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Brew City Birding Festival Logo

Monday, May 6 - Saturday, May 11, 2019

Join us for our Third Annual Brew City Birding Festival, a wonderful week of bird-themed field trips, lectures, family-friendly programs and activities, and bird watching opportunities. Find more info below and download a guide to the festival here!

Our weekday morning and afternoon programs feature field trips and bird-themed programs appropriate for everyone. Our weekday evening programs feature lectures and programs more suitable for adults of all skill levels. The festival culminates on Saturday, May 11 with our popular Green Birding Challenge. Learn more about the Green Birding Challenge here!

BCBF 2019 1


Spend a week with the birds!

Frequent Flyer Pass

Pick Your Price: $100 / $50 / $30

A Brew City Birding Festival Frequent Flyer Pass includes admission to any Brew City Birding Festival lecture and discounts on festival field trips (a total value of up to $100)! Passes can be purchased online, during registration for any of the programs or in-person at one of our Weekly Bird Walks.

Buy your Frequent Flyer Pass today! 

For more info contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505  


 

Brew City Birding Festival Weekly Events

Our array of weekday events feature field trips highlighting important stopover sites in and around Milwaukee and programs designed to hone the skills of introductory to advanced birders alike. Check out the full schedule of field trips and lectures below.

Monday  |  Tuesday  |  Wednesday  |  Thursday

Monday, May 6 

Birding at Riveredge Nature Center  

Meet at our Riverside Park branch | Monday, May 6 | 8:00 am - 2 pm

Program Cost: $50 | UEC Members: $36 | Price Break: $25 | Frequent Flyer Pass: $20

Established in the 1960’s and with nearly 380 acres of varied green spaces along the Milwaukee River, Riveredge Nature Center is one of the oldest and largest Nature Centers in Southeast Wisconsin. It is also a birding mecca with over 200 species of birds recorded, including an astounding 67 species of breeding birds. We will explore a portion of the more-than 12 miles of trails including Riveredge Creek and Ephemeral Pond State Natural Area. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch. Binoculars available. Online pre-registration required. 

Register

 

Bird Banding at the UEC: With 16 Years of Data, What Have We Found? (Lecture)
White-breasted Nuthatch with a seed in its bill

Riverside Park | Monday, May 6 | 2:30 to 3:30 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

Perhaps you’ve helped out with this project in the field and then wondered exactly what these little birds are helping us to discover? Learn about some of the trends and patterns that our data have unearthed and the powerful stories data hold. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

From Flowers to Feathers: Bird Habitat for Your Yard (Workshop)

Riverside Park | Monday, May 6 | 6:00 to 8:30 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

Join us for presentations from area ornithologists and landscapers to learn about planting native plants in your yard, basic principles of native landscape design, and how it helps many wildlife species, especially birds. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Tuesday, May 7

Weekly Bird Walk

A teen, a man, and a woman looking through binoculars in a wooded area in Riverside Park.

Menomonee Valley | Tuesday, May 7 | 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Free (donations appreciated)

Get exercise, enjoy fresh air and let’s see how many birds we can find in one morning! Spring migration is the BEST! Binoculars available. No need to register.

Learn More

 

Big Green Birding Bike Ride

Meet at our Washington Park branch | Tuesday, May 7 | 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Program Cost: $15 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $5 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

Get exercise, enjoy fresh air and see how many birds we can find in one day using no fossil fuels! Bring a lunch, a bike, and binoculars. Bikes and binoculars are available for Urban Ecology Center members to borrow. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Journey of a Thousand Lifers (Lecture)

Riverside Park | Tuesday, May 7 | 5:15 to 6:15 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

This is a presentation of an around-the-world trip that Bill Volkert and his wife Connie took from September 2014 through April 2015. Traveling nearly eight months, they covered twelve countries from southern Africa to India and Southeast Asia, sighting more than 1,300 species of birds and over a thousand lifers. They traveled 55,000 miles and took 35,000 pictures to capture their adventures. This program provides an overview of their travels and some of the amazing wildlife and wild places they visited. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Birding the Last Frontier (Lecture)

Riverside Park | Tuesday, May 7 | 6:15 to 7:15 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

From ptarmigans to curlews and auklets to eiders, join John O’Donnell to explore the challenges and rewards of birding major Alaskan hotspots such as the Pribolof Islands, Nome, Attu, Gambell and Barrow. John has led seven birding trips in Alaska and has participated in five others — and says he is not yet finished with the Last Frontier state. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Wednesday, May 8

Weekly Bird Walk

Washington Park | Wednesday, May 8 | 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Free (donations appreciated)

Get exercise, enjoy fresh air and let’s see how many birds we can find in one morning! Spring migration is the BEST! Binoculars available. No need to register.

