Events

December Program, Michael John Jaeger: Bird Conservation History

  • Thursday, December 21, 2017, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Michael John lives in his hometown of Madison. He studied environmental studies and ornithology at the University of Wisconsin, and had an early focus on marsh birds and shorebirds. Michael John considers himself mostly a recreational birder, which helps him in his quest to "wander about and explore the countryside."

January Program, Sheldon Cooper: How Small Birds Survive Wisconsin's Winters

  • Thursday, January 18, 2018, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Jack Bartholmai

Sheldon Cooper has worked on projects involving songbirds, kestrels, and American marten. He is most interested in thermoregulation in songbirds. Most of his research deals with how small, nonmigratory songbirds can survive in winter in cold temperate regions. Winter birds undergo a possible suite of changes including physiological, morphological or physical, and behavioral adjustments that allow them to survive the short days and long nights of winter.

February Program . Renee Wahlen: Wisconsin's Raptors with Live Animals

  • Thursday, February 15, 2018, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Join Renee Wahlen as she displays live raptors

March Program, Matthew Reetz: Climate Change & Bird Conservation

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Dr. Matthew Reetz
has served as the Executive Director of Madison Audubon
Society since September 2014. Matt received his B.S. in Biology with emphasis in
Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution from the University of Illinois where he worked
with birds in the swamps of Southern Illinois, post-doctorate research projects at UW-Madison focused on Sharp-tailed Grouse
in Wisconsin
Matt’s current favorite bird is the brainy American Crow. Matt will be speaking
about the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin’s birds
udy, with emphasis
on what the results are likely to mean for Wisconsin
and some of the species we all enjoy. Matt will also
lay out a roadmap for protecting our threatened
birds, including what we can do at personal, community and national levels.

April Program, Janet Eschenbauch: Wisconsin's American Kestrels

  • Thursday, April 19, 2018, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Central Wisconsin Kestrel Research is dedicated to the quest for knowledge about American Kestrels, while providing educational programs to the public. The program is run by Janet Eschenbauch and Amber Eschenbauch. Both are University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduates with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology. Janet and Amber speak to the public about the American Kestrel and lead field trips.

Primitive Camping

  • Thursday, May 10, 2018, 12:00pm–12:00am
  • 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.

Early Bird Bus Tour

  • Thursday, May 10, 2018, 3:30pm–6:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Your trip leader is DNR Wildlife Educator, Liz Herzmann. We will start at the south entrance of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center (Location A) and board a bus at 3:30 PM SHARP.  We will bird some of the better habitat locations in and around Horicon Marsh and do some early scouting for the festival.  This will be a great opportunity to explore areas of the marsh before the festival and hopefully catch an early rarity or two! Registration with payment required.

Habitat Birding Bus and Boat Tour: Friday

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 6:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $85.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 0

This is an all-day, two-part tour by bus and pontoon boat. 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.

Bird Walk in Waupun

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 7:30am–9:30am
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Join local birder/photographer, Rick Vant Hoff, on a walk along Waupun’s Rock River Boardwalk. This lovely nature trail walk may reward you with the sighting of thrushes, thrashers, woodpeckers, and a variety of warblers. The Rock River may also provide opportunity to see egrets and herons.

Meet at Marsh Haven at 7:30am to carpool/caravan into Waupun.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and Festival Information

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 9:00am–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.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 9:00am–4:00pm
  • 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

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 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. Open 12:00pm to 4:00pm weekdays and 9:00am to 5:00pm weekends.

Daily Admission: $3.00/adults, $2.00/children

Primitive Camping

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 12:00pm–12:00am
  • 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. $10.00/night for tents, $15.00/night for campers. Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.com for more information or to make reservations.

Primitive Camping

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 12:00pm–12:00am
  • 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.

Beginning Birding

  • Friday, May 11, 2018, 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 11, 2018, 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 11, 2018, 7:00pm–10:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 36

Join Jack and Holly Bartholmai, and USFWS staff, 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 wildlife you are likely to see and/or hear.  With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will then take a bus on the Auto Tour loop at dusk and stay AFTER DARK.  The bus will make stops to get out to hear and see the Woodcock dance and to listen to songs and calls of the marsh's nocturnal birds and amphibians.  Conditions permitting, we will take a short walk down Old Marsh Road and the Boardwalk 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 at Marsh Haven Nature Center's theater at 7pm. Registration with payment required.

The Big Sit at the Festival

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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'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.

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.

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

Location D: Palmatory Street Overlook

First Light Birding Bus Tour: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 36

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.

Birding Old Marsh Road - Bus Tour

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $35.00
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Join Jeff Bahls and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff on a guided birding bus tour across 3+ miles of the interior of the refuge via Old Marsh Road. A reconfigured route this year visits many of the normal hotspots that have been your favorites for so long, but this year we will be able to travel Old Marsh Road by bus. We will start at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and begin with some grassland, marsh and forested sections along the way to Old Marsh Road.  

This is a unique opportunity to travel an area of the marsh that is closed to public access during this time of the year.  Viewing highlights include many species of water birds, spring warblers etc. Wear good walking shoes. 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. Registration with payment required.

