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11th Annual Turtle Mountain
Birding Festival

May 30 - June 1, 2014

Request Information

Click Here for the 2014 Schedule

"The logistics were beautifully arranged, the guides were superb, the cooks accommodating to my vegetarianism, and - of course - the birds were terrific.  Thanks very much for a great experience." -- MJK-- New York, NYbirding

Remarkable Field Trips

As we all know, the best birding locations are where a variety of habitats intersect. This law of nature makes Bottineau a true crossroads, where open prairie grasslands meet wooded hills and lake country. 

The Turtle Mountains provide clear lake sand marshes to attract water birds and ducks. Surrounding these wetland jewels, are vast aspen groves and expansive oak woodlands to explore for woodland raptors, Ruffed Grouse, songbirds, and flycatchers.

On the open prairie grasslands where native wildflowers abound, the plains attract a variety of larks,sparrows, buntings, raptors, and Sharp-tailed Grouse. And on this rolling plains region, innumerable wetlands attract the largest and most diverse concentration of nesting ducks in the country; most of the ducks are tied to the grasslands too, as the females select nesting sites amid the bountiful grasses of the uplands. The first broods of ducklings will be hatching while you attend the Turtle Mountain Birding Festival.

The Prairie River Refuge

birdingThe largest of the 62 refuges in North Dakota,J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge protects 59,000 acres of wetlands, prairies, woodlands, and associated habitats.hese varied habitats provide ideal conditions for about 300 species of birds, which may include concentrations of a half-million individuals of some species.

We'll be focusing on Swainson's Hawks,Franklin's Gulls, Black Terns, Western Grebes, bobolinks, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Upland Sandpipers, American  Avocets, Wilson's Phalaropes, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Gray Partridges, Canvasbacks and a dozen other ducks, and a wealth of other birds at nearby J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge. We will also search diligently for the rarer LeConte's Sparrows, Sprague's Pipits, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows,Clark's Grebes, and others. Pre-Festival scouting will emphasize these sought-after birds, so we expect a bountiful Festival checklist of birds.

The Turtle Mountainsbirding

Along the border of the United State sand Canada, the scenic forest and lakes region of the Turtle Mountains provides another popular birding destination featuring Lake Metigoshe, the "clear water surrounded by oaks," with groves of birches, aspens, ash, and American elms to attract a variety of forest birds. The region supports exciting Northwards species, including Common Loons, Red-necked Grebes, Bald Eagles,Broad-winged Hawks, American White Pelicans, Canvasbacks,  Redheads,Common golden eyes, Buffleheads, Wood Ducks, and many more. Songbird migration will be flourishing during the Festival, which offers the opportunity to see as many as 25 different species of warblers, plus several thrushes, vireos, orioles, and more.

The Northern Coteau Region

birdingSaturday will take us to Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge which lies in the highly productive prairie pothole region. This region produces more ducks than any other in the lower 48 states.  The refuge is a land of rolling hills mantled in short-grass and mixed-grass prairie interspersed with numerous wetlands. 

This unique combination of prairie and wetland is a boon to many species of wildlife.  Within the Northern Coteau, mallards nest in the highest densities ever recorded in North America on Miller Lake Island.  The Northern Coteau has the highest known densities of sharp-tailed grouse in North America and is an important migration stop for endangered whooping cranes.  Fall snow goose migration numbers peak at over 400,000 birds.  And Lostwood is the location where the coveted Baird's Sparrow was sited during last year's festival!

Come join the fun! Register today for the Turtle Mountain Birding Festival.

Festival Registration

The 3-day Turtle Mountain Birding Festival, including all lodging, meals, transportation, field guides,and the keynote event, is only $449 per person.

Non-birding spouses may stay on campus during the Festival for $29 per night and enjoy 3 meals on campus for $29 per day.

Those who prefer hotel accommodations are welcome to contact us for more information about area lodging.

To make your reservations, call

or email

Space is limited, so please call to reserve your spot for the Turtle Mountain Birding Festival today!

For those interested in extending their stay, check out our partners in Canada:

White Water Lake Bird Festivalbirding

Package includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch, supper & coffee breaks each day
  • Two nights of accommodation at Turtle Mountain Bible Camp
  • Transportation both days
  • Guide Service
  • Registration & Supper Monday, May 20th @ 6pm
  • Supper at 6pm, bird tour @ camp, dessert & coffee around campfire

For more information:

Contact Dale Banman

(204) 534-6303

© 2013 Dakota College at Bottineau / 105 Simrall Blvd. / Bottineau, ND 58318 / 1-800-542-6866 /701-228-5488 / Fax 701-228-5499 / Copyright Act