Festival Events Dune Birds in Art Exhibition Submission
5/10/17: THANK YOU FOR A GREAT FESTIVAL!
The sun has set on another great Indiana Dunes Birding Festival! On behalf of the Indiana Audubon Society, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana Dunes State Park, and all of the partners, sponsors, and volunteers, we hope you had a great time. Let us know what you liked. A survey will be coming out soon as well. Mark your calendars for May 3-6, 2018!​

The entire festival checklist can be found right here. We found 187 species of birds during the festival!

4/26/17: Sign up for Rare Bird Text Alerts!
Birders arriving for the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival can sign up to receive text and email alerts when rare and unusual birds are sighted in the Indiana Dunes area. These alerts are year round, and subscribers can join or leave easily. Get fast access to the latest rare bird sightings by joining at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/INDNR/subscriber/new?topic_id=INDNR_90

4/24/2017: Youth and Family Birding Day at the INDBF
Youth and Family Birding Day! will be held Saturday, May 6, 2017, 9 am – 4 pm at State Park Nature Center.
Bird Study Boy Scout Merit Badge
Activities Offered

Part of the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival. Bring your lunch/water bottle, a notebook to write in, a bird field guide, and binoculars (if you have them, or borrow ours)*There may be a $7.00 entrance fee unless you have a State Park pass.

8:45​am​Orientation: Merit Badge Requirements/Notebook/Binoculars ​​​​*Requirement #5 & #3
9:00​​Field Sketching with Artist Kristina Knowski *Requirement #2 & #5
10:00​ID Birds by Sound workshop with Matt Beatty *Requirement #6 & #5
11:00​Build a Birdhouse with Izaak Walton League –all supplies included
​​*Requirement #8​
12:00​Lunch Break/Indiana Young Birders Club Bird ID Challenge *Requirement #4
1:00​​Whooping Crane Conservation with the International Crane Foundation
​​*Requirement #1
2:00​​Field Hike with Matt Kalwasinski *Requirement #7
3:00​​Parts of a Bird, Feather types with Dunes Learning Center *Requirement #2

A list of the Merit Badge activities offered will be provided to verify completion that you can present to your Merit Badge Counselor.

For more information, contact Youth Birding Day Coordinator Kim Ehn kmehn@comcast.net

3/27/2017: New Festival Program Additions!

Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is pleased to announce three new activity options during this year's festival. Please join us for the Dune Birds in Art opening reception on Wednesday, May 3, from 6pm-8pm. Two special tour offerings are also available. Please see the full descriptions below. Registered participants can log in to their account and add them to your festival package, by visiting your dashboard, and clicking "add products." No registration needed to attend the Dune Birds in Art opening.

Dune Birds in Art Exhibition Opening Reception
FREE / Wednesday 6pm-8pm / Dunes Visitor Center
For those arriving early, please consider joining us for a special opening reception for the month long Dune Birds in Art exhibition, taking place at the Festival Headquarters. The exhibition includes over 20 2D and 3D art pieces, featuring native birds to the Indiana Dunes. Artists will be on hand to talk about their work, and provide insight into their inspiration. Light snacks and drinks will be available. Join us this special night

Pre-festival Night Moves with Brad!
$5 / Wednesday 8pm-9:30pm / Leader: Brad Bumgardner, Festival Chair
it's a birding blitz for night birds on this special night before the birding festival. Join the Indiana Dunes State Park Interpreter and festival chair, Brad Bumgardner, for a fast paced evening foray into the dune wilds in search of woodcocks, whippoorwills, and owls during this 90 minute car pool tour. Folks wishing to move over from the Thursday evening tours, can do so on their account dashboard online.

Great Lakes Avian Radar Tour
FREE / Thursday 1:30pm-2:30pm / Dunes Visitor Center/ Leader: Nathan Rathbun

Every spring, millions of birds and bats migrate through the Great Lakes region to their breeding grounds. The Great Lakes are both a barrier and resource that concentrates migrants along the shore. USFWS biologist, Nathan Rathbun, will introduce participants to an exciting radar project being used on southern Lake Michigan to record this amazing migration and how it can be used to help conserve birds. After a brief introductions, participants will car pool to the state park to see the radar system in action. Registration is free, but required, as space is limited.


3/13/2017: Migration Marketplace Vendors Wanted!

The 2017 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival Migration Marketplace vendor application is now online. As part of the festival, we have a vendor and educational exhibit area on the Saturday of the festival. "The Migration Marketplace" offers quality products and exhibits related to birding, natural history, and outdoor pursuits. We are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our festival, and would like to see this reflected by vendors and exhibitors. We will assign booth space on a first-come, first-served basis, and IDBF will review all vendor applications and make a determination of appropriateness. To download the vendor application in PDF format, please CLICK HERE.

1/11/2017: 2017 INDBF Festival Guide Now Online!
The 2017 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival Guide is now online. To view the the guide in its entirety, please click here (http://www.indunesbirdingfestival.com/public_docs/2017_INDBF_guide_web.pdf) If you would like an extra copy mailed to you now, please visit https://secure.qgiv.com/for/iasi/event/770066/ to receive your copy. A $2 donation is requested to defray extra maililng and printing costs.

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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