Bird & Nature Outings

Discover nature by foot, paddle or pedal! Thanks to our volunteers, Madison Parks offers free, family-friendly Bird and Nature Outings year-round on Sunday afternoons and various Saturday mornings, including the 3rd Saturday of each month in the Starkweather Creek area.

Explore scenic paths and hidden natural areas throughout the seasons in Madison area parks and conservancies. Trained naturalists and volunteer walk leaders share their enthusiasm about nature, trees, flowers, butterflies, birds, animals and more along the way. Enjoy a kid-friendly outing promoting healthy outdoor nature recreation and education.

Outings are free, informal and no registration is required. See below for details on each event–the outing may be a walk, bike ride or canoe/kayak adventure. Please wear appropriate clothing for the day, be prepared for mosquitoes in-season, and wear footwear for the weather and hiking. Dogs are not permitted. Binoculars, cameras and children are welcome!

Thanks to the Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN) for their dedication and enthusiasm. Join the FUN! For more information or to volunteer, contact Paul Noeldner (608) 698-0104.

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve

    Help celebrate World Water Day with a family-friendly walk at the beautiful UW Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve along Lake Mendota, the most researched body of water in the world.  Join Young Birder Ryan Treves to look for spring birds and other hidden signs of spring emerging in woodland flowers and fresh buds on trees.  Along the way we will learn a bit about accommodation ethics and human … Read more

  • Sunday, April 2, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Cherokee Marsh North

    Cherokee Chorus! Enjoy a family friendly Spring outing with Naturalist Dale Grimm. Will the Skunk Cabbage be up?  Come and find out!  We will look for ephemeral (early spring) flowers and listen to the music of the frogs and birds.  Watch for Sandhill Cranes dancing in the prairies, White Pelicans on the upper Yahara River, and Bald Eagles soaring overhead.  Walks at Cherokee Marsh held on the … Read more

  • Saturday, April 8, 2017
    2:30pm to 4:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Owen Conservation Park

    Owen Spring Opening - Nature lovers, families and kids will enjoy an afternoon walk with School Naturalist Dale Grimm to look for early wildflowers and other signs of spring on the beautiful oak knoll and along the restored prairie in this historic west side park.  Outings at Owen Conservation Park are co-sponsored by the Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN!), and partners and happen on the … Read more

  • Sunday, April 9, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Turville Point Conservation

    Signs of Spring! Join enthused birder Chuck Henrikson to look for returning birds and other signs of spring along beautiful Turville Point trails by Lake Monona. Walks at Turville Point held on the 2nd Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners Friends of Olin Turville and Madison Audubon. Meet at the Turville parking lot from John Nolen Drive at the railroad … Read more

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Starkweather Creek Area, April 15

    Earth Day Paddle!  Join Carl Landsness with Friends of Starkweather Creek and Deborah Crabtree with Goodman Community Center to paddle up beautiful Starkweather Creek in the heart of Madison's East Side!  Free, family friendly, no registration required. Canoes and kayaks will be provided and led by an experienced paddler, but feel free to bring your own paddle craft or ‘boat pool’ with … Read more

  • Sunday, April 16, 2017
    1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Annual Bird & Nature Festival - Warner Park

    Join the FUN (Friends of Urban Nature) at the Madison FUN Bird and Nature Festival! This free, family-friendly afternoon event celebrates Madison Bird City, Arbor Day and Earth Day with an exploration in nature. Kids will love the hands-on activities at the shelter, a nearby tree planting, games and a short walk. Help celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day and Bird City Day with Madison Parks, Wild … Read more

  • Sunday, April 23, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - UW's Lakeshore Nature Preserve, April 23

    Spring Birds Bonanza! Join Wisconsin Young Birders’ Ryan Treves to look for and learn about the colorful warblers and other migrating birds and waterfowl that come to the UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve on Lake Mendota. This biodiverse ecosystem provides a much needed rest stop on their way north.  We will also look for beautiful spring wildflowers, Bluebirds building nests, and other phenology … Read more

  • Sunday, May 7, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Cherokee Marsh

    Take a guided walk in the conservation park with naturalist Alex Singer. Walks at Cherokee Marsh held on the 1st Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners Friends of Cherokee Marsh and Madison Audubon. Follow North Sherman Ave. to the parking lot at the end of the gravel entrance road.   Read more

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017
    5:30pm to 7:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Owen Conservation Park, May 13

    Join us for a free, guided nature walk at Owen Conservation Park! Free, family-friendly guided nature walks at Owen Conservation Park are held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, year-round with varying start times to provide maximum birding throughout the year!   Read more

  • Sunday, May 14, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Turville Point Conservation Park, May 14

    Explore beautiful Turville Point Conservation Park with a free, guided nature walk. Walks at Turville Point held on the 2nd Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners Friends of Olin Turville and Madison Audubon. Meet at the Turville parking lot from John Nolen Drive at the railroad tracks.   Read more

  • Saturday, May 20, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Starkweather Creek Area, May 20

    Bike the Creek!  Bike and nature lovers, families, and kids all welcome.  Free, no registration required.  Some bicycles will be provided, bring your own bike if you have one.   Avid bicyclist Amber Krueger will take you on an easy, merry ride to discover a few of the bike paths, side streets and natural areas that border Starkweather Creek from Olbrich Park on Lake Monona all the way to MATC … Read more

  • Sunday, May 21, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Warner Park, May 21

    Join us for a free, guided nature walk with Kathlean Wolf at Warner Park! Walks at Warner Park held on the 3rd Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners Wild Warner and Madison Audubon. Meet at the colorful Warner Park Shelter by the lagoon. Parking is available nearby.   Read more

  • Sunday, May 28, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - UW's Lakeshore Nature Preserve, May 28

    UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve 2002 University Bay Dr., Walks at UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve the 4th Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Madison Audubon. Meet at the Picnic Point parking lot on University Bay Drive.   Read more