MINNESOTA  BIRDING  WEEKS


APRIL 2018 - FEBRUARY 2019

~  Our 33rd Season  ~


~  April 2018 - February 2019 MBWEEKS  ~


CLICK on the MBWEEKS BELOW

for summaries of these MBWeeks and photo galleries from previous years


Note that future changes in this schedule are possible, and updates on these will appear

on MBWbirds.com (e.g., dates may have to be adjusted due to leader availability,

lodging vacancies, or to coincide wth the schedules of flights, ferries, pelagic trips, etc.)


The leader for each MBWeek will be Kim Eckert, with the exception of

S. Florida which will tentatively be led by Craig Mandel.


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APRIL 15 - 25, 2018  •  SOUTH FLORIDA


Restored birder-friendly wetlands near Fort Lauderdale....prairie scrub and hammocks around Lake Okechobee....shorebird mudflats and pinewoods around Naples & Fort Meyers....Big Cypress National Preserve and adjacent Everglades National Park....introduced exotics in suburban Miami.... Florida Keys and the truly unique Dry Tortugas – all will be featured on our fourth spring MBWeek in South Florida. Several state specialties will be especially targeted (with most of these seldom if ever seen elsewhere): Egyptian Goose, Wood Stork, Swallow- tailed and Snail kites, Short-tailed Hawk, Purple Swamphen, Limpkin, White-crowned Pigeon, countable parakeets (Monk, Nanday, White-winged), Mangrove Cuckoo, Antillean Nighthawk, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Gray Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo, Florida Scrub-Jay, Red- whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, Bachman's Sparrow, Shiny Cowbird, and Spot-breasted Oriole. And especially consider all the specialties on the trip to the Dry Tortugas: Audubon's Shearwater, Masked and Brown boobies, Magnificent Frigatebird, Bridled, Sooty and Roseate terns, Brown (and often Black) Noddy. Plus there's a long list of potential Caribbean strays to choose from – e.g., that Cuban Vireo on the 2016 MBW! (Per-person fee on 2016 MBW with 9 participants, including Dry Tortugas ferry: $1,330 double-occupancy + airfare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  11 on Waiting List  (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


NOTE: Registering for a MBWeek after it is FILLED should still be considered

since there could be cancellations, or an extra MBWeek

can sometimes be arranged to accommodate those on the waiting list.


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APRIL 21 - 30, 2018  •  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA I


Although there have been previous August MBWeeks and several January MBWs to California, this will be only our second here in spring. After starting in San Diego and the Salton Sea, we will continue on to areas we have not covered previously, such as the canyons and desert oases east of Bakersfield, the montane habitats of Los Padres National Forest, the coastal headlands and mudflats between San Luis Obispo and Ventura, and, of course, the Santa Cruz Island boat trip to see the endemic Island Scrub-Jay. Besides the jay, we will especially search for those species which are absent or difficult to find on the August and January MBWs, including Chukar, Mountain Quail, California Condor, Yellow-footed Gull, Scripps's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet, a Flammulated or Spotted Owl (maybe), Northern Pygmy-Owl, Common Poorwill, White-throated Swift, a Costa's or Calliope hummingbird, Williamson's and Red-breasted sapsuckers, White-headed Woodpecker, Gray and Dusky flycatchers, Gray and Cassin's vireos, Sage and Le Conte's thrashers, MacGillivray's Warbler, Brewer's, Black-chinned and Bell's sparrows, Tricolored Blackbird, Scott's Oriole, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and more. In all, we can expect to see some 220 species or more. (Per-person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants, including Santa Cruz Island boat trip: $1,140 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  0 on Waiting List  (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE above under SOUTH FLORIDA about registering for MBWs which are filled.  ~


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JULY 28 - AUGUST 5, 2018  •  SOUTHEAST ARIZONA I


This will be our 13th MBWeek during the somewhat cooler monsoon season of late summer when temperatures are quite tolerable – and sometimes even pleasant. In Arizona's unique riparian areas, scenic canyons, and mountains there are a number of specialties, many of these found no where else in the U.S. Among the many possibilities likely to be seen: Montezuma Quail, Mississippi Kite, Gray and Zone-tailed hawks, some owls (possibly Whiskered Screech-, Northern Pygmy-, Elf, and Spotted), Common Poorwill, Mexican Whip-poor-will, perhaps a dozen hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Gilded Flicker, as many as 18 flycatcher species, Mexican Jay, Mexican Chickadee, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Bendire's and Crissal thrashers, Phainopepla, several warblers (Olive, Lucy's, Virginia's, Grace's, Red-faced, Painted Redstart, and others), Abert's Towhee, several sparrows (e.g., Rufous-winged, Botteri's, Cassin's, Black-chinned, and Five-striped), Yellow-eyed Junco, Hepatic and possibly Flame- colored tanagers, Varied Bunting, and Scott's Oriole. And Mexican strays have been listed on previous MBWeeks: e.g., Plain-capped Starthroat, Berylline Hummingbird, Short-tailed Hawk, Tufted Flycatcher, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Streak-backed Oriole. (Per-person fee on 2015 MBW with 9 participants: $975 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  6 on Waiting List  (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE above under SOUTH FLORIDA about registering for MBWs which are filled.  ~


