Festival of Birds returns to Detroit Lakes, May 20-22
While the format is a little different this year, bird watchers from seven different states – North and South Dakota, Arizona, Connecticut and Virginia as well as Minnesota – flock to register for festival programs and field trips. , according to Detroit Lakes Tourism Director Cleone Stewart.
“Our field trip to Tamarac is already full,” said Stewart. “We have a waiting list.”
The trip to the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge is one of two scheduled for Friday, May 21; the other is a slightly longer trek, to the Felton meadow. A second trip to Felton Prairie is scheduled for Saturday May 22, with an excursion to Hamden Slough.
“All field trips are from 6:30 am to 11:30 am,” said Stewart. “We will give directions to the meeting places as soon as people register.”
There will be no group bus tours this year, according to Kelly Blackledge, Festival volunteer; people are required to bring their own vehicles to meeting places, although experienced bird watchers have been lined up to guide all four trips.
Travel registration is limited to 25 people per excursion; Upon arrival at the meeting place, participants will be divided into two small groups, with an ornithologist to guide each group. Participants must provide their own equipment (binoculars, hiking boots, etc.).
“All of our guides are experienced,” Blackledge said, adding that they do a lot of pre-trip scouting and research to determine where the best spots will be to see as many different bird species as possible.
“People should be able to get a good view (of the birds),” said Stewart, adding that there weren’t many “leaves” on the trees yet due to the unusually cool spring weather so far.
“The Chamber (of Commerce) will also have ‘hotspot’ maps for birding if people want to do some more birding on their own,” Blackledge said. “These maps will be available. at any time. “
Half a dozen presentations from birding experts are also scheduled for the weekend, although they are all virtual this year.
“We did all of our planning pretty early on,” said Stewart, adding that COVID-19’s restrictions on group gatherings and crowd size were still quite limited at that time.
The speakers’ presentations will take place as follows:
- Thursday May 20: Randy Kolka, Project Leader and Soil Scientist at the SPRUCE Climate Change Experiment, 8 am; Kevin T. Karlson, accomplished bird watcher, professional guide, wildlife photographer / instructor and author, 9:30 am; naturalist Mike Havlik, 5 p.m. Kolka will discuss climate change and its effects on wildlife habitats; Karlson will lead a warbler identification workshop; and Havlik will help participants learn to identify different types of falcons from their flight patterns and behavior.
- Friday May 21: Kevin T. Karlson will give the main festival presentation at 5:30 pm Karlson’s second presentation of the weekend will be “A Photographic Celebration of North American Falcons, Eagles, Falcons and Vultures,” based on the content of the book “Birds of Prey”, co-authored by Karlson with Pete Dunne.
- Saturday May 22: Comedian Al Batt closes this year’s festival with an hour-long virtual presentation starting at 5 p.m.
Unlike previous festivals, a one-time, fixed fee of $ 25 will be charged for participation in the 2021 Bird Festival rather than ticketing for individual events.
“We wanted to be able to provide a good birding experience, while still keeping it affordable,” said Stewart.
The registration deadline is Friday May 14th. Visit www.visitdetroitlakes.com for more information.
If you are going to
What: Bird festival
When: Thursday to Saturday, May 20 to 22
Or: Detroit Lakes
Info: The cost is $ 25 per person; registration information available on visitdetroitlakes.com or by phone at 218-847-9202. You can also get a registration form from the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, 700 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.