Minnesota Global Birders
I am one of the organizers behind the Minnesota Global Birders group. We have monthly presentations by people about trips that they've taken to various global destinations. Our first few years we had in-person presentations, but with the onset of COVID-19, we switched to an online format. One of the silver linings has been that we can record these presentations so that people can watch them later. This page is where we will house those recordings to make it easy to find and go back to. I'm also listing a few future presentations so you can plan for them! Click on the date link to get taken to the Eventbrite page for signing up. For past presentations, click on the title of presentation to get to the recording (which is stored on Google Drive).
Birding Colombia in 2019 and 2020 with Scott Clark
In 2016 treaties were signed ending a decades-long civil war in Colombia. The country then had a long uphill climb to create a new image that welcomed visitors and offered safe travel within its borders. Colombia has had a massive infrastructure rebuilding program, including development of a strong eco-tourism industry.
This month’s presenter for Minnesota Global Birders, Scott Clark, will highlight his two trips to Colombia in 2019 and 2020. These trips collectively covered portions of the central and eastern Andes (up to 13,000 ft.), the Magdalena River valley, the Caribbean coast, and the famous “sky island” of Santa Marta. With its amazing biodiversity, this geographically small country claims almost 2,000 bird species, 20% of the world’s bird population. Each trip netted around 400 species, and after eliminating duplicates the trip lists totaled around 575 species. Colombia’s varied geography affords a remarkably high level of localized speciation, and 45 endemic or near endemics were found, including one of the rarest birds in Colombia.
This presentation will feature birds with an emphasis on endemics, the unique geography of Colombia, the travel companies used, a brief history lesson of Alexander Von Humboldt, and the joys of traveling with other birders for 14 days straight!
Although it wasn’t specifically a birding tour, Gerald Hoekstra’s circuit around southern Peru offered many birding opportunities, including stops at Lake Titicaca, the famed Colca Canyon (where one can see the Andean Condor), a ride across the altiplano, and a birding trip with a guide across the Malaga Pass. The last stop of the trip was Machu Picchu. His presentation will include photos of both the sites and the birds.
Guatemala in northern Central America is less visited by American travelers than neighboring Belize or Costa Rica, but has a lot to offer for birders. Over 750 species of birds are found in a range of habitats including volcanic mountains, Pacific and Caribbean coastal lowlands, dry scrub thorn forest, and the tropical lowlands surrounding the Mayan ruins in the north. Our two-week visit yielded more than 320 of those species, as well as other non-avian wildlife. A number of these birds are regional endemics, not found in the more visited countries of Panama and Costa Rica. The presentation will also include some discussion of the challenges of birding in Guatemala.
November 17, 2020 7:00pm
For the October gathering of Minnesota Global Birders, Judith Benka will give a presentation on a 3-week trip to India in February, 2020. She and her family travelled almost 1,800 km overland, mainly in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The trip combined sightseeing (temples, forts, palaces, and ancient monuments) and wildlife viewing. They visited the National Chambal Sanctuary, Bandhavgarh National Park and Tiger Reserve, and Keoladeo National Park/Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur. They saw around 180 species of birds (many on local walks and in the grounds of hotels and resorts) and various mammals and reptiles.
October 19, 2020 7:00pm
Belize is a popular travel destination for Americans thanks to its rich Mayan heritage, English language, and proximity to the United States. But few tourists, let alone seasoned birders, know about its hawkcount secret. Join Alyssa in exploring the fall hawk-counting site of Punta Gorda as she describes the raptors and other avifauna of southern Belize.
September 30, 2020 7:00pm
In our August online gathering, Stephen Greenfield will give a presentation on his 2016 birding trip to Taiwan. Though much of the island is densely populated, over half is still forested and wildlife is well protected, which is especially striking in a region that is largely deforested and where birds and other animals are widely threatened by trapping and hunting.
The island is only 1/6 the size of Minnesota, so would not justify a birding trip and the long flight on its own, but is a great addition to a business trip or a visit to other countries in Asia. It also has 29 endemic bird species. This visit was only 6 days, en route to mainland China, so this will be a shorter presentation than the others we have had.
August 25, 2020 7:00pm