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SEPTEMBER 8 - 16, 2018  •  WASHINGTON & BR. COLUMBIA


The Pacific Northwest provides some of the best birding in the western U.S. and Canada – accordingly, this MBW to the Olympic Peninsula and elsewhere along the Washington coast, plus sites around Victoria and Vancouver in southern British Columbia, has much to offer. Of particular interest will be the introduced Eurasian Skylarks near Victoria, a species that breeds nowhere else in North America. As many as 30 shorebird species are possible, with rarities such as Pacific Golden-Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Ruff, and Red Phalarope seen on previous MBWeeks. An all-day Westport Seabirds pelagic trip will be featured, with Black- footed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, 4 or 5 shearwaters (including Pink-footed, Buller's, and a good chance of Flesh-footed or Short-tailed), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, South Polar Skua, possibly all three jaegers, and Sabine's Gull all targeted. In addition, our list should include Sooty Grouse, Brandt's and Pelagic cormorants, a few "non-Minnesota" gulls, alcids (Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Cassin's and Rhinoceros auklets), Northern Pygmy-Owl, Vaux's and Black swifts, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northwestern Crow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Sparrow. (Per-person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants, including Westport Seabirds trip: $1,340 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

1  VACANCY  (8 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


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JANUARY 19 - 27, 2019  •  WINTER CALIFORNIA


This MBWeek and winter vacation includes a week in the varied coastal, montane, and desert habitats in and around San Diego County, including the unique Salton Sea region. Some 200 species are possible, including a long list of non-Minnesota species: water birds such as Brant, Eurasian Wigeon, Black-vented Shearwater, Brandt's and Pelagic cormorants, Ridgway's Rail, several shorebirds (including Mountain Plover, Wandering Tattler, and Surfbird), Heermann's and possibly Yellow-footed gulls, Royal Tern, and Black Skimmer. And on land: White-tailed Kite, Band-tailed Pigeon, Burrowing Owl, Anna's, Costa's and Allen's hummingbirds, Nuttall's and White-headed woodpeckers, Gray Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo, Mountain Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, California Gnatcatcher, Wrentit, California, Crissal and LeConte's thrashers, Abert's and California towhees, Sagebrush and Bell's sparrows, Tricolored Blackbird, and introduced (but countable) Scaly-breasted Munias. Unexpected strays are possible as well, as evidenced by the Blue-footed Booby, Pacific Golden-Plover, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Red-throated Pipit, and Streak-backed Oriole seen on some previous MBWeeks. And besides all those birds, expect a week of balmy "non-Minnesota" weather with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. (Per-person fee on 2016 MBW with 9 participants: $910 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

2  VACANCIES  (7 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


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NOTE: THE CALIFORNIA MBWEEK WILL END ON JANUARY 27 IN PHOENIX, AZ,

WHILE THE ARIZONA TRIP BEGINS THERE ON THE 27TH; ACCORDINGLY,

THERE IS THE OPTION OF DOING BOTH MBWEEKS BACK-TO-BACK.

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JANUARY 27 - FEBRUARY 3, 2019  •  WINTER ARIZONA


Though many summer Arizona specialties are absent in winter (when the weather will be much more moderate, with highs normally in the 60s), but at the parks, desert flats, river valleys, and canyons around Phoenix and southeast of Tucson we can still expect to find a long list of non-

Minnesota birds. These include Gambel's Quail, Ferruginous Hawk, Mountain Plover, Barn Owl, Western and Whiskered screech-owls, Broad-billed and Violet-crowned hummingbirds, several woodpeckers (e.g., Acorn, Gila, Arizona, Red-naped Sapsucker, Gilded Flicker), Rosy- faced Lovebird (now "countable"), Ash-throated Flycatcher, Plumbeous and Hutton's vireos, Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Verdin, Rock and Canyon wrens, both Black-tailed and Black- caped gnatcatchers, Western Bluebird, five thrasher species (including Bendire's, Crissal, and Le Conte's), Phainopepla, Black-throated Gray and Townsend's warblers, Green-tailed and Abert's towhees, several sparrows (including Rufous-winged, Brewer's, Black-chinned, and Sagebrush), Hepatic Tanager, Pyrrhuloxia, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and others. Mexican rarities are possible as well – e.g., Ruddy Ground-Dove, Nutting's Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-backed Robin, and Rufous-capped Warbler on this MBWeek. (Per- person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants: $920 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  0 on Waiting List  (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE above under SOUTH FLORIDA about registering for MBWs which are filled.  ~


