Sunday the 20th

Registration to the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival includes an option to sign up for one field trip each morning and inclusion to all workshops, presentations, and social events.  Some premium tours and workshops may have an additional fee due upon registration.  FREE events are free with paid basic registration, with exception of the Dunes Birds in Art Exhibition, the Migration Marketplace, and Youth and Family Birding Day which require no registration to attend.  Please remember, all times are Central Daylight Time (Chicago time).

Download the full festival 2018 guidebook for offline viewing or order your hard copy today!

Orange indicates field trip via car pool or van tour.  Blue indicates indoor presentation, workshop or activity.

Dune Birds in Art Exhibition
FREE / Sunday 7:00am-4:30pm / Dunes Visitor Center
Dune Birds in Art is a special 2D and 3D art presentation sponsored by the Indiana Audubon Society, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Indiana Dunes Tourism.  The juried exhibition features local and regional artists and showcases the Indiana Dunes area’s native avifauna in a myriad of art styles.  The exhibition is available daily in the Visitor Center exhibit room.

Dunes Longshore Flight Count
FREE / Sunday 6:00am – 10:00am / Dunes State Park Longshore Tower
It’s the ¼ million bird seasonal survey, one of the largest of its kind on the Great Lakes.  Join us each morning from atop the Indiana Dunes State Park birding platform (by the Beach West Lot) for the morning migration of thousands of birds per day.  In conducive south winds, an assortment of migrants could be flying past.  Blue Jays, waxwings, warblers, orioles, and tanagers should be peaking now.  This has been a one stop shop for annual rarities to fly by too.

Adam Sell's Wilson Boardwalk Big Sit
FREE / Sunday 6:00am – 10:00am / Dunes State Park Wilson Shelter
Arguably one of the best big sit sites in the dunes, no matter the weather, the Wilson Shelter and nearby wetland boardwalk and woodlands host a great variety of birds.  From migrating raptors, water's edge warblers (including Prothonotary!), and secretive marsh birds, one never knows what might appear here.  Register to join Illinois hawk watch expert Adam Sell for a morning of bird watching.  

Lake Michigan Pelagic Tour I
Fee $59 / Sunday 6:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Ryan Sanderson
Join Salmon Hunter Charters and our birding guide for an adventure on Lake Michigan.  Participants will car pool to Michigan City Harbor for a 3 hour ride out into Lake Michigan to explore late migrating waterfowl, such as Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Loons, as well as any migrating land birds that may find themselves out over the water or migrating along the dune beaches.  This tour is weather dependent and in the case of cancellation, refunds will be offered and participants can join any other car pool tour being offered that morning.  

Lake Michigan Pelagic Tour II
Fee $59 / Sunday 6:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Amy Kearns
Join Salmon Hunter Charters  and our birding guide for an adventure on Lake Michigan.  Participants will car pool to Michigan City Harbor for a 3 hour ride out into Lake Michigan to explore late migrating waterfowl, such as Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Loons, as well as any migrating land birds that may find themselves out over the water or migrating along the dune beaches.  This tour is weather dependent and in the case of cancellation, refunds will be offered and participants can join any other car pool tour being offered that morning.  

Dunes Big Morning! 
Fee $25 / Sunday 6:00am – 12:00pm / Leader: Tropical Birding Tours
Here is your chance to enjoy the fast-paced birding of a big day, but all before lunch time!  Speed around with the guides from Tropical Birding on a fast and furious morning to rack up a morning goal of 100 species.  Our van guides will choose the best route for a variety of migrating birds each day.  A box lunch is offered at the conclusion of the tour.  This morning adventure is great for festival returnees and those looking to rack up a big list.

Cowles Bog Tour
FREE / Sunday 6:30am – 10:30am / Leader: Fred Wooley
Cowles Bog is a treasure trove of an 8,000 year old fen.  This National Park Service site is home to the birthplace of ecology and is also a varied habitat for a diverse set of migrating birds.  The swamp edges can host many migrating warblers, including large Northern Waterthrush numbers.  Sandhill Cranes and rails nest throughout the property.  Kirtland’s Warbler was found here in recent years.

