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 with keynote Noah Strycker. 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.
Plus, look for festival favorite Carrol Henderson during the 21st annual Festival of Birds. The festival kicks off Wednesday evening with a performance of "For the Birds" by Kevin Kling and Zeitgeist at the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes. Kling's storytelling is combined with a series of musical pieces to celebrate birds!
Look for online registration the end of February. Here is the Festival schedule:
Wed, May 16: "For the Birds" with Kevin Kling and Zeitgeist at the Holmes Theatre
Thurs, May 17: On your own - Hotspot birding and Prairie Chicken Blind reservations
4:00 pm-7:00 pm: Hors d' oeuvres social at Hub 41 and birding by pontoon on Detroit Lake
Fri, May 18: Fieldtrips to prairie restorations and Itasca State Park
5:00 pm dinner/presentation by Carrol Henderson
Sat, May 19: Fieldtrip to Hamden Slough/Tamarac National Wildlife Refuges
2:30 pm-4:30 pm: Social, Silent Auction, exhibitors, book signing
5:00 pm dinner/presentation by Noah Strycker
Sun, May 20: Hotspot birding on your own
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!