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FEBRUARY 19 - 26, 2019  •  SOUTH TEXAS


This will be our 38th South Texas MBWeek – and vacation from a Minnesota winter! Little wonder this trip is so popular given its long list of birds that normally occur nowhere else (or few other places) in the U.S. Among them: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Hook-billed Kite, White-tailed Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Whooping Crane, Red-billed Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Green Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Groove-billed Ani, Common Pauraque, Buff- bellied Hummingbird, Ringed and Green kingfishers, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical and Couch's kingbirds, Green Jay, Cave Swallow, Black-crested Titmouse, Clay- colored Thrush, Tropical Parula, Olive Sparrow, Altamira and Audubon's orioles. And Mexican rarities frequently occur: e.g., Masked Duck, Roadside Hawk, Northern Jaçana, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Rose-throated Becard, White-throated Thrush, Golden-crowned Warbler, Gray- crowned Yellowthroat, White-collared Seedeater, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Blue Bunting, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, and Black-vented Oriole have been found on some MBWeeks. We usually see around 210 species (our record is 231!), along with normal highs in the 70s. (Per- person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants: $860 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  0 on Waiting List  (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE above under SOUTH FLORIDA about registering for MBWs which are filled.  ~



Rio Grande, Zapata County, Texas (KRE photo)


PLEASE BE SURE TO NOTE THAT THE

REGISTRATION PROCEDURE FOR ALL MBWs

HAS BEEN REVISED FOR THE 2018-19 SEASON.


~  CLICK HERE FOR THE MBW REGISTRATION PAGE  ~


SEE BELOW FOR THE REGISTRATION STATUS

OF EACH MBWEEK – AND NOTE THAT

MOST ARE ALREADY FILLED. HOWEVER, FOR

SOME OF THESE IT MIGHT BE POSSIBLE TO SCHEDULE

AN EXTRA MBWEEK TO ACCOMMODATE ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS FROM THE CURRENT WAITING LISTS.


ANY REVISIONS IN THE SCHEDULE OR REGISTRATION STATUS

OF THESE CURRENTLY-FILLED MBWS WILL BE INCLUDED

IN FUTURE UPDATES OF THIS WEBSITE.


Bush Key, Dry Tortugas, Florida (KRE photo)



Minnesota Birding Weekends & Weeks (MBW), as it begins its 33nd season, continues to offer unique, modestly priced birding trips in association with the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union – we originated in 1986 as MOU Birding Weekends. After 32 years, we have now had a total of 107 MBWeeks involving over 1,200 participants, a composite list of 709 species, and our schedule of out-of-state MBWeeks includes Florida, Southern California (twice – in April & January), Southeast Arizona (also twice – in late summer & mid-winter), Washington & British Columbia, and South Texas.


Please be sure to note the relatively inexpensive cost of MBWeeks – typically less than half (sometimes close to a third!) of other tour company fees for similar trips. Please note as well our policy of providing “MBW store credit” refunds to MBWeeks participants if total trip expenses end up less than the amount budgeted.


In addition to our schedule of MBWeeks, please visit the  MBWEEKENDS  page elsewhere on this website for further information on these in-state MBWs.




MBWEEK SUMMARIES OF THE 2017-18 SEASON


APRIL 22 - MAY 1, 2017    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA I

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWEEK


JULY 1 - 14, 2017    NEWFOUNDLAND & NOVA SCOTIA

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWEEK


SEPTEMBER 8 - 17, 2017    WASHINGTON & BRITISH COLUMBIA

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWEEK


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FINAL MBWEEKS OF THE 2017-18 SEASON


CLICK on the MBWEEKS BELOW

for summaries of these MBWeeks and photo galleries from previous years


JANUARY 20 - 28, 2018  •  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA II


SEE DESCRIPTION OF THIS MBWEEK IN THE JANUARY 19-27, 2019

WINTER CALIFORNIA LISTING BELOW.


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  4 on Waiting List (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)


NOTE: Registering for a MBWeek after it is FILLED should still be considered

since there could be cancellations, or an extra MBWeek

can sometimes be arranged to accommodate those on the waiting list.


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FEBRUARY 13 - 20, 2018  •  SOUTH TEXAS

(Please note that the dates of this MBWeek have changed from those previously published.)


SEE DESCRIPTION OF THIS MBWEEK IN THE FEBRUARY 19-26, 2019

SOUTH TEXAS LISTING BELOW.


STATUS as of 1 DECEMBER 2017:

FILLED  /  2 on Waiting List (9 confirmed / limit 9 participants)

~  See NOTE above about registering for MBWeeks which are filled  ~



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2018 - 2019 MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS