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 20th annual Festival of Birds is scheduled for May 18-21, 2017. Please join our special anniversary celebration when keynote David Sibley returns! Birds of Cuba will be highlighted by Ernesto Reyes! Carrol Henderson returns with an update on the effects of the Gulf oil spill on the Common Loon. Doug Buri will lead a workshop on 10 Steps to getting your Dream Bird and Earl Johnson will enlighten us on the challenges and potential successes of helping bats in our area.
The Festival of Birds program gets you all the details on the schedule and allows you to register on paper. Look for online registration coming soon. Early bird registrants by May 1 will have an opportunity to take home a pair of Atlas 8 x 42 binocs from Eagle Optics!
To help you make plans to attend this special 20th Festival of Birds, here is a schedule of events:
Thursday, May 18
Noon: Registration begins at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area
12:30-2:30 pm: Doug Buri Workshop on "10 Steps to Getting Your Dream Bird"
1:30-2:30 pm: Earl Johnson Workshop on Bats
5:00 pm meal, 6:00 pm presentation by Carrol Henderson on the Effects of the bp oil spill on the Common Loon
Friday, May 19
Fieldtrips to Greater Prairie Chicken Blinds, Fergus Falls, Fargo/Moorhead with a stop at the Rourke Museum to see Brandenberg's Touch the Sky prairie photo exhibit
1:30 pm: Optics by Opticron at Detroit Mountain
5:15 pm meal, followed by 6:15 presentation by Ernesto Reyes on the Birds of Cuba
Saturday, May 20
Fieldtrips to Hamden Slough/Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge with David Sibley, Golden-winged Warbler trip to Waubun Forest/Tamarac Refuge sponsored by American Bird Conservancy, and Smoky Hills State Forest/Hubbel Pond
2:00-4:30 pm at M State College: Social, optics by Opticron, bird photo quiz, exhibits, book signing with David Sibley and Carrol Henderson, and photo purchase with Ernesto Reyes
5:00 pm meal followed by Sibley keynote at M State College
Sunday, May 21
Fieldtrips to Ulen/Felton prairies, Agassiz Dunes/Glacial Ridge
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 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 and see you at the 20th annual Festival of Birds May 18-21, 2017!