Festival of Birds in Detroit Lakes

April 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Every year thousands of serious bird watchers head out to Detroit Lakes in Minnesota to make the most of this fabulous birder’s paradise. The Festival of Birds in Detroit Lakes allows bird watchers the opportunity of getting to see and learn more about the many enchanting bird species that live here.

The reason that the Detroit Lakes area is the perfect location for such a festival is because it part of a vegetation transition zone. Here tall grass prairie meets with coniferous and northern hardwood forests while ample water also helps to lure birds to the area. This wonderfully diverse ecosystem provides a suitable habitat for more than 250 species of birds and it is this excellent selection of feathered creatures that lures more and more bird lovers to the Festival of Birds with every passing year.

Last year marked the tenth annual celebration of the Festival of Birds and the event proved to be most memorable, with a record sighting of 190 different species of birds being seen. Special guest David Sibley was also a treat for those in the know. Some of the more unusual sightings were Eared Grebe, Willet, Long-billed Dowitcher and Bonaparte’s Gull. Perhaps the rarest sighting was that of a Red Knot. All in all, the four-day festival was a massive success and it was widely enjoyed by those in attendance.

This year’s festival will take place from 15 to 18 May. The special guest for the year will be author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul. As a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Weidensaul is sure to provide a most enjoyable keynote address on Saturday. The title of his speech will be “Return to Wild America: a Yearlong Search for the Continent’s Natural Soul”. Weidensaul is widely know and well-respected for both his literary works and his love of nature. He will be one of the field trip leaders taking people to the new birding site at Glendalough State Park on Saturday.

Two other aspects of the festival to look forward to are a new birding site at Red Lake WMA/Beltrami Forest and numerous presentations on the changing environment, which will be given in the evening. The field trips to Agassiz, Glendalough and Red Lake are nearly completely booked so you should register soon to ensure that you don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.

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