You don't want to waste any time in birders' paradise - Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. More than 275 species of birds are found 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 21st annual Festival of Birds is scheduled for May 16-19, 2018. See the 2018 program for the full schedule and register online under a secure server.
Saturday keynote Noah Strycker traveled 41 countries and all seven continents in 2015, setting a world record by seeing 6042 birds, more than half the birds on earth! His account of this journey is available in his new book Birding Without Borders and one you'll want to attend on Saturday night at M State.
Festival favorite Carrol Henderson delivers the Friday night keynote with "Eagles, Swans and Falcons, Oh My!" You'll be sure to hear many stories from Henderson during his 45 years with the Minnesota DNR.
The festival kicks off Wednesday evening at the Historic Holmes Theatre with a performance of "For the Birds" by Kevin Kling and Zeitgeist. Festival attendees receive a discount and may register with Historic Holmes Theatre. Kling's storytelling is combined with a series of musical pieces to celebrate birds!
See the 2018 Festival Program to register by paper or register online under a secure server.
Update: The Saturday Felton Prairie/Wetlands field trip is full and the Friday Blanket Flower field trip is nearly full. If you are considering these field trips, please register soon or call 218-847-9202 to get on a waiting list for the filled Felton trip. Sometimes openings become available.
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, Jeb Barzen and Ernesto Reyes.
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. For updates, "like" us on facebook. 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!