Bird Festival Event Registration

Primitive Camping

  • Thursday, May 11, 2017, 12:00pm–12:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Tenting area or camper parking is available at Marsh Haven Nature Center, located on the northwest corner of the Horicon Marsh (Highway 49), during the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. Facilities include: Pit toilets, potable water, and shared campfire area/picnic shelter. Nominal camping fee requested. Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.com for more information or to make reservations.

Habitat Birding Bus and Boat Tour: Friday

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 6:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $85.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 16

This is an all-day, two-part tour by bus and pontoon boat. Trip leaders are Darryl Tessen and Jeff Bahls. We will start at the south entrance of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center (Location A) and board a bus at 6 AM SHARP where we will bird some of the better habitat locations in and around Horicon Marsh. In the afternoon, we will "walk the plank" boarding at Blue Heron Landing (Location C), Hwy 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Captains Marc Zuelsdorf and Jerry Genzmer will be your guides for this part of the tour. The boat departs at 3:00 PM SHARP from Blue Heron Landing. Our main objective is to ID as many bird species as possible. Short hikes will provide easy walking and we will "try" to stay on dry ground. A box lunch & drink are included in the cost of this tour.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 9:00am–11:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy 33. at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 12:00pm–4:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Walk through the museum displays depicting the history and wildlife of Horicon Marsh. Walk the trails, visit the observation tower, browse the gift shop, and enjoy an opportunity to see Marsh Haven’s purple martin colony. Marsh Haven Nature Center is located at: W10145 Highway 49, on the north end of the marsh, just three miles east of Waupun.

Daily Admission: $3/adults, $2/children

Sightseeing Tour by Boat—Friday

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 1:00pm–2:00pm
  • Price: $12.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour narrated pontoon boat tour of the inner Horicon Marsh, observing the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $12.00, Ages 4-13 $6.25

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Beginning Birding

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 2:00pm–3:30pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Your hike leader will be Liz Herzmann. This program will introduce binocular and field guide use and bird identification. A short bird hike will accompany the program. The hike may be on uneven trails, but they are rated easy. This is for ALL ages that want to learn more about birding. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Nest Box Hike

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 4:00pm–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Join Marsh Haven Nature Center director, Renee Wahlen, as we hike the nest box trail. This easy hike will include frequent stops to monitor the 40+ nest boxes at Marsh Haven. We will record our discoveries and learn more about what birds are building nests and raising their young at the nature center.

Sounds & Dances - Dusk into Dark: Friday

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:00pm–10:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 34

Join Jack and Holly Bartholmai, Staff from Horicon NWR and Marc Zuelsdorf for this unique dusk into dark tour of critters that sing, call and dance as the sun sets and night falls on Horicon Marsh. The tour begins in the Marsh Haven Nature Center's Theater with a multi-media introduction to the critters that call and dance in the night. With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will be on the Auto Tour loop and boardwalk at dusk and stay AFTER DARK. The bus will stop to hear and see the Woodcock dance and to listen to songs and calls of our marsh's nocturnal birds and amphibians. Conditions permitting we will take a short walk down Old Marsh Road to enjoy the night sky and experience a new perspective of the marsh at night. Long pants and sleeves are recommended as well as closed toed shoes. Bring a flashlight if you wish. Meet in Marsh Haven Nature Center's theater at 7 PM. Registration with payment required.

 

The Big Sit at the Festival

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 4:00am–6:30pm
  • Free Event
  • Palmatory Street Overlook

Join Horicon Marsh Bird Club members for a unique way to bird watch!

From 4 AM to 6:30 PM we will identify as many bird species as possible from a 17-foot circle on the Observation Deck at the Palmatory Street Overlook. Come and join us for all or part of this annual event as we try to ID every bird seen and or heard from this location.

The Observation Deck has great views of the cattail marsh, open water, grassland, shrubbery and trees and give this location a high mark for species potential. We will have the species ID list posted and are looking for all the help that we can get into the 17 ft. circle. We've averaged 79 bird species during previous Big Sits and have a total species list of 112 from this Observation Deck over the last 4 Festivals. Feel free to check-in throughout the day to see where our count stands.

This year will be a green birding challenge: Big Sit vs Bigby Bikers. Which group will get the most species of birds?

Donations are greatly appreciated; as this is our main funding source for Club projects and the fun and educational Bird Festival. There will be a donation box located on the observation deck during the Big Sit. Donations can also be made on our website.

