Sprague's Pipit. Baird’s Sparrow. Le Conte’s, Nelson’s Sharptail sparrows, Chestnut Collared Longspurs. bird photos, photos of birds NEWS

Birding Drives Dakota  |  PO Box 26  |  Jamestown, ND 58401  |  888-921-2473  |  info@birdingdrives.com
Birding Drives Dakota  |  PO Box 26  |  Jamestown, ND 58401  |  888-921-2473  |  info@birdingdrives.com
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A hardcover book written by Chris Santella, Fifty Places to Go Birding Before You Die: Birding Experts Share The World's Greatest Destinations, points out North Dakota as a premier birding destination.  It recommends Birding Drives Dakota and the Jamestown-Carrington region as a hotspot for birders.
But it isn’t the only bestselling book extolling the virtues of the Jamestown-Carrington region as a birding destination. “1000 Places to See Before You Die:  A Traveler’s Life List” also recommends the area and advises travelers worldwide to travel to Birding Drives Dakota’s annual “Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival.”
Both books may be purchased at Amazon.com.  Information regarding “50 Places” is available at http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Places-Birding-Before-You/dp/1584796294, and more on “1000 Places” is available at http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/.
Birding Drives Dakota, a non-profit organization, was recently awarded an $8000 grant from the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation in support of its efforts to promote nature based tourism in this area.  Grant monies will be used for national advertising in major birding publications as well as for support of the organization and its efforts in organizing the Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival which will be held in Jamestown, June 3-7, 2009. 
The festival, which brings in approximately 100 participants from across the United States, will help in the promotion of North Dakota as a prime birding hotspot according to Debbie Alber, program manager. Festival goers will not only have the opportunity to explore Jamestown and the surrounding area but will also visit several of our local wildlife refuges including Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge as well as a tour to the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.
Birding Drives Dakota, a non-profit organization, that promotes birding and nature-based tourism in North Dakota held their board meeting on March 5 at the Buffalo Mall Community Room.  Present were board members, Connie Krapp, Merri Mooridian, Laurie Dietz, Ann Hoffert. Guests present were Kim Hanson and Debbie Alber. The board welcomed a new board member, Lance Brower, Jamestown.  Brower, Stutsman County Extension Agent, works for the NDSU Extension Service, Stutsman County.  Brower will be a welcome addition to the board with his expertise in economic development and also the possibility of combining the outdoor sport of geocaching with BDD’s goal of promoting nature-based tourism.  
Highlights of the meeting included details concerning the Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival that will be held in Jamestown on June 3-7, 2009.  For more information about the festival visit the website, www.birdingdrives.com or call 888-921-2473. Alber reported that raffle tickets are being sold to raise monies for the festival. Tickets are available from board members for $1 per ticket.
Plans are being made to install kiosks in Jamestown and Carrington. The next meeting is scheduled for April 6 at 4:00 p.m. at the Chieftain in Carrington. 
The Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival which will be held in Jamestown, June 3-7, 2009, recently received a $1000 donation from Garrison Diversion to help support festival events.  The festival will bring approximately 100 participants to the Jamestown area where they will be involved in birding tours, seminars and social events. The festival already has registrants from California, Washington, South Carolina, Nebraska, Rhode Island, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and North Dakota according to coordinator, Debbie Alber.  
The festival is organized by Birding Drives Dakota, a 501c-3 non-profit organization, that promotes nature-based tourism for this region.  For more information about how you can contribute either as a volunteer or supporter please contact Debbie Alber, coordinator, at 701-269-1446 or email info@birdingdrives.com.  For more information about Birding Drives Dakota and the festival visit the website at www.birdingdrives.com.
In support of their efforts to improve the artistic quality of their arts programming, Birding Drives Dakota applied for and was awarded a $600 Special Projects Grant by the North Dakota Council on the Arts. This state funded grant program is designed to help arts organizations with training opportunities or for hiring consultants and technical or artistic directors. This program also benefits artists by providing financial assistance for educational opportunities relating to the arts and arts development. 
The grant will help to provide funds to Birding Drives Dakota for the 2009 Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival that will be held in Jamestown, June 3-7. “This grant will allow us to provide festival participants not only access to great birding in North Dakota but will also help us enhance their total festival experience,” says Debbie Alber, program manager. “The festival offers several different venues where participants learn through various art forms including photography, historical storytelling, music, drawings, and theater.” 
Birding Drives Dakota is a non-profit organization that promotes nature based tourism in North Dakota. In 2003 it organized the Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival that attracts birders from across the country.  The event is filled with bird watching tours, seminars, as well as social and cultural events. For more information visit the website at www.birdingdrives.com or call 888-921-2473. 
The North Dakota Council on the Arts is the state agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout North Dakota, and is funded by the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The deadline for Special Projects Grants is four weeks prior to the start of the activity. For more information, contact the Council on the Arts at 701-328-7594 or visit www.nd.gov/arts. 
The 2009 7th Annual Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival was held in Jamestown. “The festival was a huge success,” stated Debbie Alber, program manager. “The festival involved 108 participants that traveled to Jamestown from fourteen states.”  Highlights of the five day event included sightings of 148 different bird species, with almost all of the participants registering at least one life bird and some up to seven. Some of these birds included the Baird’s and LeConte sparrows and gray partridge. Life birds are birds that participants are seeing for the first and probably the only time in their life. She stated, “Participants voiced their enjoyment of the wonderful birding, wide open spaces and beauty of North Dakota.” “They reiterated time and time again that they were going home to spread the word about their North Dakota birding experience.”  Festival attendees enjoyed tours to Arrowwood Refuge, Chase Lake, Horsehead Lake and the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. They also participated in educational seminars, specialty (small group) tours and social events which included a picnic at the National Buffalo Museum, Wild West Show at the Frontier Village, wine tasting at The Arts Center and banquet at the Reiland Center, Jamestown College. The festival is organized by Birding Drives Dakota (BDD), a non-profit organization formed to position North Dakota and the prairie potholes region as a premier destination for birders and others pursuing nature-based activities.  “This festival would not be possible without the support of the Jamestown and Carrington communities,” stated Alber.  “We were fortunate to have monetary help from several major sponsors, received some grant monies, and had businesses who donated food, beverages and items for the silent auction.” Plans are already underway for the 8th Annual Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival which will be held in Carrington, June 9-13, 2010. For more information about the festival and Birding Drives Dakota visit the website at www.birdingdrives.com, email info@birdingdrives.com or call 888-921-2473.