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Birding hike scheduled at Nagel WMA

A birding outing is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, on the Nagel Wildlife Management Area located southeast of New Richmond.

Area Wildlife Biologist Harvey Halvorsen and birder Larry Sirvio will lead the group that morning. Both Halvorsen and Sirvio have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to birds and their avian expertise will prove extremely valuable whether you are a seasoned birding veteran or a novice.

Sirvio , a bird bander at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, Minn. and a member of the St. Paul Audubon Society, is also a master photographer who will be more than happy to pass along any photo taking tips.

The Nagel Wildlife Management Area is one of the featured stops in the Auto Tour Birding Guide recently put out by the Friends of the St. Croix Wetland Management District. The area is comprised of 205 acres and, according to the guide, this unique parcel of land was the first to become a part of Pheasant Forever's "Build a Wildlife Area" campaign, which strives to create and maintain permanent public wildlife areas. It features more than 16 acres of wetlands surrounded by miles of restored prairie grasslands, savanna and working farmlands.

Hiking will be easy on a mowed trail maintained by Vern Nagel, the former owner of the property. Along with hoped for sightings of tall grass prairie and water dependent birds, the habitat should include forest edge, shrub and woodland dwellers. A pair of binoculars or a spotting scope plus a bird guide will aid in identifying those hard to ID birds. An overview of the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area (WPHRA) and the Nagel Wildlife Area will also be provided.

To reach the wildlife area from New Richmond take Highway 65 south turning left on County Road G. Continue east on G for five miles then turn right on County Road T at Erin Corners. Proceed south on T for a mile then hang a right on 140th Avenue and go about three-quarters of a mile and park in the lot on the north side of the road. We'll meet in the parking lot at 7 a.m. The hike should conclude around 9:30 a.m. For questions, call Halvorsen at 715-684-2914, ext. 113.