So we thank you in advance for your donation. Your generosity will go a long ways in helping support our Bird Feeding/Landscaping Complex project slated for the newly remodeled Horicon Marsh International Education Center. We are hoping to provide both outdoor and indoor bird observations into this area. So come join us at the Big Sit and who knows, you might be able to add a bird species or two to our list of birds.

Please note: All or parts of the event will be canceled if there is bad weather.

Horicon NWR "Loop of the Refuge" Bus Tour and Hike

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $35.00
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 31

Guides will be Greg Seegert and Jeff Bahls along with USFWS staff.
We will start at Horicon NWR headquaters, head out to Dike Rd, travel all the way across Dike Rd to the west side of the marsh. Hitting some grassland, marsh and forested sections along the way. A stroll along the Wild Goose trail at Chester Bridge and stops along Hwy. 49 are possible. Wear good walking shoes. Meet at Horicon NWR headquarters.

Dike Road, for those who are unfamiliar with Horicon Marsh is near the dividing line or border between the southern 1/3 of the marsh that is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the northern 2/3, which is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. With the cooperation of the USFWS, a portion of each registration fee is being donated to the Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. While the eastern half is made up of mostly cattail marsh and open water, the western part is primarily a mixture of trees/shrub & edge habitat. Meet at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z on the east side of the marsh. The bus will depart at 6:00 AM SHARP. Bring your own snacks.

First Light Birding Bus Tour: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 26

Trip leaders are Mary Evanson & Brad Webb. This is a field trip designed for birders who want to add as many species as possible to their bird lists. Be prepared to move by bus from location to location in search of migratory hot spots. There will be some walking but it is rated easy. We try our best to finish on time, but in the world of birding, bird activity is the deciding factor. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon. Please use the lower entrance on the south side of the building. Bus departs at 6:00 AM SHARP. Bring your own snacks.
Registration with payment required.

Bird Banding Demonstration

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 6:30am–11:00am
  • Free Event
  • Palmatory Street Overlook

Join UW-Oshkosh professor, Sheldon Cooper, to see our migrating songbirds close up and in the hand as they are captured, banded and released for study. Enjoy warblers, catbirds, sparrows and more! This is a public demonstration where visitors will be able to see how and why bird banding is conducted. It also provides one of the best opportunities to observe these amazing migrants up close.

Dr. Cooper’s interests are in thermoregulation and ecological energetics of songbirds, particularly chickadees and titmice. He has published many articles related to physiological changes in nonmigratory songbirds that are important for overwinter survival. Dr. Cooper served as the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Research Chair from 2006-2009.

Meet at the Palmatory Street Overlook, North Palmatory St. in Horicon.

Festival Information

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 6:30am–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Many of the Bird Festival events will begin at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. This center is a $4.8 million project made possible largely due to tremendous local support. The center features an auditorium, two classrooms, gift shop and a tremendous view of Horicon Marsh. Brand new exhibits called the Explorium opened in August of 2015. We hope you enjoy the exciting, interactive displays!

Volunteers will be on hand to provide information and direct visitors to the many events. Maps, Festival Booklets and other handouts will be available. Bird Festival pins, hats and shirts will be on sale and the gift shop will be open for those interested in purchasing something to remind them of their experience. We have a few festival pins available from previous years for those who forgot to purchase one at the time or for collectors. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00am–9:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy 33. at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00am–9:00am
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Join leaders for a hike that will focus on bird species along a boardwalk reaching out to Indermuhle Island through the marsh and covering a variety of habitats. Walking on uneven trails and in damp foliage is a possibility. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birding by Bicycle

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 8:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 15

Bigby (Big, green, bird year)

Green birding is birding done without the use of fossil fuels and/or the internal combustion engine. Green birders are self-propelled birders, e.g., walking, riding a bicycle, paddling a canoe or kayak, or using skis or snowshoes.

Join Wisconsin's reigning Bigby record holder Dan Scheinder on a bike ride of about 10-15 leisurely miles to some local birding spots around Horicon.

Bring your bike, biking stuff, (helmet, gloves, water bottles, etc.) and binoculars.

Dan will cover basic rules of the road, then set-off on a ride to several spots around Horicon.

We'll start at 8 AM and end about noon.

