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Thursday, 07 March 2019 11:22

Brew City Birding Festival 2019

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 of birds, beer, socializing, bird trivia, and a short program by Matt Mendenhall, Editor of BirdWatching Magazine. 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)  (canceled)

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 (canceled)

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 (canceled)

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 sponsor and community partners whose generous support has helped make this event possible!

Sponsor:

weyco BCBF web 2019

Community Partners:

BirdWatching Magazine • 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.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 22:58

Candlelight Walk

Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Candlelight Walk and Candlelight Walk for Kids on Saturday, December 15

Experience the serenity of the nighttime forest in the heart of the city, spend some time in the outdoors with us.

Candlelight Walk and Candlelight Walk for Kids are yearly traditions of honoring the longest night of the year. Take a guided stroll down the luminary-lit paths of the Milwaukee Centennial Rotary Arboretum and enjoy stops along the way for readings of seasonal poetry and prose. Back at the Center warm yourself by the fire as you enjoy music, snacks and hot cider.

Candlelight Walk for adults and teens.

Saturday, December 15 | Riverside Park
Walks begin at 7pm and continue every fifteen minutes (last walk leaves at 8:30pm)
Pick Your Price: Program Cost - $14 | Member Discount - $10 | Price Break - $7

Registration for specific walk times is required.

Register for your Candlelight Walk start time below

If you are unable to register for a selected walk time, that means that the walk is full. We apologize that our website is unable to update walk availability in real time.

Candlelight Walk for Kids

The Candlelight Walk for Kids features offers earlier start times, kid-friendly readings and stories, shorter routes for littler legs, crafts, games and, of course, hot chocolate and snacks back at the Center! 

Saturday, December 15 | Riverside Park
Walks begin at 4:30pm and continue every fifteen minutes (last walk leaves at 5:45pm)
Pick Your Price: Program Cost - $14 | Member Discount - $10 | Price Break - $7

Registration for specific walk times is required. (Free for kids 3 and under)

 

Register for your Candlelight Walk for Kids start time below

Thank you to DeWan Dental Wellness, our Candlelight Walk sponsor!

Friday, 29 December 2017 12:15

Stories of the UEC

In our December 2017 Weekly Guide emails we introduced our supporters and friends to some people they helped connect to the outdoors. We think their stories are pretty awesome so we put them together in case you missed any of the updates. Experience the Urban Ecology Center through the videos below. You'll find a determined teen, a budding butterfly scientist, a Menomonee Valley family, and one of our monthly donors.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 16:38

A Fondness for Fishing

One of my very first memories, from when I was three or four years old, was of me fishing with my dad. He had taken me camping up in the Chequamegon-Nicolet national forest. I remember only bits and pieces of riding in the truck, sleeping in a tent, and sitting around a campfire. But being out on a lake in the boat, that I remember quite vividly.

April 22nd is Earth Day, celebrated around the world as a day to protect, steward and learn about the earth. Here at the Center we're inviting everyone to help celebrate with our Earth Day of Service, a morning of pitching in with friends and neighbors at each of our three branches to show some love to our little corner of the planet - come join us!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016 09:00

It’s Easy to Start Your Year off Well!

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be hard. Especially if one of your resolutions is to be active outdoors the middle of a season that usually keeps us indoors. I’ve learned that finding a group of people with similar interests can help get me going. So, if you’re aiming to start your year with more exercise, less stress and more meaningful time with family, we can connect you with others to help you along. Soon the resolution will become a part of your usual routine.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:49

2016 Candlelight Walk

Our Candlelight Walk and Candlelight Walk for Kids on Saturday, December 17th, are dedicated to enjoying the quiet solace of a winter’s evening on one of the longest nights of the year.

candlelight walk 16 graphic

candlelight walk 15 DeWan graphic 2

Take a guided stroll down the luminary-lit paths of the Milwaukee Centennial Rotary Arboretum and enjoy stops along the way for readings of seasonal poetry and prose as you experience the serenity of the nighttime forest in the heart of the city. Back at the Center warm yourself by the fire as you enjoy snacks and hot cider.

Price: $5 ($10 for nonmembers)

Walks begin at 7 and continue every fifteen minutes through 9 o'clock. Registration for specific walk times is required.

Click here to register for your preferred time.

 

Our Candlelight Walk for Kids offers earlier start times, kid-friendly readings and stories, shorter routes for littler legs, and of course hot chocolate and snacks back at the Center!

candlelight walk 15 blog graphic 2

Walks begin at 4:30 and leave every fifteen minutes, with the last kids' walk leaving at 6. Registration for walk times is required.

This special evening is an Urban Ecology Center tradition. Spend it with us as we enjoy the gentleness of our longest nights and celebrate the increasing daylight still to come.

Price: Adults: $5 ($7 for nonmembers) Children: $3 ($5 for nonmembers)

 Click here to register for your preferred start time!

 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 13:12

Home Away From Home

As a child, my bed was flush up against the window in my bedroom. That window provided me with my first encounters with nature.

In winter, I was so mesmerized by the snow-capped trees and gently covered ground, I would stare out the window for hours. It became a sort of game for me to decipher when the deer would pop out from beyond the trees.

In summer, the breeze would come through the open window and at night the crickets would put me to sleep.

In the springtime, I’d eagerly await the flowers and the smells that would come from the forest.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:00

Winterfest Returns to Washington Park!

Winter took its time getting here this year, but it definitely showed up ready to go! In a matter of days, Washington Park became covered in beautiful snow, and things are lining up beautifully for our annual Winterfest!

Thursday, 12 November 2015 00:00

2015 Candlelight Walk

Our Candlelight Walk and Candlelight Walk for Kids on Saturday, December 19th, are dedicated to enjoying the quiet solace of a winter’s evening on one of the longest nights of the year.

candlelight walk 15 blog graphic 1

candlelight walk 15 DeWan graphic 2

Take a guided stroll down the luminary-lit paths of the Milwaukee Centennial Rotary Arboretum and enjoy stops along the way for readings of seasonal poetry and prose as you experience the serenity of the nighttime forest in the heart of the city. Back at the Center warm yourself by the fire as you enjoy snacks and hot cider as well as live music from Toco Rio, playing a mix of jazz, Brazilian, and seasonal tunes.

Price: $5 ($10 for nonmembers)

Walks begin at 7 and continue every fifteen minutes through 9 o'clock, with no registration necessary.

Our Candlelight Walk for Kids offers earlier start times, kid-friendly readings and stories, shorter routes for littler legs, and of course hot chocolate and snacks back at the Center!

candlelight walk 15 blog graphic 2

Walks begin at 4:30 and leave every fifteen minutes, with the last kids' walk leaving at 6. New this year, participants can register below to reserve a spot on the walk time of their choice.

This special evening is an Urban Ecology Center tradition. Spend it with us as we enjoy the gentleness of our longest nights and celebrate the increasing daylight still to come.

Price: Adults: $5 ($7 for nonmembers) Children: $3 ($5 for nonmembers)

Candlelight Walk for Kids - Register for your preferred start time!

 

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