MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS

MARCH 2017 - FEBRUARY 2018

~ Our 32nd Season ~


Cape St. Mary's Seabirds Sanctuary, Newfoundland



Minnesota Birding Weekends & Weeks (MBW), as it enters its 32nd 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 31 years, we have now had a total of 100 MBWeeks involving nearly 1,200 participants, a composite list of 708 species (!), and our schedule of out-of-state MBWeeks includes Southern California (twice), Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, Washington & Br. Columbia, and South Texas.


And 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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ALSO BE SURE TO NOTE THE DETAILED INFORMATION ON MBWEEKS REGISTRATIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

FOLLOWING THE 2017-18 SCHEDULE.



2017 - 2018 MINNESOTA BIRDING WEEKS



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 arranged to accommodate those on the waiting list.

(Full refund of the MBWeek's deposit is provided if no vacancies develop.)


CLICK on the MBWEEKS BELOW

for summaries of these MBWeeks and photo galleries from previous years


(Please note that future changes in this schedule are possible,

and updates on these will appear on this website –

i.e., dates may have to be adjusted due to limited lodging availability

or to coincide with the schedules of flights, ferries, pelagic trips, etc.)



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APRIL 22 - MAY 1, 2017    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA I

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY OF THIS MBWEEK


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JULY 1 - 13, 2017    NEWFOUNDLAND & NOVA SCOTIA

~  $50 deposit  ~


This MBWeek has to be nearly two weeks long with so much to see. Vast and spectacular seabird colonies at Cape St. Mary's and Witless Bay in Newfoundland host Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, both Common and Thick-billed murres, Black Guillemots, and Black-legged Kittiwakes – most of these nesting by the thousands, even tens of thousands, with many of the puffins and gannets as close as 50 feet away! If fog-free, our two ferry crossings between provinces should yield Leach's and Wilson's storm-petrels, Northern Fulmar, three shearwaters (Manx, Great, and Sooty), a jaeger or two, and maybe even a skua or Red Phalarope. Elsewhere in these two provinces are Common Eider, all three scoters, both Rock (difficult hike optional) and Willow ptarmigans, Great Cormorant, Black-headed Gull (nesting in Newfoundland), Arctic Tern, Bicknell's Thrush (now declining and elusive), and Nelson's Sparrow. All this plus whales (four species possible – especially Humpbacks) and other marine mammals, caribou in the barrens, moose, spectacular scenery, fresh lobster and other seafood, a unique mix of cultures and the rich history of this Atlantic Canada region – even some of the bird names and highway signs are uniquely cryptic! Per-person fee on 2015 MBW with 9 participants, including 2 ferry crossings: $1,610 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.


STATUS as of 31 MAY 2017:

FILLED  (9 confirmed / 2 on waiting list / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE under CLICK HERE TO REGISTER on registering for FILLED MBWs  ~


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SEPTEMBER 9 - 17, 2017    WASHINGTON & BRITISH COLUMBIA

~  $50 deposit  ~


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 found 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. A 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, some "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, and Golden-crowned Sparrow. Per-person fee on 2016 MBW with 9 participants, including pelagic trip: $1,130 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.


STATUS as of 31 MAY 2017:

FILLED  (9 confirmed / 3 on waiting list / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE under CLICK HERE TO REGISTER on registering for FILLED MBWs  ~


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JANUARY 20 - 28, 2018    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA II

~  $50 deposit  ~


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 Le Conte's thrashers, California and Abert's towhees, Sagebrush and Bell's sparrows, Tricolored Blackbird, and introduced 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 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 31 MAY 2017:

FILLED  (9 confirmed / 1 on waiting list / limit 9 participants)


~  See NOTE under CLICK HERE TO REGISTER on registering for FILLED MBWs  ~


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FEBRUARY 18 - 25, 2018  • SOUTH TEXAS

~  $50 deposit  ~


This will be our 37th South Texas MBWeek – and vacation from the Minnesota winter! – and little wonder this trip is so popular given such a long list of birds here that normally occur nowhere else (or few other places) in the U.S. These 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, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical and Couch's kingbirds, Green Jay, Cave Swallow, Black-crested Titmouse, Clay-colored Robin, Tropical Parula, Olive Sparrow, Altamira and Audubon's orioles, and more. Mexican rarities frequently occur as well, with 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 on recent MBWs here. In all, we usually see around 210 species (our record is 231) – along with normal highs in the 70s. Per-person fee on 2016 MBW with 9 participants: $940 double-occupancy + air fare + meals.


STATUS as of 31 MAY 2017:

1  VACANCY  (8 confirmed / 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 arranged to accommodate those on the waiting list.

(Full refund of the MBWeek's deposit is provided if no vacancies develop.)



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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, OFTEN ON THE FIRST DAY THAT REGISTRATIONS ARE ACCEPTED. The maximum number of confirmed registrations 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.


• MBWeek information on the flight options, lodging, meeting time and place, itinerary, final 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/from the base city) and meals are not included in the fees.


• Full payment for MBWeeks is generally due 3-4 weeks before the MBW. 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.


All MBW participants are expected to be Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union members (see http://moumn.org/join.html for membership information.


Please note these changes in policy on MBWeek cancellations:


  If you register and are confirmed for a MBWeek, there will be no refund or MBW "store credit" of your $50 deposit if you cancel at any time after you are confirmed. (This policy has become necessary because some MBWeeks immediately become filled with waiting lists on the opening day of registration, and only those who definitely plan to be participants should register; accordingly, please check your calendar for the coming year and don't register for a MBWeek that may conflict with other plans.)     


  If you are placed on a waiting list for a MBWeek, you will receive a full refund of your $50 deposit if not enough cancellations/vacancies ever occur for you to be confirmed.


  If a cancellation/vacancy occurs for you to be confirmed up until 3 months before the MBWeek, there will be no refund or MBW "store credit" of your deposit if you decline to be confirmed for that vacancy.


  If you request to be removed from a waiting list at any time, you will receive MBWeek "store credit" (not a refund) of your $50 deposit; this credit can be applied to any future MBWeek or MBWeekend deposit or payment.