Festival Event Schedule

Registration for the 2020 Horicon Marsh Bird Festival will open in mid-January.  Pre-registration for bus tours will close on Tuesday, May 5 at noon. Remaining seats (if any) will be listed under each event online.  Once registration closes, remaining seats will be filled on a first come first serve basis the day/time of the event. Payment for walk-ons is cash only.  Registrations for boat tours can be made by calling 920-485-4663.  Thanks for your interest in the festival – looking forward to another great event!

Primitive Camping

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:00am–5:59am
  • 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/night for tents, $15/night for campers.

Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.org for more information or to make reservations or visit www.marshhaven.org/birdfest for online reservations.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Sightseeing Tour by Boat

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:30pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $14.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

Observe the birds and animals of Horicon Marsh in their natural habitat as we explore the inner marsh by pontoon boat. This event kicks off with a 30 minute video followed by an hour-long narrated boat tour through Horicon Marsh's interior. Tours depart from Blue Heron Landing, Hwy. 33 at the bridge in downtown Horicon. Adults $14.00, Ages 4-11 $7.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Early Bird Bus Tour

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 9:30pm–12:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 0

Your trip leaders will be DNR Wildlife Educator, Liz Herzmann and Dodge County Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas coordinator, Matt 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 fantastic opportunity to explore areas of the marsh before the festival and hopefully catch an early rarity or two! Registration with payment required.

Primitive Camping

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 6:00am–5:59am
  • 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/night for tents, $15/night for campers.

Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.org for more information or to make reservations or visit www.marshhaven.org/birdfest for online reservations.

Habitat Birding Bus and Boat Tour: Friday

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 12:00pm–11:00pm
  • Price: $85.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 1

This is an all-day, two-part tour by bus and pontoon boat. Your tour guides will be Daryl Tessen, Pat Horn, 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. Registration with payment required.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 3:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and Festival Information

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 3:00pm–11:00pm
  • 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 schedules 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

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.  FULL

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 6:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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

Sightseeing Tour by Boat

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 6:30pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $14.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour 30 minutes 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 $14.00, Ages 4-11 $7.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Beginning Birding

  • Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:00pm–9:30pm
  • 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 10, 2019, 10:00pm–11:00pm
  • 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 some of 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 10, 2019, 1:00am–4:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 0

Your tour guide will be 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 at Marsh Haven Nature Center. With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will 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 at 7pm.

Primitive Camping

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 6:01am–5:59am
  • 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/night for tents, $15/night for campers.

Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.org for more information or to make reservations or visit www.marshhaven.org/birdfest for online reservations.

The Big Sit at the Festival

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 10:00am–12:30am
  • 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.

First Light Birding Bus Tour: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 12:00pm–6:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 8

This is a field trip designed for birders who want to add as many species as possible to their bird lists. Field trip leaders are Brad Webb and Marty Evanson.  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 11, 2019, 12:00pm–6:00pm
  • Price: $35.00
  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 0

Join Jeff Bahls and Greg Seegert 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 11, 2019, 12:30pm–5:00pm
  • 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 11, 2019, 12:30pm–11:00pm
  • 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 schedules 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 11, 2019, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • 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 Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

 

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Birding by Bicycle

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 2:00pm–6:00pm
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 3

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 Dodge County’s Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator, Matt Herzmann for 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. Matt 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 11, 2019, 3:00pm–12:00am
  • 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

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 3:00pm–11:00pm
  • 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 5:00 pm weekends.

Daily Admission $3.00/adults, $2.00/children

Birdy Scavenger Hunt - Saturday

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 3:00pm–10:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family activity.  Pick up your scavenger hunt at the information table at 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!

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.    FULL

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 3:30pm–5:30pm
  • 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.

NEW! Bird Nest ID Walk

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 4:00pm–5:30pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Take your birding knowledge to the “nest” level by learning to identify birds by nest! Join leaders for a walk that will highlight the differences in birds’ nests by cracking open various nest boxes. Discover how to find out who’s home and how to promote nesting in your own backyard. Meet in the lower lobby at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Chili Lunch

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 5:00pm–8:00pm
  • 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.

Birder's Brat Fry at Marsh Haven

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 5:00pm–9:00pm
  • 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. 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.

Sightseeing Tour by Boat

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 6:30pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $14.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour 30 minutes 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 $14.00, Ages 4-11 $7.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.   FULL

Featured Speaker - Karla Bloem

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7:15pm–8:45pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Karla Bloem, director of the International Owl Center in Houston, MN will be the featured speaker for the 2019 Horicon Marsh Bird Festival.  She will be presenting on “Real Life Great Horned Owl Soap Operas”!

If this sounds like a soap opera, it is!  But it’s a real life, true-as-true-can-be owl soap opera that has taken place just outside of Houston, Minnesota and has formed the basis for our in-depth vocal study on Great Horned Owls.  Bloem studies owl vocalizations at the center. "We listen to their vocalizations and see what behaviors are associated with them,” she says. "We also stream two cameras live online so others can help with the research by reporting observations.”

Meet in the auditorium of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center located on Highway 28 between the cities of Horicon and Mayville.

