‘Wings Over Muscatatuck’ At Refuge This Weekend

The 13th Annual Wings Over Muscatatuck Migratory Bird Festival will be held Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, in Seymour. New to this year’s festival is a narration, “An Evening with John James Audubon,” by Brian Fox Ellis. That event begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, at the Refuge Visitor Center.
Activities will continue throughout Friday evening and Saturday. Live birds of prey, demonstrations, bird banding, children’s crafts, wildlife vendors, a silent auction and tours of the Refuge Closed area are just a few of the events happening throughout the weekend. Tours are offered at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. A complete schedule follows or can be viewed at www.jacksoncountyin.com.
Friday, May 13
Afternoon – Registration for open field trips and evening Audubon program.
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – An Evening with John James Audubon, by Brian Fox Ellis. Limited seating at the Visitor Center. Enjoy a colorful, moving narration of famous artist’s John James Audubon’s bird watching expeditions across 18th century America.
8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. – Woodcock Watch. Learn about “Timberdoodles” and join Refuge staff for a short walk to look for “courting” males.
Saturday, May 14
6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area – Travel by van with a Refuge guide to the closed area and other interesting birding spots. Bring binoculars.
6:15 – 10 a.m. – Breakfast with the Birds at Visitor Center (donation).
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Morning Bird Walk – Birders of all abilities are invited to join David Crouch for an easy bird identification walk.
8:30 a.m. – Bird Banding – Dr. Ron Weiss of Chipper Woods Bird Observatory.
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Muscatatuck NWR Orientation Video shown.
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area. (With pre-registration or day of event when available).
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. – “Talking Turkey” and Building Bird Homes. Make simple bird calls and birdhouses.
10 a.m. to Noon – Flying Wild Children’s Activities- Kids learn about birds with hands-on activities.
10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Indiana Hawks and Eagles – Meet residents of the Hardy Lake Chamberlain Rehabilitation Center.
10:30 a.m. to Noon – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area. (With pre-registration or day of event when available).
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Lunch provided by Mercy Rescue.
Noon to 3 p.m. – Children’s Recycled Bird Crafts- Kids learn about birds with hands-on activities provided by Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce Recycling Committee.
12:30 p.m. to 1p.m. – Birdwatching 101: How to Identify Birds – Learn the basics of birdwatching including the use of binoculars and field guides.
12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Bird Conservation – What you can do to help, by Refuge Staff.
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area. (With pre-registration or day of event when available).
1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Owls of Indiana – Meet nocturnal residents of the Hardy Lake Chamberlain Rehabilitation Center.
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area. (With pre-registration or day of event when open.)
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Children’s Bridges to Birding Activities.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Junior Duck Stamp Awards Ceremony – Muscatatuck hosts and manages the Indiana Junior Duck Stamp conservation art contest for students in grades K-12. State winners will receive their awards.
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. -Identification of Bird and Mammal Tracks – Join Sandy Derringer, Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, for a walk to identify animal tracks and do plaster casting.
3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – “Bird Stuff” – Binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides and software programs.
4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Muscatatuck NWR. – Refuge Staff
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Guided Tour of Refuge Closed Area.
Sunday, May 15
8 a.m. to Noon – Guided Tour of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge Closed Area. Pre-registration required. Big Oaks, a 50,000 acre refuge, was formerly the Jefferson Proving Ground Munitions testing area and is home to many uncommon birds and plants. Call 812-522-4352 ext. 12 to register.