Set the alarm. Grab the binoculars. Put on good walking shoes.
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 coniferous ecosystems. Serious birders flock here each spring for the annual Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds.
The 17th annual Festival of Birds will be held in Detroit Lakes May 15-18, 2014.
The festival kicks off Thursday, May 15 with a beginning birding workshop and photography workshop with a festival favorite – Carrol Henderson. Stop by Richwood Winery for wine tasting and a book signing by Joel Greenberg. Then stay for a pan-fried walleye dinner and program. Joel Greenberg will present stories from his new book, “The Echoes of their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon,” a remarkable story of a bird that numbered in the billions now extinct. Thursday’s events take place at the beautiful Maplag Resort on Little Sugarbush Lake.
Friday you can reserve your space in a blind to see the amazing display of the Prairie Chicken. Or help Hamden Slough celebrate 25 years with a special tour. A Young Birders Adventure will also take place Friday morning at Tamarac Refuge.
Stop by Seven Sisters Spirits for wine tasting and a book signing with Sue Leaf for her new book, “A Love Affair with Birds: The Life Thomas Sadler Roberts.” She will provide a special presentation at Meadows on Lind in the evening.
Be sure to stop by the Friends of Tamarac booth to find your favorite birding book or gift at the Birders’ Bazaar on Saturday May 17, 11 am- 5 pm. Enjoy snacks and a special book signing event with authors Carrol Henderson and Sue Leaf from 2:30 – 3:30 pm. You’ll be able to hone your shorebird skills at a free festival workshop. Morning field trips will return to some favorite refuges and make first time stops at new locations.
The Saturday evening keynote, Dr. Rosalind Renfrew, will share her passion for grassland birds particularly the bobolink. “The double life of the Bobolink: A new conservation paradigm” will intrigue you as you get a behind the scenes look into the technology of biologists today.
If you would like to receive the 2014 Festival of Birds program and are not on the current mailing list, please contact us at dlchamber@VisitDetroitLakes.com or call toll free 800.542.3992. Or download a program from the chamber website www.visitdetroitlakes.com.
Enjoy our small town hospitality while in DetroitLakes, including several lodging options.
Field trip leaders and naturalists for the 2014 festival include Carrol Henderson, Kim Eckert, Denny and Barb Martin, Mike Murphy, John Voz, Wayne Brininger, Lowell Deede, Judd Brink, Bridget Olson, Matt Mecklenberg, Stacy Salvevold, Becky Esser, Steve Midthune, Donna Dustin, and more.
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. Best of all, you’ll hear the winsome call of the loon, Minnesota’s state bird. Several Minnesota State Birds were fitted with transmitters during summer 2011 to track their migration locations and other habits. You may follow their daily location, including the three males fitted with the transmitters at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (TA, LM and BL) as they migrate to and from their winter locations.
For more information on the 17th Annual Festival of Birds program, book signing, silent auction, dinners, luncheons, tours, etc. go to: VisitDetroitLakes.com
We welcome you to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Happy birding!