Learn More

 

Birding in Muskego Park

Meet at our Menomonee Valley branch | Wednesday, May 8 | 8:00 am - noon

Program Cost: $50 | UEC Members: $36 | Price Break: $25 | Frequent Flyer Pass: $20

Cerulean warblers, scarlet tanagers, and barred owls find Muskego Park's majestic old-growth mesic forest carpeted with spring ephemeral wildflowers especially appealing. Join Julia Robson, Conservation Biologist for Waukesha County Parks, and Dianne Robinson, Wildlife Biologist for Wisconsin DNR, for an in-depth look at the unique birds and habitat management practices in this stunning State Natural Area and County Park! Online pre-registration required.

Register

 

Birds and Beer! (Lecture and drinks)  Hands clinking glasses of beer over two sets of binoculars

Meet at Gathering Place Brewing Co. (811 E. Vienna Ave.) | Wednesday, May 8 | 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass: Free

Join us for an evening to socialize, celebrate birds and listen to a mystery guest speaker. Don’t forget money for beer! Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Thursday, May 9

Bird Banding at Riverside Park (Bird research in action)

Two women looking at a bird through magnification goggles.

Riverside Park | Thursday, May 9 | 5:30 am - 11:30 am

Free (donations appreciated)

Watch the Urban Ecology Center’s Bird Banding team band migratory song birds passing through our green spaces. Lucky participants might even have a chance to hold a live wild bird. Online pre-registration required. Weather dependant.

Register

 

Weekly Bird Walk

Riverside Park | Thursday, May 9 | 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Free (donations appreciated)

Get exercise, enjoy fresh air and let’s see how many birds we can find in one morning! Spring migration is the BEST! Binoculars available. No need to register.

Learn More

 

Field Trip to Harbor Haven

Meet at our Riverside Park branch | Thursday, May 9 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Program Cost: $28 | UEC Members: $20 | Price Break: $14 | Frequent Flyer Pass: $10

On the shores of Lake Michigan just south of downtown Milwaukee, the Consolidated Disposal Facility is where the Port of Milwaukee dumps their dredged infill. Consequently, this fenced off space has become a safe haven for several species of birds and possibly boasts the largest historical bird list of any single location in Wisconsin. Join Harbor District and Urban Ecology Center staff as we watch these undisturbed avians from a distance. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch. Binoculars available. Online pre-registration required.

Register

 

Field Trip to Milwaukee County Zoo

Meet at our Washington Park branch | Thursday, May 9 | 11 am - 3 pm

Program Cost: $50 | UEC Members: $36 | Price Break: $25 | Frequent Flyer Pass: $20

Tour the Zoo Aviary and learn about captive avian management and conservation projects staff are involved in. Also, enjoy a short walk to one of the hummingbird banding sites on the Zoo’s grounds. Participants will learn about banding hummingbirds and other projects involving wild birds on the property. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy on the Zoo grounds. Online pre-registration required.

Register

 

Field Trip to Milwaukee Public Museum

Meet at our Menomonee Valley branch | Thursday, May 9 | 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Program Cost: $50 | UEC Members: $36 | Price Break: $25 | Frequent Flyer Pass: $20

Take a behind the scenes tour of the Ornithology collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum and experience some of the hidden gems not on display. Fee covers admission to the museum. Online pre-registration required.

Register

 

Birds in Poetry (Reading)

Riverside Park | Thursday, May 9 | 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass and Urban Echo Poet Members: Free

Birders and poets share much in common. Both like working by ear and always make a practice of naming things. Join Susan Firer and Carolyn Vargo for an evening of favorite bird poems. Susan Firer served as Milwaukee’s Poet Laureate from 2008-2010 and is adjunct Professor Emeritus at UW-Milwaukee. Stay afterwards for a session of writing poetry with the Urban Echo Poets. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Bird Navigation: A Remarkable Ability! (Lecture) 

Riverside Park | Thursday, May 9 | 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Program Cost: $14 | UEC Members: $10 | Price Break: $7 | Frequent Flyer Pass and Urban Echo Poet Members: Free

For their entire lives, many birds migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles twice a year. What’s even more remarkable, is that they are able to navigate these flyways using an internal global positioning system complete with specialized organs, an internal compass, and super-senses! Join Tim Vargo, UEC Manager of Research, for this month's Beak to Tail series hosted by the Center’s Urban Stargazers group. If skies are clear, telescopes will be set up for some stargazing after. Register online or use your Frequent Flyer Pass!

Register

 

Man marvels at a pack of native bird feathers at a class.


Special thank you to our community partners whose generous support has helped make this event possible!

Community Partners

Urban Echo Poets • Waukesha Parks & Recreation • Milwaukee County Zoo • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources • Riveredge Nature Center • Milwaukee Public Museum • Bill Volkert • John O’Donnell • Gathering Place Brewery • Urban Stargazers • Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory • Harbor District, Inc.

 

Photo credits: White-breasted Nuthatch by Bruce Halmo, Beer by ADBE.

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Frequent Flyer Pass for Brew City Birding Festival Early-bird Registration

Riverside Park

Wednesday, March 20th

12:00 AM - 11:55 PM

More Details...

Early Morning Bird Walks (Washington Park)

Washington Park

Wednesday, March 20th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

More Details...

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