Celebrate the wonders of birds during Indiana Dunes State Park’s 2nd annual Duneland Winter Birding Days, Dec. 6 and 7.
This weekend of special programming is geared toward birders and other wildlife enthusiasts, but with special programs occurring both days, there is something for everyone. The fun starts Dec. 6 at 9 a.m., with a look at the wintering birds of the Dunes. This short hike from the Nature Center will explore the world of chickadees, woodpeckers and other winter duneland residents.
State park naturalists will offer a look at bird banding throughout the day at the Nature Center. This opportunity will give visitors a chance to see many wild birds up close and in hand, and learn about current banding projects.
At 2 p.m., Carole Riewe, raptor rehabber for Owl Acres, will offer a special program on the owls of the Dunes, which features an assortment of live owls, in the Nature Center auditorium.
Saturday will end with a night hike into the winter dune forests in search of winged predators. Visitors can meet at the Nature Center at 5 p.m. for an hour-long owl prowl. Hikers should bundle up and bring a flashlight for the walk back to the car.
On Dec. 7, park naturalists will offer more bird banding from the Nature Center, through mid-afternoon. At 10 a.m., kids can join the naturalists for the weekly favorite, “Feed the Birds.” After a short discussion on different bird seeds, children can help the naturalists fill the Nature Center bird feeders, then make their own bird feeder to take home.
Sunday ends with a special presentation from Holly Meyers, Indiana master naturalist and licensed bird rehabber, who will bring a variety of live birds of prey, and take a look at the special art of falconry in a one-hour program beginning at 2 p.m., also at the Nature Center.
All programs are free after paying the weekend park entrance fee of $5 for in-state residents and $10 for out-of-state residents. Funding and support for the weekend’s events comes from the Friends of Indiana Dunes and the Northwest Indiana Migratory Bird Association (NIMBA). For more information about these events or any other programs at the state park, call (219) 926-1390 or visit www.interpretiveservices.IN.gov.