Leave from Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, Hwy. 28

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00am–11:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00am–6:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Watch a Refuge video, view interactive displays, observe the marsh from the viewing deck with spotting scopes and visit the Refuge gift shop. Opportunity to view the Wisconsin Federal Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit. No charge for programs or activities. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, is located at: W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z on the east side of the marsh.

Bird Lab

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00am–4:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Bring the whole family and explore the amazing world of birds. From learning about what makes a bird a bird, to seeing how you would measure up if you were a bird, there will be something for everyone. But before you leave make sure you get banded! Held on the outdoor patio of the education center or the lower lobby if inclement weather.

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Walk through the museum displays depicting the history and wildlife of Horicon Marsh. Walk the trails, visit the observation tower, browse the gift shop, and enjoy an opportunity to see Marsh Haven’s purple martin colony. Marsh Haven Nature Center is located at: W10145 Highway 49, on the north end of the marsh, just three miles east of Waupun.

Daily Admission: $3/adults, $2/children

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:30am–11:30am
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family Event

Join leaders for a hike that will focus on bird species along the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center trail system; a boardwalk reaching out to Indermuhle Island through the marsh and covering a variety of habitats. Walking on uneven trails and in damp foliage is a possibility. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birdy Scavenger Hunt

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10:00am–1:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family Event

Pick up your scavenger hunt in the lower level of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and let your birdy adventure begin! Travel through the center and its surrounding trails to learn about extinct birds, where to look for birds, and how you can make a difference for birds. Once finished, return your paper and receive a cool bird prize!

Birds, Butterflies, and Your Backyard

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 11:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

As the Monarch Butterfly faces declining numbers, we will discover more about these beautiful winged creatures, and discuss the monarch population at Marsh Haven Nature Center with director, Renee Wahlen. We will look at what makes a bird and butterfly friendly backyard and send you home with resources and seed to create your own backyard bird, butterfly, and pollinator-friendly garden. Also as part of this family-friendly program, create a flowering gift for that special mom on Mother's Day.

Daily Admission: $3/adults, $2/children

Wetland Water Bugs

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 11:00am–12:00pm
  • Free Event
  • NWR Boardwalk

For young explorers of all ages. Join us to collect aquatic creatures from the marsh and learn how they adapt to survive. Meet at the boardwalk at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge auto tour route, off of Hwy. 49. For more information, call 920-387-2658.

Birder's Brat Fry

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 11:00am–6:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

In between Bird Festival events, grab a bite to eat at Marsh Haven Nature Center's Birder's Brat Fry, or enjoy a relaxing meal from the food stand while watching the purple martins, yellow-headed blackbirds, and any other birds that make an appearance over the weekend. The food stand will be open until 6:00 pm on Saturday evening for those wanting to eat before the Night Sounds event.

Sightseeing Tour by Boat—Saturday

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 1:00pm–2:00pm
  • Price: $12.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour narrated pontoon boat tour of the inner Horicon Marsh, observing the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $12.00, Ages 4-13 $6.25

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Featured Speaker: Al Batt - Birder & Humorist

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 1:15pm–2:45pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Al Batt, of Hartland, Minnesota, is a writer, speaker, storyteller, and humorist. Al writes humor and nature columns for many newspapers and does regular radio shows about nature. He writes a number of popular cartoon strips that are syndicated nationally and is author of the book, "A Life Gone to the Birds." He is a columnist for "Bird Watcher’s Digest" and writes for a number of magazines and books. Al hosted TV shows for many years and speaks at various festivals, conferences, and conventions all over the world. He has received the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union for lifetime contributions to birding.

You don't have to be a birder to enjoys Al's talk. His down home wit, humor, and charm are some of the nation's best. Be prepared to laugh.

Al speaks to anyone who will listen. His mother thinks he is special.

Birding: Beyond the Backyard

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 2:45pm–4:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Your hike leader will be Liz Herzmann. This program will introduce binocular and field guide use and bird identification. A short bird hike will accompany the program. The hike may be on uneven trails but they are rated easy. This is for ALL ages that want to learn more about birding. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Purple Martin 101: Hints & Help

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Join Dick Nikolai, a retired wildlife biologist and master bird bander, as he discusses the basics on Purple Martins. Dick has been conducting ongoing research since 1985 on purple martins in Wisconsin, looking at site fidelity, cavity fidelity, longevity, pair fidelity, reproduction, weight, physical traits, types of housing success, and impacts of weather on weight. He will discuss the status of purple martins in Wisconsin, talk about failures of colonies, needs to be successful for attracting martins, and research with the use of banding. Weather permitting, Dick will capture some adult purple martins to discuss the physiology of these birds, and we will take a close-up look at Marsh Haven Nature Center’s purple martin colony.

