MINNESOTA  BIRDING  WEEKS


APRIL 2019 - FEBRUARY 2020

~  Our 34th Season  ~




REMAINING MBWEEKS ON THE 2018-19 SCHEDULE



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. As for land birds: White-tailed Kite, Band-tailed Pigeon, Burrowing Owl, Anna's, Costa's and Allen's hummingbirds, woodpeckers (such as Nuttall's, White-headed, 3 sapsucker species), 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 Munia. 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 of these 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 3 DECEMBER 2018:  1 VACANCY


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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, hummingbirds (like Broad-billed, Violet-

crowned, Rivoli's), 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, Black-tailed and Black- capped gnatcatchers, Western Bluebird, five thrashers (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, Lawrece's Goldfinch, and others. Mexican rarities are possible as well – Ruddy Ground-Dove, Nutting's Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-backed Robin, Rufous- capped Warbler, and others have all been recorded on this MBW. (Per-person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants: $920 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 3 DECEMBER 2018:  FILLED (1 on Waiting List)


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FEBRUARY 17 - 25, 2019  •  SOUTH TEXAS I

FEBRUARY 25 - MARCH 5, 2019  •  SOUTH TEXAS II


Our 39th & 40th South Texas MBWeeks and vacations 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, Red-crowned Parrot, Green Parakeet, 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 often occur as well: 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, Black-vented Oriole and others have all been seen on this MBWeek! Normally we see around 210 species (our record is 231)...all of this along with normal high temperatures in the 70s. (Per-person fee on 2017 MBW with 9 participants: $860 double- occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 3 DECEMBER 2018:  BOTH FILLED (0 on Waiting List)


Farallon Islands pelagic trip finale



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NOTE THAT THE REGISTRATION PROCEDURE FOR ALL MBWs

HAS BEEN REVISED FOR THE 2019 - 2020 SEASON


Kidder County, North Dakota



Minnesota Birding Weekends & Weeks (MBW), as it begins its 34th 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 33 years, we have now had a total of 115 MBWeeks involving nearly 1,300 participants, a composite list of 711 species,

and our schedule of out-of-state MBWeeks includes Florida (twice – in April & in January),

a new Black Hills & western Dakotas MBW, Central California, 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.


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2019 - 2020 MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS










Other 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.)


All MBWeek deposits are $100 and payable when the preliminary information

is sent to those confirmed, about 3-4 months before the MBW;

the balance of the full MBWeek fee is due about 3 weeks before the trip.


Also note that the limit of participants on most MBWeeks will change

from 9 participants to 7 this season, resulting in higher per-person fees.


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

South Florida I which will led by Craig Mandel.


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APRIL 14 - 24, 2019  ~  SOUTH FLORIDA  I

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS SUMMARIES

AND PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS MBWEEK


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 2018 MBW (with

9 participants), including Dry Tortugas ferry: $1,530 double-occupancy + airfare + meals.


Status as of 3 December:  FILLED / 7 confirmed / limit 7; 2 on Waiting List

(see NOTE above on possibility of additional leader or extra MBW)


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JUNE 16 - 23, 2019  ~  BLACK HILLS, BADLANDS, and W. DAKOTAS

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY OF SPECIES

LIKELY TO BE SEEN ON THIS NEW MBWEEK


This MBWeek will be our first to the Black Hills-Badlands region of the western Dakotas, with its long list of "non-Minnesota" birds that are regularly found within just 400 miles or so west of here. Remarkably, there's no Minnesota record for 9 of them (Greater Sage-Grouse, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Red-naped Sapsucker, Dusky and Cordilleran flycatchers, Plumbeous Vireo, Pinyon Jay, Canyon Wren, Virginia's Warbler), and a dozen others have only occurred once or twice before! There may be little potential to add to your life list since none of the species are endemic (though "White- winged" Juncos are there – and there's even a recent record of Orange- billed Nightingale-Thrush!), all have been seen on other MBWeeks, and several are rare-Regular or Casual in Minnesota. Still, the birding will be fascinating in these Black Hills montane forests and scenic canyons, unique landscapes of the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks, vast tracts of arid grasslands, and countless wetlands of the North Dakota prairie pothole region.

For more information on all this, see  https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/BHBadlands-birding-trail.pdf and  https://sdou.org/Places/Places.aspx?id=bh . (And finally, note this MBWeek will be more like an extended MBWeekend, since we'll be car-pooling round-trip from western Minnesota.)

