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Birds of a feather...

Why not get in on the spring spectacle and join the flock of people migrating to the Detroit Lakes area for the Festival of Birds?

Let us take you to some of the hottest bird watching sites in Minnesota. The Detroit Lakes area is the heart of a transition zone in northwestern Minnesota. It's a place where the tall grass prairie meets both northern hardwood and conifer forest ecosystems. The diversity of plant, animal and bird life here is unique. In a small geographic area, birders have an opportunity to see 90 percent of the all regular species of the state. Mid-May birding is spectacular.

We have recorded over 200 different birds during the festival. This year we will visit several natural and restored habitats in search of unique prairie sparrows, such as the LeConte's Sparrow that nest here. You'll also find trips to the forested and shallow wetland habitats that lead to that remarkable diversity of bird sightings.

We'll treat you to some of our best small town hospitality and most experienced birders from across the nation. The festival is a vacation value close to home.

You don't need to be an avid birder to be intrigued by the workshops and programs during the Festival of Birds. For instance, on Thursday, May 20, you can bike or ride in a hybrid vehicle to learn how to attract birds to your yard, build a rain garden or naturalize your shoreline. Dinner at the Holiday Inn and presentation on the science of migration is included.

Friday, May 21, at Fair Hills Resort, Carrol Henderson of the Minnesota DNR will enlighten the crowd on how birds fly. And Saturday evening reknown bird guide Jeff Gordon will host the Bird Song Grammy's at M-State.

On Saturday, May 22, there are free activities for the whole family at the Birders' Bazaar. You'll find free workshops by Cornell Lab researcher Charles Walcott including Why Birds Sing and The Tune of the Loon. You can also participate in the Art of Birds by awarding winning artist Joe Hautman.

Families are invited to build a birdhouse, take the duck identification challenge and scope out what's new binoculars and other bird gear. A silent auction of bird related items will tempt you.

Check on the progress of spring migration by calling for the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report at 1-800-433-1888 or visiting If you have questions or would like more specific information about festival events, please contact the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-542-3992 or locally at 218-847-9202. You may e-mail the Chamber at To explore more about the Detroit Lakes area, go to

Whether you're a beginner or experienced birder, or somewhere in between, we have something for you. The Festival of Birds runs from May 20-23.