Dunes Warbler Tour
FREE / Sunday 6:30am – 10:30am / Leader: Tyler Stewart
36 regularly occurring warblers can be found during a day of birding the dunes.  We'll be seeking to fill our warbler card with as many as possible on this warbler specialty tour, visiting the best spots for warblers during this car pool tour with big year birder Tyler Stewart.

Dunes Birding with Greg Miller!
Fee $25/ Sunday 7:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Greg Miller 
One of the premier birding sites during the festival!  The Dunes SP is simply great migrant birding in the dunes.  An assortment of warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, and more can be found here.  This special tour will explore this great place with rennowned big year birder Greg Miller, aka Brad from the Big Year movie!  The tour will visit via van and offer a box lunch at completion of the tour.

Reynold's Creek Grasslands and Wetlands Tour 
FREE / Sunday 7:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Kristin Stratton
Reynold's Creek is a newly created gamebird habitat area, just miles from Lake Michigan. The recent restoration of warm season grasses has brought an explosion of grassland birds, including Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and Henslow's Sparrows. Potholes are also being dug for wetland species, such as shorebirds and waterfowl. We'll carpool a short distance to this new birding site.

Michiana Marsh Meander (aka the least bittern tour!)
Fee $25/ Sunday 7:00am – 10:00am / Leader: Cookie Ferguson
Two great wetlands in two great states this morning.  Indiana Dunes State Park Naturalist Cookie Ferguson will guide folks to both Beverly Shores and the Galien River County Park for a look at two special wetlands that play host to herons, rails, and bitterns.  A similar tour last year saw Least Bitterns at both sites in one tour!  The tour will be led by van and a box lunch is offered at the conclusion of the tour.  

Spicer Lake Nature Preserve Tour
Fee $25/ Sunday 7:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Michaele Klingerman
Wetlands, woodlands, and fields welcome birders to this 300 acre nature preserve near the Indiana/Michigan state line just east of the dunes. Staff from the St. Joseph County Parks will van tour folks over to this unique birding location where an assortment of neo-tropic migrants can be expected. The tour includes a box lunch afterwards.

Indiana Dunes State Park Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: John Velasquez
One of the premier birding sites during the festival!  The Dunes SP is simply great migrant birding in the dunes.  An assortment of warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, and more can be found here.  The Wilson boardwalk area also plays host to Prothonotary Warblers and the back dune savannas host many Red-headed Woodpeckers.  The terrain covered should remain fairly flat. 

Pinhook Bog Birding Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Kim Ehn
Pinhook Bog is one of the few "true" bogs in the southern Great Lakes. Among the tamarack, blueberries, and insectivorous plants there can be some unique birding. This site has both upland forests as well as the lowland floating bog mat that we'll be able to explore. This area is normally closed to the public, so you'll definitely want to pre-register for this tour.

Beverly Shores Great Marsh Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Stephanie Beilke
Visit the woodlands and wetlands that make up the Beverly Shores complex in pursuit of both nesting and migrant species. National Audubon's Stephanie Beilke will guide you along the way and explore why these wetlands are so important.  Highlight birds may include both Pine and Prairie Warbler, Summer Tanagers, with Sandhill Cranes down near the wetlands.  Other woodland, marsh, wetland, and waterfowl species can be expected. 

Birds and Blooms of the Heron Rookery Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Scott Namestnik
Named for the Great Blue Herons that formerly nested at this inland property, the Heron Rookery is well known for its outstanding display of spring wildflowers.  It is also an excellent place to find uncommon migrating songbirds such as Winter Wren and Yellow-throated Warbler, but also deep woods specialties such as Pileated Woodpecker and Barred Owl along the Little Calumet River.  Expect an array of warblers and thrushes as well.  The trail is level but may be muddy in spots.

West Beach and Long Lake Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Matt Beatty
West Beach is a prime example of the contiguous dune ecosystem that stretched from Chicago and up along the eastern Lake Michigan shoreline.  This national park site contains open dune grass, oak savanna, and northwoods pineries.  We'll also visit the fluctuating water levels of Long Lake that can harbor a number of common and rare wetland birds.  

