~photo by Tracie Kovener
The 17th Annual Wings Over Muscatatuck Migratory Bird Festival will be held this Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9, at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, east of Seymour. Activities for Sunday, May 10, will be held at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, near Madison.
The Wings Over Muscatatuck Bird Festival celebrates birds and the natural environment. A variety of events are scheduled, including several trips to the closed area of the Refuge, a “Paint the Town” event, children’s activities and a Bird Calling Contest.
A complete schedule follows, or can be found at www.jacksoncountyin.com. Call 812-522-4352. Call the Jackson County Visitor Center at 855-524-1914 to register for field trips.
Friday, May 8
8 a.m. to Noon – Guided Birding Trip on Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. Advance registration required and space is limited.
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Big Tree Walk.
8 p.m. – Calls of Indiana Frogs and Toads.
9 p.m. – Owl Prowl.
Saturday, May 9
6 to 8 a.m. – Breakfast with the Birds. – Continental breakfast outside Visitor Center.
8 to 10 a.m. – Morning Bird Walk. – Birders of all abilities are invited for an easy bird identification walk.
8:30 to 10 a.m. – Birdhouse Building for Kids.
8:30 to 10 a.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area (With pre-registration or day of event when available.) Travel by van with a Refuge guide to the closed area and other interesting birding spots.
9 a.m. to Noon – Children’s Birding Activities by Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce Environmental and Recycling Committee.
9:30 to 11 a.m. – Hawks and Eagles of Indiana with Indiana DNR staff. Meet live hawks and eagles who reside at Chamberlain Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – More Children’s Activities. Includes critter face painting; exploring owl pellets; the life cycle of butterflies and live Indiana snakes. Visit the Nature Discovery Area.
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 available.
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Bird calling contest. – Bring your best, all-natural bird call (no aids) to vie for prizes and recognition. Theatrics are encouraged!
12:30 p.m. – Bird Banding. – Dr. Ron Weiss of Chipper Woods Bird Observatory.
12:30 to 1:30 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.
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Owls of Indiana – See and learn about Indiana’s owls with DNR staff.
2:30 to 4 p.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area (With pre-registration or day of event when available.)
4:30 to 6 p.m. – Guided Tour of Muscatatuck Closed Area (With pre-registration or day of event when available.)
Sunday, May 10
8 a.m. to Noon – Guided Tour of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge Closed Area. Pre-registration required. Big Oaks is home to uncommon birds and plants. Call 812-522-4352 extension 12 to register. Trip leaves from Big Oaks office.