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Festival Of Birds in Detroit Lakes Minnesota

May 19-22, 2016

You don't want to waste any time in birders' paradise - Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. More than 250 species of birds live in Becker County. Why? Because the Detroit Lakes area is in the heart of a transition zone of tall grass prairie, northern hardwood and conifer forest ecosystems. Serious birders flock here each spring for the annual Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds.

The 19th annual Festival of Birds will be held May 19-22, 2016 in Detroit Lakes, MN at  headquarters Detroit Mountain Recreation Area. Nestled in the woods just 3 miles east of Detroit Lakes, Detroit Mountain opened their new lodge in 2014 and is the perfect nature setting for the Festival of Birds. 

Keynote presenter in 2016 is Scott Wiendensaul! Owls are fascinating to most all of us and Scott will enlighten us on his work with Project SNOWstorm (Snowy Owls) and other owls found in his just-released book Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean. 

Festival favorite Carrol Henderson, MN DNR non-game wildlife, returns with an update on how the Common Loon is faring since the oil spill at their wintering grounds on the Gulf Coast. Dr. Joshua Stafford will cover a fascinating subject of migration captured on weather service radar. Is it time to brush up on your shorebird I.D.? Learn from one of the best, with Doug Buri returning to lead this workshop!

The Festival of Birds offered plenty of field trips for birding, workshops for learning, exhibitors and socials for meeting and making friends. 

Festival attendees throughout the years have learned much about birds, wildlife and the environment through presenters such as John Fitzpatrick, John Marzluff, Joel Greenberg, Melissa Groo, Rosalind Renfrew, Sue Leaf, Drew Wheelan, Charlie Walcott, Richard Crossley, Scott Wiedensaul, David Sibley, Bill Thompson III, Laura Erickson, Don and Lillian Stokes, Kenn Kaufmann, Dr. Paul Johnsgard, Stan Tekiela, Dr. James Grier, Sharon Stiteler, Al Batt, Jeff Gordon, Joe Hautman and Jeb Barzen.

If you would like to receive future Festival of Birds programs and are not on the current mailing list, please contact us at or call toll free 800.542.3992. See the list of recorded species below. Enjoy our small town hospitality while in Detroit Lakes, including several lodging options.

In recent years, birders have checked these species off their list: Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Rough-legged Hawk, Chestnut-collared Longspur, LeConte's and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows, Rock Wren, Golden-winged and Northern Parula Warblers, Alder Flycatcher and Black-backed Woodpecker.

Any time of year, we welcome you to check out several sites along the Pine to Prairie International Birding Trail that are near Detroit Lakes. Download the Bird Checklist of 275 species along the trail below. For more birding opportunities in Minnesota, see the MOU website.

Everywhere you go in Detroit Lakes' bird paradise, you're guaranteed to see birds to check off your bird list. We welcome you to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Happy birding and see you at the 19th annual Festival of Birds May 19-22, 2016!