Minnesota Birding Weeks

 

   MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS

   APRIL 2014 - FEBRUARY 2015

   ~ Our 29th Season ~




































Cape St. Mary’s Seabirds Sanctuary, Newfoundland



Minnesota Birding Weekends & Weeks (MBW) is now entering its 29th season offering unique, modestly priced birding trips in association with the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union – we originated in 1986 as MOU Birding Weekends. After 28 years, we have now had a total of nearly 70 MBWeeks involving over 800 participants, and this season our out-of-state MBWeeks will feature High Island-Hill Country in Texas and central California, as well as Newfoundland-Nova Scotia, Washington-British Columbia, southern California & Arizona, and South Texas.


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


(In addition to our schedule of MBWeeks, please visit the MBWEEKENDS page elsewhere on this website for further information.)


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MBWeek registrations and deposits will accepted on a “first-come-first-served" basis, based on U.S. mail postmarks (i.e., the date the registration is mailed, not the date it is received), and please note that SOME MBWEEKS BECOME FILLED SEVERAL MONTHS IN ADVANCE, SOMETIMES ON THE FIRST DAY THAT REGISTRATIONS ARE ACCEPTED. Maximum registration for most MBWeeks is 9 participants.


Multiple MBWs can be included on a single registration form and on a single check: please make checks payable to M.B.W. All MBW registrations must include an e-mail address. Unless a MBW is filled, checks are deposited as they are received and registrations are confirmed by e-mail.


Confirmed registrants canceling at least two months in advance of a MBWeek will receive a refund of 80% of their deposit; refunds for later cancellations would depend on the individual circumstances. Full payment of the MBWeek fee is generally due 3 weeks before the MBWeek begins. Those remaining on waiting lists who are not confirmed for a MBW receive full refunds of their deposits.


Please note that the cost of a MBWeek depends on the number of participants. Those who cancel out of a MBWeek for which they were confirmed may still be obligated to cover certain expenses: e.g., if any non-refundable payments had been made on their behalf, or if their cancellations result in higher per-person costs for shared trip expenses.


MBWeek information on the flight options, lodging, meeting time and place, itinerary, updated cost estimates, etc. is sent by e-mail to those registered, usually about 3 months before the MBW. MBWeek fees generally include transportation expenses (usually by rented vehicles), leader’s fees and expenses, entry fees/permits, and lodging during the MBW. Air fares (or other travel expenses to the base city) and meals are not included in the tour costs.


All MBW participants are expected to be members of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union (http://moumn.org/join.html).


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CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR MBWEEKS


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 scheduled to accommodate those on the waiting list.

(Full refund of the MBW deposit is provided if no vacancies develop.)


~ 2014-15 MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS ~


CLICK on the HIGHLIGHTED NAME of a MBWEEK

for summary/summaries of this MBW from previous year(s)



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• APRIL 19 - 27, 2014  ~  HIGH ISLAND & HILL COUNTRY

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWeek

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• JUNE 29 - JULY 11, 2014  ~  NEWFOUNDLAND & NOVA SCOTIA

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWeek

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AUGUST 9 - 18, 2014  ~  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWeek

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• SEPTEMBER 11 - 21, 2014  ~  WASHINGTON & BR. COLUMBIA

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWeek



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[ DECEMBER 26, 2014 - JANUARY 1, 2015  ~  SOUTH TEXAS  I ]


See South Texas II below for description of this MBWeek: this 6-day MBW will be two days shorter and will consequently have an even lower fee. Birding in the Zapata-San Ygnacio-Laredo area, primarily for White-collared Seedeater, will not be included on this itinerary. (Per-person fee on 6-day 2014 MBW II with 9 participants: $770 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 22 OCTOBER 2014: TENTATIVELY CANCELED (insufficient registrations).


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[ JANUARY 17 - 24, 2015  ~  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ]


This MBWeek and winter vacation includes a full week in California's highly varied coastal, montane, and desert habitats near San Diego, along with the unique Salton Sea region. Some 200 species are possible, including a long list of non-Minnesota species: e.g., Brant, Eurasian Wigeon, Black-vented Shearwater, Brandt's and Pelagic cormorants, White-tailed Kite, Clapper Rail, several shorebirds (including Mountain Plover, Wandering Tattler, and Surfbird), Heermann's and Yellow-footed gulls, Royal Tern, Black Skimmer, 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 Le Conte's thrashers, California and Abert's towhees, Sage and Golden-crowned sparrows, Tricolored Blackbird, and many others. Unexpected strays are always possible, as evidenced by sightings of Pacific Golden-Plover, Thick-billed and Tropical kingbirds, and Red-throated Pipit on previous MBWeeks here. Note this trip will start in San Diego, end in Phoenix, and can be combined with Arizona – for two full weeks of relatively balmy 60s and 70s! (Per-person fee on 2014 MBW with 8 participants: $980 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 22 OCTOBER 2014: TENTATIVELY CANCELED (insufficient registrations).


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[ JANUARY 25 - FEBRUARY 1, 2015  ~  SOUTHEAST ARIZONA ]


As noted above, you can take this MBWeek alone, or along with California for a full two-week winter vacation. Though many summer Arizona specialties are absent in winter, the weather then will be much more moderate, and around Phoenix and southeast of Tucson we can still expect: 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), 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-throated, Sage, and Yellow-eyed Junco), Hepatic Tanager, Pyrrhuloxia, and more. Mexican rarities are regularly seen here, with Ruddy Ground-Dove, Rufous-backed Robin, and Rufous-capped Warbler on our past MBWs as examples. Combine this with California’s MBWeek, and some 250 species are likely. (Per-person fee on 2014 MBW with 9 participants: $845 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 22 OCTOBER 2014: TENTATIVELY CANCELED (insufficient registrations).


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• FEBRUARY 14 - 22, 2015  ~  SOUTH TEXAS  II  ~  $100 deposit


Our 32nd South Texas MBWeek – and vacation from Minnesota's winter weather! In the lower Rio Grande River Valley there's a long list of birds which normally occur nowhere else in the U.S. These include: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Muscovy Duck, Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Hook-billed Kite, White-tailed Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Whooping Crane (Aransas N.W.R.), Red-billed Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Green Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Groove-billed Ani, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Common Pauraque, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Ringed and Green kingfishers, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical and Couch's kingbirds, Green Jay, Cave Swallow, Black-crested Titmouse, Clay-colored Robin, Tropical Parula, White-collared Seedeater, Olive Sparrow, Altamira and Audubon's orioles, and more. Mexican rarities – the possibilities too numerous to mention – also occur each winter, with Masked Duck, Roadside Hawk, Northern Jaçana, Rose-throated Becard, Brown Jay, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Blue Bunting, Black-vented Oriole on recent MBWs. Also likely: a trip list of 210-220 species and highs in the 70s – 50º warmer than in Minnesota. (Per-person fee on 2014 MBW I with 8 participants: $1,040 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.)


STATUS as of 22 OCTOBER 2014: 7 registered / 2 vacancies (limit 9 participants).



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CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR MBWEEKS


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 scheduled to accommodate those on the waiting list.

(Full refund of the MBW deposit is provided if no vacancies develop.)