Ohio Valley Birding Festival Programs Announced!

The Ohio Valley Birding Festival will be held at various locations throughout the tri-state area, including John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, KY. Join birders and educators from throughout the region at the Tri-State Bird Festival. Learn about birds, birding, and bird habitat from some of the best birders in the field. Seminars, workshops, hikes and crafts will be available for all ages and all levels of interest. This festival is sponsored by Audubon State Park, Wesselman Nature Society, Evansville Audubon Society, and Evansville Wild Birds Unlimited.

May 1 – Audubon’s Bird Migration Walks
Programs depart from Audubon Museum. John James Audubon State Park’s Beech-Maple forest is an urban oasis for woodland and shore birds. In addition to the seven woodpecker species, several neotropical migrants make the Park their home. Species spotted on these hikes include: Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-throated Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Indigo Bunting, Prothonotary Warbler, and White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireo. Share nature with your family! Bring your binoculars, field guide and notebook to identify new birds for your life list. Hours: 7:30 a.m. —9 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

May 1 – A Walk with Bluebirds
Sycamore Shelter: Audubon State Park. Discover the lives and nesting habits of Eastern Bluebirds and other cavity nesters. The Peaks will introduce visitors to their ongoing nesting research conducted at numerous parks including Audubon State Park. Attendees may have an opportunity to see eggs and nestlings inside nesting boxes. This walking tour is moderate in difficulty and mostly on concrete. Wheelchairs can likely be accommodated by use of a vehicle. Hours: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

May 1 – Create-a-Creature from Owl Pellets
Presented by Julie McDonald, Park Naturalist. Audubon Museum. Owls hunt from dusk to dawn for many different types of prey. Learn about the owl’s habits and role in nature. Discover what critters these nocturnal hunters seek out by dissecting a sterilized owl pellet. Hours: Noon-12:45 p.m.

May 1 – Bird Photography for Identification, Documentation and Fun
Talk and Walk Program. Photographing birds blends a naturalist’s skill, artistic vision, and technical understanding to capture incredible moments. During this Talk-and-Walk program, learn how to find and get close to birds, where to photograph them, and the necessary equipment and camera settings to create stunning shots. Marty Jones has photographed over 275 different species of Indiana birds including many rarities and will share what it takes to capture the moments. Hours: 1 – 3 p.m.

May 2 – Hands-on Bird Banding Workshop
Presented by Scott Kramer. Come and help us with an ongoing conservation project as we catch, identify, band, and release birds from the John James Audubon State Park. Bird banding helps us understand bird migration and movements, behavior, social structure, population growth, lifespan and survival rates . This is a great opportunity for spotting early migratory birds and connecting with nature, so bring a camera! Hours: 10:30 – noon.

May 2 – Explore Raptors
Presented by Julie McDonald, Park Naturalist. Using live birds, participants will learn the characteristics of birds of prey, their role in the ecosystem, and how interactions with humans have impacted these majestic creatures. Hours: Noon – 1 pm.

May 2 – Ten White Wonders and the Stories Behind Them
Presented by Sharon Sorenson, Evansville Courier and Press columnist. Over the seasons, our area plays host to ten especially spectacular bird species. They’re all white. They’re all big. And they’re all handsome. Some are quite common; others are quite rare; some found their way here behind an ultralight aircraft. Enjoy photos of these distinctive birds. Test your knowledge about this “colorful” topic and learn curious facts about these white birds’ lives, livelihoods, habits, and habitats. Hours: 2 – 3 p.m.

For further information about specific events in Henderson, contact: Julie McDonald at (270) 826-2247 or e-mail juliea.mcdonals@ky.gov. For more information on the festival, visit the Wesselman Nature Society site. All of the programs are free.