Estimated per-person fee with 14 participants: $680 double-occupancy + meals.


Status as of 3 December:  FILLED / 14 confirmed / limit 14; 18 on Waiting List

(see NOTE above on possibility of additional leader or extra MBW)


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JULY 27 - AUGUST 5, 2019  ~  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS SUMMARY

AND PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS MBWEEK


Please note: The dates of this MBWeek might be adjusted to match the

2019 Shearwater Journeys pelagic schedule which is due for release in January.  


This MBWeek, our sixth to California in summer, will include a wide range of habitats around San Francisco, Monterey, and the nearby Sierras. It will feature two pelagic trips to Half Moon and Monterey bays, where we can expect Black-footed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed, Buller’s and Sooty shearwaters, South Polar Skua, all three jaegers, Sabine’s Gull, and Cassin's and Rhinoceros auklets. Along the coast we should see such specialties as Brandt's and Pelagic cormorants, Ridgway's Rail, Black Oystercatcher, Wandering Tattler, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Heermann's Gull, Pigeon Guillemot, and Marbled Murrelet. Species found farther inland include Mountain and California quail, California Condor, Band-tailed Pigeon, Western Screech- and Northern Pygmy owls, White-throated Swift, Anna's Hummingbird, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Nuttall's and White-headed woodpeckers, Dusky and Pacific-slope flycatchers, Cassin’s and Hutton's vireos, Yellow-billed Magpie, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Western Bluebird, Wrentit, California Thrasher, MacGillivray's and Hermit warblers, Cassin's Finch, Tricolored Blackbird, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, and much more. Some 200 species are to be expected – along with a nice assortment of marine mammals. Estimated per-person fee with

7 participants, incl. 2 pelagic birding trips: $1,575 double- occupancy + air fare + meals.


Status as of 3 December:  FILLED / 7 confirmed / limit 7; 9 on Waiting List

(see NOTE above on possibility of additional leader or extra MBW)


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JANUARY 26 - FEBRUARY 2, 2020  ~  SOUTH FLORIDA  II

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS SUMMARY

AND PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS MBWEEK


Although some of Florida's specialties may not be present in winter, there is still much to see at this season in birder-friendly restored wetlands, along the beaches around Fort Meyers, at the uniquely famous Everglades National Park, within tropical hammocks of the upper Keys....and even in suburban neighborhoods and parks that host introduced exotics: the "countable" ones are  Egyptian Goose, Muscovy Duck, Monk, White-winged, and Nandy parakeets, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, and Spot-breasted Oriole. There are more waterbirds to see in winter than in other months – especially waders (e.g., "Great White" Heron, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork) and shorebirds (nearly 25 species). And some Florida specialties are even easier to find then: especially Short-tailed Hawk and Limpkin. Many other "non-Minnesota" species will also be targeted: both whistling-ducks, Northern Gannet, Magnificent Frigatebird, Snail Kite, Clapper and King (and perhaps Black?!) rails, Purple Gallinule, White-crowned Pigeon, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Florida Scrub-Jay, Painted Bunting, and Shiny Cowbird. Also note this will be the first of two or three MBWeeks this winter offering a respite from Minnesota's snow and cold – be prepared for average highs to be in the mid-70s rather than around 20. Estimated per-person fee with 7 participants: $1,050 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.


Status as of 3 December:  FILLED / 7 confirmed / limit 7; 4 on Waiting List

(see NOTE above on possibility of additional leader or extra MBW)  


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FEBRUARY 16 - 24, 2020  ~  SOUTH TEXAS

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS SUMMARIES

AND PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS MBWEEK


Our 41st MBWeek and escape from the 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. These species include: 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 occur frequently: 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, Black-vented Oriole, and others have all been found on this MBWeek. We usually see around 210 species (our record high is 231!) – and all of this with normal high temperaturs in the 70s. Per-person fee on 2018 MBWeek (with 9 participants): $890 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.


Status as of 3 December:  2 VACANCIES / 5 confirmed / limit 7; 0 on Waiting List






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Although most MBWs filled during the first week of registrations,

PLEASE NOTE it may be possible to schedule an additional leader

or extra MBWeek to accommodate extra persons for some MBWs

which are filled with long waiting lists. These will be posted

in later updates of this website as they occur.