Night at the Refuge: Birds and the Night Sky

Let's put the birds to bed! We'll watch and listen for bird activity with Paul Bogard & Joanna Eckles as night falls, test our senses, and learn about night migration and light pollution at the MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a wild and truly remote landscape yet it winds through one of the most bustling areas in the whole state - just across from MSP airport along the 494 strip - providing critical breeding and stopover habitat for a huge variety of bird species!


Registration Required: Free and open to all, register on Google form

Activity level: Easy (stand, stroll close to visitor center, come early to hike!)

Meet Us: Meet on the terrace behind the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425) to explore birds and the night!

What to Bring: Binoculars, a chair if you wish - we'll stand and talk while we watch and listen

Accessibility: 3/5 (Birdability) Restrooms and a water fountain are available inside the visitor center. Accessible parking is available.

Rain Plan: Event is rain or shine. If we cannot be outside, we'll meet in the visitor center for a discussion of birds, night, lights and migration.    

Your Hosts: Paul Bogard is a Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Hamline University, a night sky expert, and the author of numerous illuminating books on the night sky including The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light and the new children's picture book What If Night? Joanna Eckles has worked with or on behalf of birds her entire career - for the Minnesota Zoo, Audubon, The Raptor Center, and now for the American Bird Conservancy. Joanna and Paul have collaborated on educational events and articles about birds & the night and are excited to see what a Night at the Refuge brings.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this event for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning or other accommodation needs to by close of business on Friday, May 6.

Event date and time
Event location name
Bloomington Visitor Center


3815 American Blvd E Bloomington, 55425 MN

Event category

Age range
All ages