June 3-5, 2016
Washington Island, Wisconsin
The island is the base of operations for the bird festival and we will explore its shores, fields and forests in search of the many bird species and songs that are to be found in late spring.
The bird habitats on these islands are diverse:
- northern hardwood forest
- boreal and cedar forest on shores and cliffs
- hardwood and conifer swamps
- meadows and fields
- sandy, rocky and cliff shores and bays
- dunes and reefs; and
- the Lake.
We will use telescopes to watch the activities around Hog Island and take a boat to Rock Island to bird our way to the restored lighthouse. In the future, we will also visit Plum Island.
Washington Island offers all the basic amenities of rooms and restaurants, gift shops, gas stations, and other cultural establishments. The Town of Washington was organized in 1850 on Rock Island. At some point, people began to move to Washington to farm and fish from this larger base with easier connections to the rest of Wisconsin. Today, the year-round population is 710 with 58 school children from K to 12.
What do people do in the winter? Some leave for warmer climes and the remainder work, ice fish, take classes, put on a play or concert, weave/paint/write and prepare for the next season’s business.
It is said that for the visitor there is something special about sleeping on an island. You are isolated from the hurry and rush of the land-locked world and may become relaxed, wind-blown, carefree. The air is cool and clean, the sky clear and sometimes spectacular, and noise is often minimal.
Artist Donna Benson and her husband Bill will give an evening presentation titled “Exploring the Svalbard Archipelago.”
There will be birding by boat, birding while sitting, Pilot Island birding, and, of course, early birding. A jacket, hat, mosquito repellent, binoculars, camera and water are standard equipment on all festival programs.
Door Islands Bird Festival Guides
- The experienced guides have many specialties:
- Bruce Abraham (Door County birding).
- Dale and Glenys Bird (photography/bird studies).
- Charles Naeseth (bird songs/life lists).
- Paul Noeldner (naturalist, bird education).
- Sandy Petersen (festival director/ Island birder).
- Pat Ready (bird photography, bluebird monitoring).
- Chari Rutledge (Island birder).