Nature Notes: 'What’s it got in its pocketses?'

Plains pocket gopher

Seldom venturing above ground, the beady eyes and small ears of the plains pocket gopher are reflective of their underground lifestyle.

Fans of The Lord of the Rings will recognize this query of Gollum, the odd underworld creature, as he pondered the riddle of Bilbo’s pocket contents. The star character of this month’s Nature Notes is also a creature of the underworld, seldom seen above ground. And like Gollum, these animals have a lead role in the world they inhabit.

April 10

Must-see FMR spring birding sites along the river

Bird hike at a restoration site

Birders scan the tree line for movement as FMR ecologist Karen Schik (right) plays a recorded bird call at an FMR habitat restoration site.

FMR has helped to protect and restore a number of first-rate birding spots in the metro. Take advantage of the spring migration season with a visit to our top Mississippi River flyway sites. Whether you’re looking for an urban birding spot, or prefer a location a little more off the beaten path, we've got you covered.

March 31

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

An adult bald eagle feeds its babies live on camera

An adult bald eagle feeds its babies live on the DNR Eagle Cam.

Each year in the Twin Cities, humans and other wildlife patiently wait for spring. Some years it arrives to stay, others it arrives only to beat a fast retreat. But over the last few years, one of the few constants in this transitional period in the metro has been the presence of bald eagles. As spring creeps back they take to the sky, hunting for prey, fighting over territory, and mating.

March 10

Get outside this spring with FMR

Volunteers collecting trash

Come one, come all! Individuals, families and groups of all sizes are invited to get outside and help the Mississippi River with FMR. We host roughly 200 outings and events annually with over 5,000 participants from throughout the metro area. (Photo by Amy Kilgore)

Feeling the urge to get outside? FMR has heaps of spring events and activities for individuals and groups alike. Read on or visit our Events Calendar to choose the best fit for you.

March 9

N Mpls riverfront metal shredder required to move!

Northern Metals shredding facility

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the neighborhood surrounding Northern Metals, which is located along the North Minneapolis riverfront, has the highest levels of lead poisoning and asthma hospitalizations in the city. 

Friends of the Mississippi River was pleased to learn today that a settlement has been reached between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the City of Minneapolis and Northern Metals Recycling. Northern Metals has been operating a metal shredder along the Mississippi riverfront in North Minneapolis for several years and part of their operation was temporarily shut down recently when they were caught failing to meet air quality standards required by their state permit.

March 3