Birding: Beyond the Backyard

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 8:45pm–10:00pm
  • 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 11, 2019, 9:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 9:00pm–11:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Hot Spot Birding: Saturday

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 10:30pm–1:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 0

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.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 12:00am–2:00am
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Birds and Beers

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 1:00am–4:00am
  • 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 11, 2019, 1:00am–4:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center
  • Available Spaces: 14

Your tour guide will be 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 at Marsh Haven Nature Center. With special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will 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 at 7pm.

Screeches, Squawks, and Squeals of the Marsh

  • Saturday, May 11, 2019, 2:00am–3:30am
  • 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.

Primitive Camping

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 6:01am–6:00pm
  • 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. $10/night for tents, $15/night for campers.

Call (920) 324-5818 or email director@marshhaven.org for more information or to make reservations or visit www.marshhaven.org/birdfest for online reservations.

Laid-back Birding Bus Tour

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 12:00pm–6:00pm
  • Price: $30.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 7

Designed for birders who are less concerned about checking a bird off their list quickly and more for the longer looks at these colorful migrants. Although we will still try to see a large number of species, this tour will focus on slower paced birding with a focus on habitat, behavior and field identification. Your tour guides will be Jeff Bahls and Brad Webb.

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 12, 2019, 12:30pm–5:00pm
  • 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 12, 2019, 12:30pm–11:00pm
  • 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 schedules 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 12, 2019, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • 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 12, 2019, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 3:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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 12, 2019, 3:00pm–11:00pm
  • 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 12, 2019, 3:00pm–10:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Kid & Family Activity  

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!

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Horicon Marsh Bird Hike

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 3:30pm–5:30pm
  • 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 at Marsh Haven

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 5:00pm–9:00pm
  • 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. 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.

Birding Travels

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 5:15pm–6:15pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Join Rick Vant Hoff for a program of stunning photography and stories of his travels in search of birds. From Steller’s jays in Colorado to a peregrine falcon on the Horicon Marsh, Rick has toured the countryside and documented his travels with beautiful nature photography. Rick is a member of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club, on the Board of Directors at Marsh Haven Nature Center, and volunteers at the Horicon Marsh Education & Visitors Center.

Sightseeing Tour by Boat

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 6:30pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $14.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour 30 minutes 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 $14.00, Ages 4-11 $7.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

NEW! Who Says Hoo? - Live Owl Program

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 7:00pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $3.00
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Learn about the amazing adaptations of owls – how they hunt, how to identify each species by their vocalizations, and other fascinating facts. This program includes a photo presentation, mounted specimens, and LIVE owls. These are educational birds and cannot be returned to the wild due to a variety of permanent injuries. The live birds may include an Eastern Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl or Barred Owl.

Birding Adventure Boat Tour

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 8:00pm–10:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

NEW! Mom and Me, Dissecting Together

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 8:45pm–9:45pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Have you always wondered what was inside an owl’s “hairball?” Are you searching for a unique experience for mom on Mother’s Day? Give her the gift of owl regurgitate this year! During this all-ages program, we will discover what local owls are eating through hands-on pellet dissection. Meet in the lower lobby at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, off of Hwy. 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Hot Spot Birding: Sunday

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019, 10:30pm–1:00am
  • Price: $20.00
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center
  • Available Spaces: 3

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 is also held on Saturday. Registration with payment required.

Habitat Birding Bus and Boat Tour: Monday

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 12:00pm–11:00pm
  • Price: $85.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours
  • Available Spaces: 7

This is an all-day two-part tour by pontoon boat and bus. Your tour guides will be Jeff Bahls and Sarah Warner.  We will start with a pontoon boat tour at 6am SHARP, we will “walk the plank” boarding at Blue Heron Landing (Location C) Hwy 33 by the bridge in downtown Horicon. Captains Marc Zuelsdorf and Jerry Genzmer will be your guides for this part of the tour. After the boat tour, we will gather at the Horicon Marsh Education Center (Location A) and board the bus for the rest of our tour, birding some of the better habitat locations in and around Horicon Marsh. 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 and drink are included in the cost of this tour.  Registration with payment required.

Bird Walk in Waupun

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 1:30pm–3:30pm
  • 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.

Warbler Walk at Ziegler Park

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 1:30pm–3:30pm
  • Free Event
  • Ziegler Park

Your hike leader will be Liz Hermann. Ziegler Park has 72.3 acres of parkland; a majority of it is wooded with a 1.5 mile nature trail along the Rock River. A large variety of birds can be seen in this natural habitat. Bird houses are added whenever possible by the community. This can be a warbler hotspot with over 15 species being seen on a good day. Join us to search for the colorful woodland warblers!

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 3:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center and Festival Information

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 3:00pm–11:00pm
  • 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 schedules 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

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 3:00pm–5:00pm
  • Price: $22.00
  • 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 $22.00, Ages 5-13 $11.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.

Meet the Marsh Haven Martins

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 4:00pm–5:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Marsh Haven Nature Center

Get a close up look at the Marsh Haven Nature Center purple martin colony. See their housing, check out the “martin cam”, view the record keeping, and find out what goes into being a purple martin landlord.

Marsh Haven Nature Center

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 6:00pm–10:00pm
  • 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

Sightseeing Tour by Boat

  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 6:30pm–8:00pm
  • Price: $14.00
  • Horicon Marsh Boat Tours

A 1 hour 30 minutes 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 $14.00, Ages 4-11 $7.00

Call 920-485-4663 for reservations.