Learn all about our feathered friends at Oshkosh Bird Fest on Saturday, May 2nd. Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with a variety of activities for all ages. Visit Shelter #1 in Menominee Park for a complete schedule and location of activities. The event is free and open to the public. Rain or shine, plan to make a day of it.
The day will begin in a17-foot diameter circle for a “Big Sit”, a unique way to bird watch from 6:00 am to Noon. Join Anita Carpenter inside the circle anytime for as long as you want. Bring a chair and binoculars, if you have them, and enjoy watching, listening, counting and learning about birds that you see and hear. This is sometimes described as “a tailgate party for birders”.
Dick Nikolai, a licensed bird bander, will be monitoring his mist nets and banding birds from 7:00am-10:30am. Learn why we band birds and how it is done.
Got bird questions? We’ve got answers! From 8:00 am – 2:00 pm check out the informative exhibits about bird migration and identification, landscaping with native plants, habitat restoration, bluebirds, eagles and osprey surveys, bird habitat and more. Exhibitors include Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin, DNR, US Fish & Wildlife Services, Oshkosh Sustainability, Operation Migration, Butte des Morts Conservation Club, Winnebago County Land and Conservation, and Winnebago Audubon. Wild Ones Fox Valley Area will be selling native flowers that are beneficial to birds.
Beginning at 8:00 am, take a bird walk along Miller’s Bay or other areas of the park with knowledgeable birders. You never know what we might see. Ask about the bird walks at Shelter #1. We hope to run them continuously all morning.
Don’t miss the presentations at 10:30 & 12:30 with live birds of prey by Beka Weiss of Aves Wildlife Alliance. Beka, a licensed rehabilitator, will have owls and hawks with her. What a great opportunity to observe these awesome birds up close!
Steve Easterly, Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Technician, will give a presentation on Bald Eagles and Ospreys at 9:15 am. Learn about the aerial surveys and what information is gathered about these beautiful birds.
Menominee Park Zoo:
From 10:00 am – 2:00 pm educational and fun children’s activities will take place in the zoo. Kid’s will be “banded” in an exercise to show how birds are caught, processed and banded for research; learn about the different kinds of beaks and try to eat like a bird using tools; make binoculars and take a bird walk; or create a bird mask.
Downtown Oshkosh Gallery Walk: 6:00pm-9:00pm
The bird theme continues into the evening at Downtown Oshkosh Gallery Walk. Oshkosh Bird Fest will be headquartered at the Oshkosh Masonic Center, 204 Washington Ave. and will feature a Student Bird Art Exhibit plus live birds of prey with bird rehabilitator Ann Rosenberg and a falconer. Visit exhibits by Wild Ones Fox Valley Area, Winnebago Audubon, Oshkosh Zoological Society, Oshkosh Sustainability, Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin, Operation Migration, and Butte des Morts Conservation Club.
Many of the downtown businesses participate in Gallery Walk featuring artists, photographers and more. Get in on the Bird Scavenger Hunt, collect fun bird facts and enter to win a basket full of surprises.
Oshkosh Bird Fest is a city event organized by volunteers from Oshkosh Bird Club, Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board, Oshkosh Zoological Society, Wild Ones, Winnebago Audubon, and Wisconsin DNR. It is entirely funded by donations. Oshkosh was awarded recognition as a Bird City Wisconsin in 2010, and recertified in 2015 as a “high flyer”, because Oshkosh is a bird friendly community and is committed to implementing sound conservation practices and educating its residents to play an increased role in making our community healthy for birds … and people.
For more information visit www.oshkoshbirdfest.com.