14006 Discovery Lane • Manitowish Waters, WI 54545 • 877-543-2085

Northwoods Birding Festival - 14th Annual

05/11/2018 05:00 PM - 05/12/2018 04:00 PM CST


Naturalist Programs Onsite


  • $45.00  -  Member
  • $55.00  -  General Public
  • $20.00  -  Students and Youth under 18
  • $20.00  -  Friday only
  • $25.00  -  Saturday lecture only



The Northwoods Birding Festival is an opportunity for bird enthusiasts of all levels to celebrate birds while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow birders in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Participate in sunrise warbler walks, enjoy field trips to local birding hotspots, try your hand at bird banding, and learn from experts in the field of ornithology!


Photo by Guy David

To volunteer to bring appetizers, snacks, dessert, or help in the kitchen follow this linkThanks!

Download the Complete Festival Guide

This year we will be offering a special opportunity during Bird Festival, a silent auction for 2 tickets on a birding trip to Arizona next March lead by John Bates and Mary Burns!  

Follow this link for the detailed itinerary.  Space is limited, don't miss out on this amazing trip opportunity!

Festival Schedule at a Glance:

Download the Detailed Schedule

Friday, May 11th

5:00pm - 6:00pm                 Welcome Reception

6:00pm - 7:00pm                 Evening Presentation                                                          


Saturday, May 12th

6:30am - 7:30am                 Sunrise Warbler Walks

6:30am - 12:00pm               Bird Banding

8:00am - 11:30am               Field Trips                                                                                                         

11:30am - 12:15pm             Lunch                    

12:15pm - 1:00pm               Keynote Presentation        

1:15pm - 2:10pm                 Concurrent Session 1        

2:20pm  3:15pm                  Concurrent Session 2         

3:15pm  4:00pm                  Closing


About the Keynote Presentation:

"The Relationship between Old-Growth Habitat and Birds in Wisconsin’s Northwoods: Do Birds Care and Why?"

Speaker: John Bates, Naturalist and Author

                Wisconsin’s old-growth forests lack a large, charismatic bird species like the spotted owl that lives only in western old-growth forests. But researchers have found significant differences in bird populations between old-growth forests and managed forests. Brown creepers, black-throated green warblers, winter wrens, Swainson’s thrushes, blackburnian warblers, pine warblers, and numerous others are all more abundant in northern old-growth than in managed stands, as are cerulean warblers, hooded warblers, and Acadian flycatchers in southern old-growth communities.

                Only 0.3% of Wisconsin’s old-growth forests remain. What ecological characteristics attract some bird species to old-growth forests, and what can we do on our own land to increase habitat for these birds? Come find out!


About the Friday Night Presentation:

Snowy Owls & Project SNOWstorm in Wisconsin 

Speaker: Ryan Brady, Conservation Biologist WI DNR

Few birds generate excitement like the snowy owl, its white plumage, bright yellow eyes, and diurnal tendencies make it appealing to even the most casual nature lover. Wisconsin hosts at least small numbers of snowy owls each year but this past winter featured another large irruption as hundreds were seen in nearly every county of the state. Ryan Brady has been closely monitoring the birds in recent years and will discuss how this year’s flight compared to others, why these mass movements take place, and tips for finding them in years ahead. Ryan will also detail the movements and travels of five snowy owls tagged with transmitters this year as part of Project SNOWstorm, a cutting-edge international research project that aims to better understand this nomadic species, whose populations are at greater risk than their recent numbers in Wisconsin would suggest. Find out why, and nearly everything else you might want to know about snowy owls in this presentation!  



Hosted by the North Lakeland Discovery Center in partnership with the Discovery Center Bird Club, Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce, and Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce.

Questions? Call the Discovery Center at 1-877-543-2085.


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