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Milwaukee nature lovers eagerly await Horicon Marsh Bird Festival

Pie Billed Grebe
Pie Billed Grebe
Photography by Trisha Comardo

It is that time of the year again. The Milwaukee summer bird population is slowly finding its way back home to our Milwaukee habitat areas after their winter in the southern regions of the world. Despite the milder winter that we had, they haven’t returned quite as quickly as we thought they might although there have already been sightings of fledgling Robins which seems quite early.

Each year around Mother’s Day weekend, give or take a week, the Horicon Marsh Bird Club sponsors a birding festival for birders and nature lovers to attend and get acquainted with many of the resident and migrating birds that pass through our vicinity. Local bird watchers as well as birders from many of the surrounding states attend this festival each year. The festival this year is being held May 11 through May 14, 2012.

Activities for the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival include birding tours for attendees by foot, by bus and by boat. Some of the events include a little of each. Most of the hikes are rated easy to intermediate. The hikes and other tours are held unless the weather is extremely dangerous. Many Milwaukee nature lovers have enjoyed these tours in mist, rain, fog, and cold temperatures.

Activies included can also be enjoyed by the young or the old and anything in between. The tours can run from a couple hours to all day. Events also include:

Crafter Bird Houses and Feeders

Bird Banding Demonstrations

Birdcamp at Marsh Haven Nature Center where children ages 7 – 12 can enjoy a day of science, games, art, drama and music all with a bird-themed focus.

Wetland Water Bugs – attendees of all ages meet at the boardwalk and collect and learn about many of the aquatic creatures

Wild Birds of Prey – Barb Harvey of Horicon will give an introduction to Wisconsin raptors.

Wisconsin Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest Reception

Big Sit at Horicon Marsh – Be part of a group to gather and count as many species as possible viewed on Sunday May 13, 2012 within a 14 hour time period within a 17 foot circle.

These are just a few of the awesome nature loving, bird enthusiast activities that can be attended during the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. The festival is held from Friday May 11, 2012 through Monday May 14, 2012. Registration with mail in payment is required for many of the birding tours. Several other activities can be enjoyed for little to no cost. The full day tours fill up quickly. Many of the events have more than one day and time that one can attend.

For a full line up of activities, costs and registration visit the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival site here.

To view future articles by Trisha Comardo, select the subscribe button at the top of this article. Trisha also writes articles for the Milwaukee Hiking Examiner and Milwaukee Photography Examiner.


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