With the cooperation of the USFWS, a portion of each registration fee is being donated to the Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

Bird Banding Demonstration

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and Festival Information

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 spectacular view of Horicon Marsh. Brand new exhibits called the Explorium opened in August of 2015. We hope you enjoy these 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.

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 12, 2018, 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 Schneider 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. Payment and registration required.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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.

Birdy Scavenger Hunt - Saturday

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9:00am–4:00pm
  • 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!

Bird Lab

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9:00am–12:00pm
  • 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. Held on the outdoor patio of the education center or the lower lobby if inclement weather.

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Walk through the museum displays depicting the history and wildlife of the Horicon Marsh area. Walk the trails, visit the observation tower, browse the gift shop, and enjoy an opportunity to observe Marsh Haven’s purple martin colony. Marsh Haven Nature Center is located at: W10145 Highway 49, on the north end of the marsh, just east of Waupun. Open 12:00 to 4:00 pm weekdays and 9:00 am to 5 pm weekends.

Daily Admission $3.00/adults, $2.00/children

Crafter Bird Houses and Feeders - Saturday

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Bill Amidon of Into the Woods Woodcraft will be displaying his beautiful selection of cedar bird houses and bird feeders, along with sharing his birding knowledge and experience. A skilled woodworker from Campbellsport, Mr. Amidon will feature his finely crafted bluebird, kestrel, owl, wren, and bat houses. In addition, he will also have on display his suet, oriole, and tray feeders—all at Marsh Haven on Saturday and Sunday.

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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.

Wetland Water Bugs

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 12, 2018, 11:00am–3:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Between Bird Festival events, grab a bite to eat at Marsh Haven Nature Center’s Birder’s Brat Fry. Brats, beverages, homemade desserts and more will be served and offers an opportunity to enjoy lunch while watching the purple martins, yellow-headed blackbirds, and other birds that make an appearance over the weekend.Brat Fry proceeds benefit the Purple Martin Colony at Marsh Haven

Chili Lunch

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 11:00am–2:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Grab a bite to eat at the Horicon Marsh Education & Visitor Center’s Chili Lunch. Enjoy a relaxing meal while sitting inside the lower lobby of the visitor center, or enjoy the day at any of the picnic tables surrounding the visitor center.

Chili Lunch proceeds benefit the Friends of Horicon Marsh Education & Visitor Center.

Primitive Camping

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 12:00pm–12:00am
  • 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.

Sense of Wonder Discovery Trail Hike

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 1:00pm–2:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff on a guided birding tour along the new discovery trail near the refuge visitor center. Located at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, W4279 Headquarters Rd. off Cty. Rd. Z.

Featured Speaker - Al Batt

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 several 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. He is a trustee of the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines, Alaska. Al hosted TV shows for many years and speaks at various festivals, conferences and conventions all over the world. He has received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League, the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union for lifetime contributions to birding and was recognized by Bluebirds Across Nebraska for outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation. Al speaks to anyone who will listen. His mother thinks he is special.  You can purchase his book at the Flyway Gift shop located at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.

Birding: Beyond the Backyard

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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.

Wild Birds of Prey - Saturday

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 3:00pm–4:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Have you ever wanted to see a hawk or owl close up? This program will introduce some of Wisconsin’s raptors through a photo presentation, mounted specimens, and LIVE birds. These are educational birds and cannot be returned to the wild due to a variety of permanent injuries. The particular live birds may vary by program, but may include a Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl or Barred Owl.

Wisconsin Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest Reception

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 12, 2018, 4:30pm–7:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 1

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 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.Registration with payment required.

Birds and Beers

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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.

The 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.

Sounds & Dances - Dusk into Dark: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 7:00pm–10:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 36

Join Jack and Holly Bartholmai, and USFWS staff, 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 wildlife you are likely to see and/or hear.  With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will then take a bus on the Auto Tour loop at dusk and stay AFTER DARK.  The bus will make stops to get out to hear and see the Woodcock dance and to listen to songs and calls of the marsh's nocturnal birds and amphibians.  Conditions permitting we will take a short walk down Old Marsh Road and the Boardwalk 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. Registration with payment required. Meet at Marsh Haven Nature Center's theater at 7pm.

Screeches, Squawks and, Squeals of the Marsh

  • Saturday, May 12, 2018, 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 13, 2018, 6:00am–12:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 36

Join Al Batt, birder, 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.

Bird Banding Demonstration

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018, 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.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and Festival Information

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018, 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 spectacular view of Horicon Marsh. Brand new exhibits called the Explorium opened in August of 2015. We hope you enjoy these 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.

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018, 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.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018, 9:00am–4:00pm
  • 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 13, 2018, 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Walk through the museum displays depicting the history and wildlife of the Horicon Marsh area. Walk the trails, visit the observation tower, browse the gift shop, and enjoy an opportunity to observe Marsh Haven’s purple martin colony. Marsh Haven Nature Center is located at: W10145 Highway 49, on the north end of the marsh, just east of Waupun. Open 12:00 to 4:00 pm weekdays and 9:00 am to 5 pm weekends.

Daily Admission $3.00/adults, $2.00/children

Birdy Scavenger Hunt - Sunday

  • Sunday, May 13, 2018, 9:00am–4:00pm
  • 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!