Daily Admission: $3/adults, $2/children

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy 33. at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Avian Art

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 3:00pm–4:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

May 13th Avian Art – (3:00-4:00) Local art instructor Gerri Buteyn will share her signature style of painting birds as well as overall tips for improving your artwork. Horicon Refuge Visitor Center (Cty Rd Z).

Wisconsin Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest Reception

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 4:15pm–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

This is a recognition reception for local K-12th grade winners and their families. This reception is open to the public and you will have the opportunity to view the Junior Duck Stamp Contest exhibit. Meet at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z on the east side of the marsh. Sponsored by Friends of Horicon NWR.

Hot Spot Birding: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 4:30pm–7:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 28

Trip leader Jeff Bahls will be using the knowledge obtained from other festival field trips in finding various birding locations (Hot Spots) in hopes of adding as many species as possible in the time allotted. We may even strike out on our own to a new birding spot not included in this year's festival! Walking on uneven trails is possible. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon. Please use the entrance on the south side of the building. Bus departs at 4:30 PM SHARP. This event will be held again on Sunday.

Registration with payment required.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 6:00pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy 33. at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Sounds & Dances - Dusk into Dark: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00pm–10:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 36

Join Jack and Holly Bartholmai, Staff from Horicon NWR and Marc Zuelsdorf for this unique dusk into dark tour of critters that sing, call and dance as the sun sets and night falls on Horicon Marsh. The tour begins in the Marsh Haven Nature Center's Theater with a multi-media introduction to the critters that call and dance in the night. With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will be on the Auto Tour loop and boardwalk at dusk and stay AFTER DARK. The bus will stop to hear and see the Woodcock dance and to listen to songs and calls of our marsh's nocturnal birds and amphibians. Conditions permitting we will take a short walk down Old Marsh Road to enjoy the night sky and experience a new perspective of the marsh at night. Long pants and sleeves are recommended as well as closed toed shoes. Bring a flashlight if you wish. Meet in Marsh Haven Nature Center's theater at 7 PM. Registration with payment required.

Birds and Beers

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00pm–10:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Rock River Tap

Join your fellow festival goers and bird buddies at "The Rock".

Compare sightings and celebrate life birds.

Rock River tap has been a local hangout for decades. It features a nice deck along the shores of the Rock river, 6 beers on tap and a great food menu. Visit www.rockrivertap.com.

Screeches, Squawks and, Squeals of the Marsh

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017, 8:00pm–9:30pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

During the day, Horicon Marsh is a relaxing and tranquil place to enjoy nature. But the dark mysteries of the marsh at night can be "chilling" to those not accustomed to the sounds of nocturnal creatures. Hike leader Liz Herzmann will dispel the myths of the night as she helps you identify the many nocturnal sounds that come from within the cattails. This program will be conducted outside with easy walking but possible uneven terrain so remember to dress warm and bring a low powered flashlight. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon. Please use the lower entrance on the south side of the building.

Birding With Al Batt

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 32

Join Al Batt, birder and humorist, and this year's keynote speaker, along with local guides, on a bus trip to various spots around Horicon Marsh. We will look for the greatest variety of birds possible, exploring grasslands, woodlands, and marshes.

Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon. Please use the entrance on the south side of the building. Bus departs at 6:00 am SHARP. Registration with payment required.

Horicon NWR "Loop of the refuge" Bus Tour and Hike – Sunday

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $35.00
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 27

Guides will be Greg Seegert and Jeff Bahls along with USFWS staff.
We will start at Horicon NWR headquaters, head out to Dike Rd, travel all the way across Dike Rd to the west side of the marsh. Hitting some grassland, marsh and forested sections along the way. A stroll along the Wild Goose trail at Chester Bridge and stops along Hwy. 49 are possible. Wear good walking shoes. Meet at Horicon NWR headquarters.

Dike Road, for those who are unfamiliar with Horicon Marsh is near the dividing line or border between the southern 1/3 of the marsh that is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the northern 2/3, which is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. With the cooperation of the USFWS, a portion of each registration fee is being donated to the Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. While the eastern half is made up of mostly cattail marsh and open water, the western part is primarily a mixture of trees/shrub & edge habitat. Meet at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z on the east side of the marsh. The bus will depart at 6:00 AM SHARP. Bring your own snacks.

