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5/01/2016 Update
Pre-festival registration is now closed. Limited day of walk in registrations will be available starting Thursday, May 5 and are available at the Dunes Visitor Center.
4/28/2016 Youth and Family Birding Day Flier
4/26/2016 Program Changes and Updates
Thanks for attending this year's Indiana Dunes Birding Festival. Please make note of the following program updates and changes that have occurred since the Festival Guide was released. Please see any event staff or volunteer if you have any questions. Enjoy your festival!
Thursday, May 5th
2pm- Climate Change and Birds at the Douglas Center- CANCELLED. In its place….
2pm- Snowy Owls in the Dunes by Josh Engel at the Douglas Center.
Majestic, powerful, and a symbol of the wild north, no bird captures the human imagination like the Snowy Owl. Every few winters people at the southern tip of Lake Michigan are lucky enough to have the chance to see them when they irrupt south in unusually large numbers. Starting out with a basic question: What is a Snowy Owl?, Josh will talk about Snowies in popular culture and he will discuss the reasons behind their recent irruptions and what they do while they're here.

Josh Engel is a research assistant at the Field Museum and a tour leader for Tropical Birding. He grew up in the Chicago area where he started birding before he knew that such a thing as binoculars existed. As a researcher, he primarily studies genetics and conservation of tropical birds, while occasionally dabbling in studies of Snowy Owls and other local fauna.

Sunday, May 8th

The program guide incorrectly states that the 1pm Tales of a Bad Birdwatcher takes place at the Visitor Center. It takes place in the Dunes State Park Nature Center.
Field Trip Leader Updates
Thursday, May 5th
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens- Welcome leader Nick Kielh in place of Mia Goulding.
Friday, May 6th
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens- Welcome leader Lynn Daugherty in place of Mia Goulding.
Saturday May 7th
Sarett NC Canopy Tower- Welcome co-leader Cookie Ferguson.
Beverly Shores Great Marsh- Welcome leader Sam Plew in place of Landon Neumann.


4/11/2016 Sign Up for Text Alerts
Want to keep up on all of the rare bird sightings in the Indiana Dunes now and during the bird fest!? Join the Dunes Area Rare Bird Alert text and email message program. It's a free service to get notified on current sightings in the dunes!
Sign up for either texts or emails at http://bit.do/birdfestalerts. Your phone service standard text messaging rates apply.
2/22/2016 Festival Registration is Now OPEN!
Early-bird registration for the 2016 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is now open. Register early to reserve your spots on limited field trips. Please visit the following link to register: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/iasi/event/767502/
2/13/2016 Update: Festival Registration Dates
Indiana Audubon Society Members will receive a link for priority registration via email this weekend. Please email info@indunesbirdingfestival.com. If you do not receive this link by Monday. General registration begins on February 22nd.
2/10/2016 Update: Festival Guide is Now Online!
Click here to view the entire line-up of presentations that will be held during the 2016 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival. If you would like a hard copy mailed to you prior to registration, they are $2.00 per and can be purchased HERE.
2016 Festival Keynote and Headliners
Listed below are the trip leaders and speakers that will be featured during the 2016 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.
Festival Keynote: Iain Campbell of Tropical Birding

Ian Campbell

Iain Campbell ended his career as a geochemist in West Africa when it dawned on him that his life list was more valuable than gold. He packed up his G-pick, said goodbye to fufu, and headed to South America, which better suits his style. Having a passion not just for birding but for the birds themselves, his vision for conservation helped to create Tandayapa Bird Lodge and Mindo Cloudforest Foundation. Besides being one of the founders of Tropical Birding, Iain is near fanatical about getting more people into birding, and works with many organizations trying to achieve
this main goal.
Iain’s program, “The Misadventures of Bird Guides” will explore the unusual lifestyle that occasionally has one whizzing through five continents in the spell of three months, and reveals the world for what it is, a twisted, tortuous path of avoiding potential calamities, cultural confusion and cockups. Iain will take you through a series of adventures, from dealing with airline strikes and camel safaris gone rogue to defusing potentially disruptive situations on the Pakistan-India border, and even accidentally invading Peru. This stuff is way too outrageous to have been made up, so it must be true.

