Bird enthusiasts can experience the sights, sounds and natural beauty of birds in peak spring migration at Horicon Marsh as the Horicon Marsh Bird Club hosts the 19th annual Bird Festival, May 6-9. From the backyard birder to the world traveler, four days of adventure awaits by foot, boat, bus and bicycle at Horicon Marsh, one of the largest freshwater cattail marshes in the United States.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Sandy Komito. In 1998 Sandy set the American Birding Association record with 745 bird species identified during the year in North America. Komito has also written two books detailing each of his two big years. His book on the 1998 record year inspired the book and movie, “The Big Year” by Twentieth Century Fox.
The Birding by Bicycle guided tour invites birders to peddle their way through this Ice Age Scientific Reserve. A Birdy Scavenger Hunt offers a unique way to explore the marshes scenic views, sounds and enjoyment.
At over 33,000 acres, Horicon Marsh provides habitat for endangered species and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating songbirds and waterfowl. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance and as Global and State Important Bird Areas. More than 300 bird species are on the Horicon Marsh checklist.
The festival kicks-off with Habitat Birding Bus and Boat Tour. Popular favorites include Hot Spot Birding Bus Tour & Hike, Beginners Bird Hike, Birding Adventure Boat Tour, among the 20 plus tours and activities planned by the Horicon Marsh Bird Club.
For the early morning birder, First Light Birding offers a glimpse of the birds at sunrise or there is the Night Sounds Bus Tour at sunset. Throughout the festival, the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Marsh Haven Nature Center and Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center will be a buzz with interactive displays, programs, and opportunities for viewing birds at their observation areas.
To plan your birding adventure, visit www.horiconmarshbirdclub.com and click on the Bird Festival link for complete list of events, descriptions and registration information or contact Wildlife Educator Liz Herzmann at 920-387-7893. Many tours require advanced registration and fees. Partners for this amazing event include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marsh Haven Nature Center, Horicon Marsh Boat Tours, Friends of Horicon NWR and Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.
The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located between Horicon, Wis. and Mayville, Wis. on Hwy. 28. For a detailed list of all Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center special events, please visit the Friends of Horicon Marsh website at www.horiconmarsh.org. For more information regarding Horicon Marsh education programs, contact Liz Herzmann, DNR educator, at 920-387-7893.