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A rare opportunity to see a rare bird

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Sciences Reserve opens its doors June 14 for the day to give the

public a chance to see the resident population of Red-Headed Woodpeckers.

One of the largest breeding populations of Red-Headed Woodpeckers calls Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve in East Bethel, MN home.Photo of red-headed woodpecker in tree On Saturday, June 14, the ecology research site, invites the public to observe the rare bird up close.

Red-Headed Woodpeckers, famous for their bright red heads, contrasting black and white bodies and assertive behavior, were once common in the United States. Their numbers have declined by more 50 percent across most of their range in our upper Midwest since the 1960s, partly because their preferred habitats -- dead trees in open, deciduous woods or grassland savannas -- are vanishing. Cedar Creek, a 5,400-acre ecology research site that’s part of the U of M’s College of Biological Sciences, is one of the last strongholds of Red-Headed Woodpeckers in the upper Midwest.

Details: Members of the Redheaded Woodpecker Recovery Project will lead tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All tours will leave from the Lindeman Research and Discovery Center on a first-come, first-serve basis throughout the morning, with an overall presentation at 11:30 a.m.

Directions: Cedar Creek is about 45 minutes north of the Twin Cities in East Bethel, MN. Take Highway 65 all the way to the stoplight at 237th St. Turn right, go one mile and turn left on Highway 26.  Then look for first driveway to the right at 2660 Fawn Lake Drive.

Additional information: There is no cost for the field trips, but reservations are required for those who need van transportation to the nesting sites. Please call Mary Spivey at (612) 301-2602 for reservations or with questions.