Most Minnesota Bed and Breakfast (B & B) businesses are certainly bird friendly and many have gone out of their way to promote bird activities. As examples- Suzanne Tweten, Loghouse and Homestead on Spirit Lake has set up bird feeding stations and bird houses throughout her B&B’s extensive property and she actively promotes Detroit Lakes’ Festival of Birds held in May. For birders going to New Ulm’s Swan Lake Wildlife Area, the Auf Deutsche Strasse Bed & Breakfast serves breakfast, as early as 4 a.m. or packs-up a “breakfast box” for bird watchers, who are “off” to an early start. Red Wing’s Golden Lantern Inn has a special rate offered to birdwatchers attending the area’s “Eagle Spot” Bird feeding stations are common at most Bed and Breakfasts, and B&Bs are enthusiastic promoters of their local birding festivals and guided bird tours.
Now, the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association in collaboration with Explore Minnesota Tourism along with noted state birders: Sharon Stiteler, the Bird Chick; Ron Windingstad, Audubon Minnesota; Bill George, Minnesota Ornithological Union; and Carol Hendrickson, Supervisor of Minnesota DNR’s Non-game Wildlife Program, are developing a statewide birding program. This new program called Bed and Breakfast and Birding (BB&B) will actively promote Minnesota’s bird friendly B&Bs. Some of the activities participating B&Bs will be offering are guided and/or unguided birding tours, bird viewing at bird feeding stations, the promotion of local bird festivals and special birding packages.
Currently twenty-six B&Bs have undergone training for the program; more B&Bs are expected to join later. Poplar Creek Guesthouse, is one of the B&Bs that plans to take part in the program. Barbara Young, co-owner at Poplar Creeks states, “we are very excited about this new program. We plan to offer special packages for guided and unguided bird tours with B&B stays. Presently we are working with Minnesota Backyard Birds, to develop additional bird feeding stations and bird housing around our property.”
According to the Association’s Executive Directors and owner of Classic Rosewood B&B, Pam Thorsen, “we plan to officially launch this new birding adventure in the spring, 2008. If you are interested in birding or would like to learn more about this activity, expect to find it at Minnesota’s Bird Friendly B&Bs.” >