Photo by Rich Smith

The Winona Bird Club offers a free, kid-friendly program with a live peregrine falcon and American kestrel December 1, at 7 p.m., at the Winona Friendship Center. We’ll also participate in the Annual Audubon Christmas Count on December 18.

Jacki Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society will discuss the latest research and conservation measures regarding peregrines, which have recovered nicely after disappearing from the Mississippi to the Atlantic Coast in 1965. Fallon currently monitors and manages research at 50-plus peregrine territories in Wisconsin and Minnesota. She’s been involved in the peregrine’s recovery 30-plus years. Please, come and be awed by Jacki’s expertise and the powerful presence of a peregrine falcon and American kestrel. Masks and vaccinations are required for the event, due to coronavirus.

The Winona area’s important to the peregrine. Pairs regularly nest at Bay State Milling. Bird club members have helped monitor nests on cliffs. Peregrines were reintroduced (live chicks released) at Nature Conservancy’s Weaver Dunes. Rich Smith, club member, photographed a peregrine at Lake Winona near cliffs this July.

We invite birders to participate in feeder counts on Christmas Count Day, December 18. Email lkilmartin5727@msn.com or call Lorraine 507-312-0557 for instructions and forms that enable you to contribute to a national database that helps researchers determine bird population changes, their ranges and land-use and conservation needs.

Every year, Winona-area birders count birds along driving routes in a 15-mile circle centered at Lake Park Lodge. The pandemic will impact the process for the second consecutive year. Participants from last year will receive invitations. The national Audubon advises that new birders who wish to join experienced birders on their regular routes must already be “pod” members with them already.