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Free family-friendly nature recreation and education! To celebrate Madison being formally recognized as a Bird City, Madison Parks, in collaboration with other organizations, will offer free monthly bird and nature walks.

Sunday, January 25, 1:30-3:00 pm
Whoo's That? UW Nature Preserve Winter Birds
3016 Lake Mendota Dr.

Take a free healthy informal winter walk with fellow nature lovers. Students, families and kids are welcome! Meet at the Eagle Heights Community Gardens entrance one block up the hill from University Bay Dr., park across the street in the first lot and walk over. Did you know that Great Horned Owls are already Hoo-Hoo-Hooting to their mates and making nests? We will hike easy trails to look and listen for Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls (Who Cooks for Yooooou?) and other hearty Wisconsin winter birds that are chirping, pecking and calling in Bills Woods and other sheltered spots. Dogs are not permitted on these walks. Volunteer co-leaders welcome, share your interests and enthusiasm! Bird and Nature Walks at UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Madison Audubon. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Monday, February 2, 6:00 pm
Friends of Hoyt Park Owl Walk
Hoyt Park
3902 Regent St.

The Friends of Hoyt Park "whatever the weather" Owl Walk is nigh, so here's your invitation to join us for hot drinks, cookies, "owl lore" if you have some, and, maybe, we will hear some owls hooting away on a full moon night, the Snow Moon as the Native Americans called it. So, please come. If need be, wear warm clothes. Bring snowshoes if you have them! So, see you there at the main shelter at 6:00 pm on Monday, February 2, for the Annual Friends of Hoyt Park Owl Walk. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: John Elliot, (608) 232-1846.

Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 pm
Cherokee Marsh - South Unit
Wheeler Rd. and Ilene Ln. intersection

Witness the rebirth of oak savanna habitat along the shores of glacial Lake Mendota. Ponds constructed nearby in 2012 treat urban storm water while providing wildlife habitat. We'll look for early migrating birds in and around the ponds.

Wednesday, May 13, 6:30 pm
Turville Point Conservation Park
1156 Olin-Turville Ct.

Explore this beautiful downtown park along the shores of Lake Monona. Spring ephemeral wildflowers carpet the "tip" of the peninsula.

Wednesday, June 17, 6:30 pm
Cherokee Marsh - North Unit
6098 N. Sherman Ave.

Diverse natural habitats in a large landscape provide a mecca for birds and other wildlife. Walk through a large oak savanna restoration which attracted 3 nesting pairs of red-headed woodpeckers in 2014.

Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 pm
Prairie Ridge Conservation Park
2406 Berkley Dr.

Goat prairies and oak savanna restorations cover this glaciated ridge providing a snapshot of a landscape that once dominated Dane County.

Saturday, August 8, 8:00 am
Upper Yahara paddle trip
Cherokee Marsh - South Unit at School Rd. Boat Launch

Bring your own paddle craft to paddle through the "fragrant thickets" of American Lotus Water Lily looking for a variety of wetland birds and other wildlife.

Wednesday, September 16, 6:30 pm
Edna Taylor Conservation Park
802 Femrite Dr.

Walk on a glacial drumlin with large open grown oaks with numerous linear mounds and one panther effigy originating from another time in human history.

Wednesday, October 14, 5:30 pm
Owen Conservation Park
6021 Old Sauk Rd.
Learn about the natural and human history of this 100 acre natural gem "hidden" on the west side of Madison. View outstanding fall color with oaks and maples that cover this glacial moraine.

Please help thank and support Madison Bird City Partners who co-sponsor these free Bird and Nature Walks! See the websites below for more detail about these groups and activities you may enjoy.

Remember to wear weather appropriate clothing, shoes and insect deterrents and bring a water bottle.  Dogs are NOT permitted at Cherokee Marsh and Turville Point Conservation Park or other locations and events unless specified. Events are rain or shine but may be cancelled due to inclement weather.

image: bird nature walk promo