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12/09/2016: 2017 INDBF Event Schedule Now Online!
The 2017 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival Schedule is now online. To view the schedules and plan your activities, please visit the events page.

11/07/2016: 2017 INDBF Keynote & Headliners

Listed below are the trip leaders and speakers that will be featured during the 2017 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival. Mark your calendars now for the 2017 festival. Book your hotel reservations now. Early registration for Indiana Audubon members goes online February 12th.

Festival Keynote: Sharon Stiteler
Keynote Speaker
Saturday, May 6: 6pm-10pm


"Today's Office" When your main goal is to get paid to go bird watching, your office can be in the middle of the Kazakh Steppes or flying 100 feet above the Mississippi River counting ducks. Sharon "Birdchick" Stiteler will chronicle her many adventures seeking out things and share her experiences finding Horned Guans in Guatemala, Sandwich Terns in a nudist colony, and not to mention suitable bathrooms! Be sure to add the keynote to your registration! The night also includes our annual silent auction benefiting the International Crane Foundation this year.
2017 Festival Headliners
The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and An Epic Journey: Deborah Cramer
Saturday, May 6: 11am

Each year, red knot sandpipers travel an incredible 19,000 miles, from the tip of South America to nesting grounds in the Arctic—and back again—eating millions of tiny horseshoe crab eggs along the way. Newly listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the red knot is the twenty-first century's "canary in the coal mine." Join Deborah Cramer, author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey, in a discussion of what is at stake for the red knot and the millions of other shorebirds threatened by the effects of climate change.

On Contested Ground: The Changing Nature of the Chicago Region: Joel Greenberg
Thursday, May 4: 11am

When the first Europeans arrived at the southern end of Lake Michigan in the 1670s, they encountered a rich and diverse landscape largely carved by the last great push of the glaciers. The entire area was a great ecotone where the prairies competed with forests. Joel Greenberg, author of A Natural History of the Chicago Region, takes a look at how this area has changed over the course of the last 300 years. Much has been lost, some has been saved, and there are steps that can be taken to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the natural beauty that remains.

Festival Headliner: Whooping Crane Conservation at the ICF : Lizzie Condon
Saturday, May 6: 1pm

The Whooping Crane is the rarest of the world's cranes and stands as the tallest bird in North America. Their population successes and failures is a roller coaster of species conservation. Explore this wonderful species and the work being done by the International Crane Foundation this afternoon. As part of the Youth and Family Birding Day, Hope, the ICF Whooping Crane will be present.

Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation
Dr. Richard Beilfuss
Friday, May 5: 11am

Numbering at only fifteen species, cranes are both a symbol of the wild and a sacred species across cultures. The United States is unique in having the most common and most rare of the species. Explore how these beautiful birds enrich the environment and our own lives with Dr. Richard Beilfuss, executive director of the International Crane Foundation.

The Birds of Aldo Leopold
Stanley Temple
Sunday, May 7: 11am

Our modern father of Ecology, Aldo Leopold, recorded countless bird observations and sightings in his sand county farm in southern Wisconsin. Professor Stanley Temple is recently retired from the academic position at the University of Wisconsin once held by Aldo Leopold. He is now a Professor Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and will highlight Leopold's contributions to the birding world

The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an annual event that showcases the abundance of migratory birds in the Indiana Dunes.

Birding in the Indiana Dunes is the best the state has to offer. With its rich biodiversity, varying habitats and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Indiana Dunes is a hotspot for migrant and resident birds. The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an event designed to celebrate the dunes area’s various birding habitats and bird watching opportunities to create a positive impact on the economic, conservation, and environmental education for visitors and residents to the Indiana Dunes region.


The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is hosted by the Indiana Audubon Society whose mission is to promote birding throughout Indiana. For detailed information regarding birding locations, birdwatching tips and membership privileges, please visit www.indianaaudubon.org

*Video courtesy of Indiana Dunes Tourism


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The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an officially endorsed Bicentennial Legacy Project.
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