2016 Festival Headliners

Allisyn Marie-Gillet Allisyn Marie-Gillet comes from a background steeped in biology and ecology. She conducted graduate work at Columbia University and Ph.D. work at University of Missouri working on Galapagos Hawks. Here in Indiana, Allisyn heads up the state Department of Natural Resources non-game bird biologist position. She oversees the state's highly successful Bald Eagle, Osprey, and Peregrine Falcon reintroductions, as well as monitoring several at risk bird species in the state.
Overall, she has been interested in conserva2on, disease, and birds and this is what brought her to the nongame bird biologist positon here in Indiana. Allisyn will present on Friday, May 6 with work from the Southern Wings program and how three of our warblers are affected.

Ken Brock Dr. Kenneth J. Brock has a diverse past, but is best known in as the Bird Man of Indiana. Ken grew up in California's Great Central Valley. After completing a BS in Geology he spent four years in the U.S. Navy where he served as navigator aboard C-130 transport planes. In fall of 1970 Dr. Brock accepted an appointment as assistant professor of Geology at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana. During the summer of 1997 Ken was appointed interim dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Northwest, a position he held for two and one-half years. He retired from the university in June 2001 and is now Professor Emeritus of Geology. Ken will give the secrets to the Dunes Area's greatest birding hotspots on Thursday, May 5.
Gerald Wykes Gerald Wykes retired as the Supervising Interpreter of the Lake Erie Marshlands Museum & Nature Center – a part of the Huron-Clinton Metropark System, in 2012 after 30+ years. The museum is located at the mouth of the Detroit River at the site of one of the premier fall hawkwatching locations in the country. Hawkfest, an annual festival going on its 26th year, is held here and gave Gerald the opportunity to rub shoulders with thousands of hawks and hawkwatchers every fall. He shares a now-empty nest (three adult children now making their way in the world) in Monroe, MI with his wife, Debora. He is also a freelance author, artist, and storyteller on nature and history topics. Join Gerald on both Saturday and Sunday (May 7 and 8) for Hawkwatching for Dummies (a quick and dirty introduction into the art and science of identifying hawks) and Tales of a Bad Birdwatcher.
Joel Greenberg Joel Greenberg and his love of nature has affected most of what he has done: where he went to school, what he studied, where he has worked, and what he does in his spare time. For the last 11 years, Joel has devoted himself to writing, speaking, and consulting on a variety of environmental topics.

Since 2009, Joel has been immersed in all things passenger pigeon. This includes writing A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction (Bloomsbury USA, 2014) , the first major work on the bird in over fifty years, and co-producing with director David Mrazek the documentary From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction.

Join Joel for a one of a kind birding expedition on Friday, May 6.

Steve Huy Steve Huy is the founder and manager of the Lamb's Knoll Owl Banding site in the eastern edge of Western Maryland. He also brought Project Owlnet to the internet through the creation of its first website and listerv which was a major factor in the Project's growth and success.
Steve spends his weekdays as an analyst for Marriott International. He lives in Frederick, MD with his daughter and wife who both are learning to band owls. He is a past president of the Washington County Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society. In 2013, Steve, with Scott Weidensaul and David Brinkler, founded Project SNOWstorm to monitor the Snowy Owl invasions. Their work will be presented by Steve on Sunday, May 8.

The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an annual event that showcases the abundance of migratory birds in the Indiana Dunes.

Birding in the Indiana Dunes is the best the state has to offer. With its rich biodiversity, varying habitats and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Indiana Dunes is a hotspot for migrant and resident birds. The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an event designed to celebrate the dunes area’s various birding habitats 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 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is hosted by the Indiana Audubon Society whose mission is to promote birding throughout Indiana. For detailed information regarding birding locations, birdwatching tips and membership privileges, please visit www.indianaaudubon.org

*Video courtesy of Indiana Dunes Tourism

1-21-2016 Update:
Festival Guide Online
Click here to view the entire line-up of presentations that will be held during the 2016 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.

11-24-2015 Update:

Festival Keynote and headliners announced. Join the conversation on Facebook.

11-13-2015 Update:

We are currently seeking relevant vendors for the Migration Marketplace held on May 7th from 10AM to 4PM. Each booth costs $50.00. Booth space is approximately 10’x10,’ and will be located at IDBF headquarters, the Indiana Dunes Tourism Visitor Center, 1215 N SR 49, Porter, IN. Booth spaces are all outside. All spaces will be in an adjacent mowed lawn and parking lot and without power. For more information, please download the vendor application HERE.



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