Bird Banding Demonstration

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 6:30am–11:00am
  • Free Event
  • Palmatory Street Overlook

Join UW-Oshkosh professor, Sheldon Cooper, to see our migrating songbirds close up and in the hand as they are captured, banded and released for study. Enjoy warblers, catbirds, sparrows and more! This is a public demonstration where visitors will be able to see how and why bird banding is conducted. It also provides one of the best opportunities to observe these amazing migrants up close.

Dr. Cooper’s interests are in thermoregulation and ecological energetics of songbirds, particularly chickadees and titmice. He has published many articles related to physiological changes in nonmigratory songbirds that are important for overwinter survival. Dr. Cooper served as the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Research Chair from 2006-2009.

Meet at the Palmatory Street Overlook, North Palmatory St. in Horicon.

Festival Information

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 6:30am–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Many of the Bird Festival events will begin at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. This center is a $4.8 million project made possible largely due to tremendous local support. The center features an auditorium, two classrooms, gift shop and a tremendous view of Horicon Marsh. Brand new exhibits called the Explorium opened in August of 2015. We hope you enjoy the exciting, interactive displays!

Volunteers will be on hand to provide information and direct visitors to the many events. Maps, Festival Booklets and other handouts will be available. Bird Festival pins, hats and shirts will be on sale and the gift shop will be open for those interested in purchasing something to remind them of their experience. We have a few festival pins available from previous years for those who forgot to purchase one at the time or for collectors. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 7:00am–9:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 to register

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 7:00am–9:00am
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family Event

Join leaders for a hike that will focus on bird species along the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center trail system; a boardwalk reaching out to Indermuhle Island through the marsh and covering a variety of habitats. Walking on uneven trails and in damp foliage is a possibility. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 9:00am–11:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Join your guide on a two-hour narrated birding adventure into the heart of the marsh by pontoon boat. Observe the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $20.00, Ages 5-13 $10.50

Call 920-485-4663 to register

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 9:00am–6:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Watch a Refuge video, view interactive displays, observe the marsh from the viewing deck with spotting scopes and visit the Refuge gift shop. Opportunity to view the Wisconsin Federal Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit. No charge for programs or activities. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, is located at: W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z on the east side of the marsh.

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Walk through the museum displays depicting the history and wildlife of Horicon Marsh. Walk the trails, visit the observation tower, browse the gift shop, and enjoy an opportunity to see Marsh Haven’s purple martin colony. Marsh Haven Nature Center is located at: W10145 Highway 49, on the north end of the marsh, just three miles east of Waupun.

Daily Admission: $3/adults, $2/children

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 9:30am–11:30am
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family Event

Join leaders for a hike that will focus on bird species along the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center trail system; a boardwalk reaching out to Indermuhle Island through the marsh and covering a variety of habitats. Walking on uneven trails and in damp foliage is a possibility. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Birder's Brat Fry

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

In between Bird Festival events, grab a bite to eat at Marsh Haven Nature Center's Birder's Brat Fry, or enjoy a relaxing meal from the food stand while watching the purple martins, yellow-headed blackbirds, and any other birds that make an appearance over the weekend. The food stand will be open until 6:00 pm on Saturday evening for those wanting to eat before the Night Sounds event.

Sightseeing Tour by Boat—Sunday

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 1:00pm–2:00pm
  • Price: $12.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour narrated pontoon boat tour of the inner Horicon Marsh, observing the birds and animals in their natural habitat. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $12.00, Ages 4-13 $6.25

Call 920-485-4663 to register

The Feather - Raptor Rehabilitation

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

The program Pat Fisher and her volunteers from The Feather Rehabilitation Center offers are “up close and personal” as she educates with LIVE birds on the glove. Pat will discuss the features that make each raptor a unique member of the birds of prey family. She will also talk about what it takes to rehabilitate these amazing birds. The Feather started to rehab in 1987 and applied for their own licenses in 1991. They started a relationship with Barbara Harvey at that time and she became their mentor for the years that followed. The Feather rehabbed all species at the start but in the later years started to limit their intake. They are a small backyard center and now only focuses on raptors and sandhill cranes. You can follow them on Facebook for more information - The Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education.