Indiana Dunes Birding Festival Comes to the Region May 7-10

Celebrate the migration of birdlife through the Indiana Dunes region this upcoming May 7 to 10 at the inaugural Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.  The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is a joint partnership with the region’s major environmental groups to highlight the dunes area’s rich biodiversity and bird watching opportunities to create a positive impact on the economic, conservation, and environmental education for visitors and residents to the Indiana Dunes region.  The event is being organized by the Indiana Audubon Society and includes both the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park as site hosts.

The four day festival will include over 25 led field trips and car pool tours to view migrating birds within the dunes area, over 25 bird related programs, from live bird of prey talks to species ID workshops, and special workshops for both new bird watchers and educators.  Evening events also include special excursions for owls and whip-poor-wills, and a family friendly “birds and brew” social event on multiple nights.

The Saturday night keynote presentation includes James Currie, from National Geographic’s Birding Adventures TV show.  Currie will present, “Not Your Grandma’s Audubon,” which looks at his experiences hosting and producing his acclaimed birding television series.  The keynote includes dinner, as well as silent auction and vendor marketplace.

Registration for priority Indiana Audubon Society members has begun, with general early-bird registration beginning March 1.  Registration costs for the entire four day festival run as low as $45 for adults and $30 for youth under 18.  Registration can be found online at www.indunesbirdingfestival.com.

Twenty partners have come together to make the festival a reality.  Additional signature sponsors include the Friends of Indiana Dunes, First State Bank of Porter, Save the Dunes, Chesterton Feed and Garden, and the Northwest Indiana Migratory Bird Association.

In addition to the festival website, more information can be obtained at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49, just south of the intersection of 49 and US 20 in Porter, Indiana.  Interested participants can also contact the information desk at 219-395-1882 or the State Park Nature Center at 219-926-1390.  Visit the park’s on the web at www.nps.gov/indu or www.dnr.in.gov/parklake/2980.htm.