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 18th annual Festival of Birds was held May 14-17, 2015 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 November 2014. It's the perfect nature setting for the Festival of Birds, with a view of the city from the second highest point in Becker County. See the online program for details. Jack Anderson of Brainerd won a pair of Atlas Intrepid 7 x 36 binoculars from Eagle Optics!
Paul Baicich and Carrol Henderson kicked off the festival with their just released book Bird Feeding in America at the festival! As well, the Birds of Minnesota State Parks will be introduced by author Bob Janssen, which also just hit the book stands. Expert birder Doug Buri returned by demand to help identify the many species of sparrows in his afternoon workshop on Thursday. Talented nature photographer Melissa Groo traveled from Ithaca, NY to share how she has captured nationally and internationally awarded photos of birds, elephants and other wildlife. The featured species for 2015 is the Western Grebe, with the photo provided by Melissa Groo.
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, 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 dlchamber@VisitDetroitLakes.com 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!