DESCRIPTION: Welcome to our special 20th Anniversary of the Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds! Whether you're a beginner or experienced birder, or somewhere in between, the Festival of Birds has something for you! You're invited to join us May 18-21, 2017. Detroit Lakes is located in a transition zone of tallgrass prairie, hardwood and conifer forests and a landscape peppered with lakes and wetlands – a migration hotspot with more than 250 species of birds! Our goal is to provide you with a quality birding experience. Each fieldtrip by coach bus includes a naturalist and experienced birding leaders to help you get the best looks. We'll take new looks at favorite fieldtrip locations as well as first time visits to sites!

We hope you'll join our all-star lineup of presenters: Doug Buri with 10 Steps to Getting Your Dream Bird, Earl Johnson with Going to Bat for MN Bats, Carrol Henderson with The Common Loon and BP Oil Contaminants, Ernesto Reyes with The Beautiful Birds of Cuba, and keynote David Sibley with The Psychology of Bird Identification.

Looking for optics? Tom Dunkerton will be set up with Opticron binocs, scopes, tripods, phone adapters and more starting Friday at 1:30 pm at Detroit Mountain and 2 pm-4:30 pm at M State College.

REGISTER EARLY: Register by May 1 to be included in a drawing for an 8 x 42 Atlas Optics Sky King binoculars from Eagle Optics. Registration for the festival closes at Noon (central time) on May 12, 2017. Cancellations must be made by 4:00 p.m. on May 12, with the registration event fee of $10.00 (one day) or $20.00 (multiple days) non-refundable. To receive updates on the festival, please include your e-mail address (we do not share your address with outside parties). See information on Detroit Lakes lodging options while in the area for birding.

EVENT HEADQUARTERS: Detroit Mountain Recreation Area east of Detroit Lakes is the host facility for registration, coach bus pick up and drop off for fieldtrips and workshops. Take State Highway 34 east of Detroit Lakes 2 miles, turn south onto Otto Zeck Road for 1 mile to "T." Turn right and take almost immediate left into wooded drive by sign, "Detroit Mountain Recreation Area." See map

FIELDTRIP NOTES: Fieldtrips will be by coach bus with onboard restroom or by executive bus, and guided by fieldtrip leaders and a naturalist. Since the birding experience begins as the bus departs, we are not able to accommodate boarding at other locations. Spring temperatures may vary from 70's to 30's, so refer to the program's general information on layering clothing and wearing waterproof footwear and outerwear. No field trips will be cancelled unless weather is severe. No refunds will be issued for cancelled fieldtrips, or for speakers who are unable to deliver their presentation due to an emergency. Please read the fieldtrip descriptions to find those most suitable for your mobility. Maps will be available for workshop locations and the Prairie Chicken Blinds. Prairie Chicken Blind participants will receive maps/info ahead of time and by group consensus may choose how long to bird additional sites after spending time in the blinds.

Find complete information by downloading the Festival Program on this site.


One person per registration please.
All fields required.

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Please inform me of Festival of Birds updates.

Festival Event Fee (non-refundable)

Full Festival - $20.00 per person
One day - $10.00 per person
Student 18 years and younger FREE

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017

One field trip selection – you are not able to attend two events with conflicting times
Workshop: "Getting Your Dream Bird" with Doug Buri at EMS Bldg, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm, $25.00
Workshop: "MN Bats" with Earl Johnson at MnDOT, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm, $10.00

Dinner/Program at David Donehower: Carrol Henderson "Common Loon & BP Oil Contaminants", 5:00 pm-7:15 pm, $35.00

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017

One field trip selection – you are not able to attend two events with conflicting times
Fieldtrip: Prairie Chicken Blind - Syre Chicken Blind, 3:30 am-10:00 am, $55.00 - SOLD OUT
Fieldtrip: Prairie Chicken Blind - Bluestem Chicken Blind, 3:50 am-10:00 am, $55.00
Fieldtrip: Fergus Falls Excursion, 5:30 am-1:30 pm, $49 - SOLD OUT
Fieldtrip: Fargo Birding and Rourke Museum, 5:30 am-1:30 pm, $49 - SOLD OUT

Dinner/Program at Holiday Inn: Ernesto Reyes, "Beautiful Birds of Cuba" 5:15 pm – 7:15 pm, $35.00

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017

One field trip selection – you are not able to attend two events with conflicting times

Fieldtrip: Birding with David Sibley at Hamden/Tamarac, 5:30 am-Noon, $80.00 - SOLD OUT
Fieldtrip: Waubun Forest/Tamarac Refuge, 5:45 am-Noon, $39.00
Fieldtrip: Smoky Hills/Hubbell Pond, 6:00 am-Noon, $35.00

Book Signing with Sibley/Henderson and Reyes Photo Purchase, 2:30 pm, FREE

Dinner & Keynote at M State College: "The Psychology of Bird I.D." with David Sibley, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm, $45.00

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017

One field trip selection – you are not able to attend two events with conflicting times
Fieldtrip: Glacial Ridge/Agassiz Dunes, 5:15 am-1:30 pm, $49.00
Fieldtrip: Ulen Felton Prairie, 5:30 am-1:30 pm, $49.00


For all meals/sack lunches

By checking this box, I agree to hold harmless the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce and any employees, volunteers, instructors, and any contractors hired in connection with the Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds for any injury, accident, damage to or loss of property, or illness that could occur as a result of participating in this event. As an attendee of the Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds, I give permission for my inclusion in photos and videos taken during the event.

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