The Modern Birder Tour
FREE / Sunday 8:00am – 11:30am / Leader: John Kendall
Technology waits for no one and neither do the birds on this high tech tour.  State birding expert John Kendall will car pool to the nearby dunes for a birding tour that not only identifies the spring migrants, but also explores the tools that birders have on their side in bird identification.  We'll explore everything from photography, optics and scopes, to sound recordings and more on this morning tour.

Fly Like a Bird Tour
Fee $65/ Sunday 9:00am – 11:00am / Leader: Eagle Aircraft
Join the pilots with Eagle Aircraft for a unique perspective on the bird life in the dunes this morning.  You'll carpool a short distance to the Eagle Aircraft hanger for an hour flight over the Indiana Dunes, and many of the best birding sites along the shores of Lake Michigan.  Who knows, you might even ID a bird or two along the way!  These trips have limited space and will fill quickly. 

Birding by Ear Tour
FREE / Sunday 9:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Annie Aguirre
Just as important as identifying birds by sight is their sound!  Audio birding expert Annie Aguirre will guide folks into identifying birds by the songs and calls they make.  We'll carpool to the nearby Dunes State Park to practice our mnemonics and more during this beginning level birding tour. 

Cowles Bog Tour
FREE / Sunday 9:00am – 11:30am / Leader: Kevin Cornell
Cowles Bog is a treasure trove of an 8,000 year old fen.  This National Park Service site is home to the birthplace of ecology and is also a varied habitat for a diverse set of migrating birds.  The swamp edges can host many migrating warblers, including large Northern Waterthrush numbers.  Sandhill Cranes and rails nest throughout the property.  Kirtland’s Warbler was found here in recent years.

Festival Headliner: Evie Kirkwood
The Folklore of Birds
FREE/ Sunday 11:30am – 12:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center
Throughout history, cultures have attributed legends and stories to the feathered creatures around them. From the quirkiness of crows, to the savviness of swallows, Evie Kirkwood, Executive Director for the St. Joseph County Parks (IN), will take a lighthearted look at folklore that often provides insight to bird behavior and adds a different dimension to our enjoyment of birds.

Owls Alive!
FREE / Sunday 1pm-2pm / Dunes Visitor Center/ Presenter: Lake Milton Raptor Center
Join the Lake Milton Raptor Center for this close-up look at some of the live birds of prey moving through the dunes right now.  This fun and educational program will look at the many owls that can be seen in the field this week or throughout the year in the Great Lakes region.  Each day’s program will feature different birds.

Birding Technology
FREE/ Sunday 1:00pm – 2:30pm / Dunes SP Nature Center/ Presenter: Annie Aguirre
It may feel a bit intimidating to see the word "technology" associated with birding, but there are fantastic digital resources for birding out there—tools to help with identification, connections to the local birder community, and global-wide data on birds—once you know how to use them. Join Annie Aguirre for a laid-back look at technology in the birding world, and discover the resources available to fit your own birding style.

Saving the Monarch Butterflies
FREE/ Sunday 2:30pm – 3:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center/ Presenter: Barb Lucas
The number of Monarch Butterflies is in steep decline. At this program you will learn about the beautiful butterfly’s life cycle, its amazing migration to central Mexico each winter, growing milkweed its host plant, tagging Monarchs, and other ways you can help insure its healthy future. You will also learn when and where to view the most Monarchs each fall as they migrate south through Indiana.

Song Bird Song Songs!
FREE/ Sunday 2:30pm – 3:30pm / Dunes SP Nature Center/ Presenter: Randy Vanderbilt
Combining the natural sounds of our native birds, and mixing an artist's interpretation, Randy Vanderbilt has created bird rock!  Randy's work, posted on ReverbNation,  highlights song bird melodies with musical accompaniment for creative and memorization purposes.  Come hear the creative process and the examples of his unique work during this audio hour to end the birding festival.

 

THE END!  SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!