May 13-14, 2016
Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin
The Northwoods Birding Festival, the Midwest’s best little bird festival, offers field trips, speakers, chances to watch bird-banding and other activities. The two-day festival’s field trips are focused on local birding hotspots. There also will be talks by several ornithology experts.
Northwoods Birding Festival Highlights
The sunrise warbler walks at the Northwoods Birding Festival offer exciting experiences for beginner and advanced birders on the grounds of the North Lakeland Discovery Center. Zach Wilson, a conservation specialist for the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department and owner of Northwoods Learning Adventures, will demonstrate live bird banding. It’s a chance to see birds up close and learn more about how banding is used to document bird survival, reproductive productivity and geographic distribution.
Saturday morning field trips will provide opportunities to visit local birding host spots, such as Powell Marsh, which may provide opportunities to photograph Sandhill Cranes, American Bitterns, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, Wood Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, Tree Swallows, Semipalmated Plovers, and Trumpeter Swans.
Birding Festival Venue
The North Lakeland Discovery Center is a powerhouse for environmental leadership, preservation, education and recreation in northern Wisconsin. Few if any national awards are handed out to local nature centers that truly walk the talk of connecting people with nature, but if there were such an award Top Birding Tours would nominate the North Lakeland Discovery Center among a handful of stellar nature centers in the U.S.
The center has created a stunning variety of innovative programs and projects that introduce people of all ages to a lush environment of lakes, rivers, mixed forests and bogs. The center offers guided bird walks and canoe trips, pontoon cruises and campfires under the stars. The discovery center lives up to its name in every season, from its Northwoods Birding Festival in the spring to snowshoe hikes in the winter. But that’s just the most visible tip of an iceberg of activities around Statehouse Lake.
North Lakeland Discovery Center Trails
The North Lakeland Discovery Center maintains 12 miles of trails that are used for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The center hosts an active bird club that offers weekly field trips to area spots, including Presque Isle Ponds, Rainbow Flowage, Powell Marsh, Turtle Flambeau Flowage Area and many others. The North Lakeland Discover Center also has also developed a network of silent-sport trails in Winchester, Wisc., named the WinMan Trails. The trails go through 1,300 acres of private and public land and provide hiking, mountain biking, classic and skate skiing, groomed and ungroomed snowshoeing, and winter fat biking.
North Lakeland Discovery Center Education Programs
Regional elementary and middle school students benefit from environmental educational programs offered by North Lakeland Discovery Center naturalists. Students spend several days at the center with the goal of understanding the interdependence of people, wildlife, forests, lakes and rivers and the larger environment. The North Lakeland Discovery Center also provides educational programs that go to classrooms, libraries, lake association meetings and other community gatherings.
Citizen Science at North Lakeland Discovery Center
The North Lakeland Discovery Center staff train people of all ages to conduct scientific research. The citizen-science programs include acoustic bat monitoring surveys, annual crane counts, invasive aquatic species monitoring, bird-call surveys, lake-level monitoring, Monarch Butterfly tagging and Common Loon nest platform monitoring.