colorful face at FMR restoration sites.

December: Snowshoeing grouse

Seasonally grown fringe on the sides of their feet help grouse stay aloft in winter.


January: Midwestern winters bring owls together

While hard to see, there is indeed a second owl in this photo.

February: Knock, knock. It's the red-bellied woodpecker.

The drumming of the male red-bellied woodpecker resounds throughout the forest

March: Unpredictable weather, fuzzy eaglets and great horned owls

Dinner time for eaglets!

April: The mighty call of the... timberdoodle?!

TImberdoodle! Aka the woodcock.

May: Spring nighthawks: Acrobats of the bird world

Nighthawks whirl and swoop at sunset.

June: Dung beetles: Waste warriors!

July: Mini-mystery revealed — They're caterpillar houses.

Safe as caterpillar houses.

August: Blazing blooms

Arrowroot, one of many native species in FMR restoration areas.

September: Earthworms invade our forest floor

October: A writhing mass of … Indiangrass seed?

November: Dead man's fingers found at Pine Bend Bluffs

This funky fungus aids the decomposition process.


January: Crystalline flakes of joy



February: Upcoming phenology workshops

Become a citizen scientist with the USA National Phenology Network


March: The Return of the Ancients

Sandhill cranes in flight


April: Hey, bud!

Elderberry bud


May: Serviceberry, a feathered-friend favorite


June: Ode to summer solstice


July: Goldenrod or ragweed?


August: Monarchs aren't the only milkweed dwellers preparing for flight


September: A window to phenology — Dishwashing & lacewings


October: The season of the traveling embryo



January:— Irruption Disruption

February:— Venus

March:— Ice-out and lake turnover

April: — My mourning cloak



January:— Yellow Snow

February:— Longer Days

March:— Spring Chorus

April:— Garters

May:— Ferns

June:— The twinkling lights of summer

July:— Berry cool

August:— Pollinators

September:— Springy Fall

October:— Winter for Cold Blooded Animals

November:— Winter birding



January: — Turnaround time: River Rats report!

February: — A murderous congregated conglomeration

March:— Divebombing for love

April: — Early Spring

July: — Milkweed menagerie

August: — Sphinx moth

October:— Legends of the prairie fall

November:— Winter Dormancy

December:— Conifers



January:— Birch Seeds

February:— Gray Foxes

March:— Temperatures and hormones on the rise

April:— Marsh Marigolds

June: Hungry Fledglings

July:— Minnesota's Lizards

August: Cicada killer wasp

September:— Alien nymph attack?!

October:— What do you C?

November:— The still life of the river

December:— Mighty Morsels



January: Cracking trees

February:— Dancing dust? Anti-freeze protein?

March:— Heralds of spring

April:— Cold-blooded chorus

May:— Earthworms

June:— Herons

July:— Doing the Turkey Trod

August:— Lovely lotus

October:— Witch Hazel

September:— Indian Pipe

November: Swan song

December:— Evergreens



January:— Chilly Toes

February:— Forget the Robin...

March:— Snow Mold

April:— Percussion Concussion

May:— Spring Warblers

June:— Prairie Flowers

July:— Painted Turtles

August:— The sky is falling!

September:— Cream Gentian

October: Trout Intimacies

November:— Elegant Departure

December: Winter Finches



January:— Owls

February:— Winter Spiders

April: —Ticks

March:— Snakes

May:— Jack in the Pulpit

June:— Baby birds

July: Leadplant

August:— Dobsonfly

September:— Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth

October: Fall Colors

November:— Aye, There's the Rub

December:— River Ice Formation



April: Tree Flowers

May:— Mayflies

June:— Antlions

July: Goldfinches

August:— Snowy Tree Crickets

September:— What mussels!

October:— Wooly Bears

November:— Green things

December: — Beautiful berries

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 9:30am to 12:00pm
West River Parkway and 36th Street/44th Street, Minneapolis
Applications due Friday, May 3 by 5 p.m.
Virtual and in-person
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area