8 Great Indiana Birding Events in 2018

As we say goodbye to another winter, you may be itching to beat cabin fever and set out in one of Indiana’s great woodlands, wetlands, or prairies in search of some great Hoosier birds.  Indiana hosts a plethora of birding sites and destinations to fill a calendar in the birding year.  Whether you’re hitting the major events or birding your local patch for the Indiana Big County Big Year Challenge, the Indiana Audubon and smaller, local national chapters have that birding itch covered.

As assortment of festivals and smaller trips allow birders to network, learn more, and to simply have a good time enjoying the natural world.  No matter your location, there’s a birding event in 2018 near you.  Here are our favorites that you should check out this year.

Join the Marsh Madness

Linton, IN, March 2-3

The Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival is a community-based event timed to coincide with the peak Sandhill Crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Indiana. Festival headquarters are at Humphrey’s Park in the nearby city of Linton. The Festival takes place in early March. Events include a kick-off banquet, craft fair, live birds of prey on display, informational and educational presentations, bus tours, self-guided tours, kid’s activities, and much more.  This year’s event features special presentations from the International Crane Foundation.
More info: friendsofgoosepond.org/about-marsh-madness

Ohio Valley Birding Festival

Evansville, IN, April 20-22 and May 4-6

The Ohio Valley Birding Festival is an Evansville Audubon Society event featuring guided spring migratory birdwatching hikes in southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky along with family friendly birding activities at John James Audubon Park in Henderson, Kentucky.  Morning tours are offered as well as afternoon presentations.  Kids activities include owl pellet dissections and family birding walks.  Get up early and participate in the big day of birding in the tri-state area.
More info: ohiovalleybirdingfestival.org

Birding at its Best in the Dunes

Chesterton, IN, May 17-20

The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival occurs along the shores of Lake Michigan to celebrate the area’s rich biodiversity and bird-watching opportunities. Activities include over 60 guided carpool and van tours to view migrating birds, vendor marketplace, more than 60 bird-related programs, from live raptor talks to species ID workshops, and special workshops for new bird watchers and educators. In the evening there are excursions for owls, woodcocks and whip-poor-wills and family-friendly “birds and brews” social events. The Saturday keynote presentation includes dinner, silent auction, and 2018 keynote speaker Greg Miller. Discounted registration for Indiana Audubon Society members.
More info: indunesbirdingfestival.org

Explore North Woods Warblers

Grayling, MI, June 6-8

This special birding opportunity may be for Hoosier birders, but will leave the comfort of the state lines and head north into the Michigan Northwoods.   The Indiana Audubon’s Kirtland’s Warbler tour takes place in early June and features the enigmatic Kirtland’s Warbler, however an assortment of unique species, such as Black Tern, Upland Sandpiper, Blackburnian Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Evening Grosbeak make this a special tour for any Indiana birder looking for hard to find bird species.  Registration is already online for this limited space trip.
More info: indianaaudubon.org/events

One Hummer of a Bird!

Connersville, IN, August 11

This inaugural event will draw hummingbird enthusiasts from around the Midwest to Connersville, IN for a one-day celebration of all things birds and hummingbirds. Participants can expect an assortment of activities on the beautiful Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary grounds.  Multiple sponsors and partners provide an opportunity for all to learn about these amazing little birds, how to attract them, and how to keep them coming year after year. Activities include hummingbird banding demonstrations to view hummingbirds up close, guided nature walks, a native plant sale, programs about birds and other pollinators, kid’s activities, vendor booths, live music, and more
More info: indianaaudubon.org/events

Encouraging the Fledglings!

Carmel, IN, August 18

The Indiana Young Birder’s Club puts on the Indiana Young Birder’s Conference annually in the Indy area each August.  This event, put on by young birders for young birders brings over 100 people each year to Cool Creek Park and Nature Center in Carmel for a day of birding and youth presentations.  A catered lunch and raffle makes it a full day of activities not only for kids, but for the entire family.
More info: indianayoungbirders.org

Fall Birding at its Finest

Angola, IN, October 19-21

Between the height of warbler migration and the brilliance of fall color’s peak lies the Indiana Audubon’s Fall Festival.  The Fall Festival features morning birding tours, afternoon presentations, and a special Saturday night keynote speaker.  The event has traveled around the state, as well as been held at the Audubon’s Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary but will be moving again in 2018.  Plans are currently in the works for this year’s event at Pokagon State Park.  More information, including the complete schedule of activities will be posted later in 2018.
More info: indianaaudubon.org/events

 

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