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, 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, May 7

    Frogs Are Hopping! Families and kids love to take a outing along the Cherokee Marsh trails in search of frogs, spring birds and flowers, and emerging prairie plants.  Naturalist Nelson Eisman will help kids of all ages discover some of the magical creatures hidden in the wetland ponds. Walks at Cherokee Marsh held on the 1st Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners … Read more

  • Saturday, May 13, 2017
    2:30pm to 4:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Owen Conservation Park, May 13

    Natural Healing!  Join nature restoration expert Tom Murn to learn how this historic natural area has changed in the past and how it is being healed in the future.  At the same time, the nature we help preserve is important to both physical and mental health for us, the ‘two legged ones’, and especially for kids who need open natural shared places to play and discover the wonders of the world.  … Read more

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

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

    Mothers’ Day Nature Walk! Take mom and the family on beautiful nature outing.  Naturalist Paul Noeldner will take you on easy hiking paths to look for bird families making nests and listen to their songs.  Along the way we will enjoy seeing nature’s bouquets of spring flowers, fresh new green leaves on plants and trees, and sparkling blue water on the lake. Walks at Turville Point held on the … 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

    Spring Foraging!  Join ‘Nature Foodie’ Kathlean Wolf on a free, family and kid friendly nature outing in the Wild Side of Warner Park.  Learn about cattails and other fascinating edible wetland and woodland plants and how birds, bugs, and animals use these important native plants and habitats for food and shelter and as a safe nursery room to raise their young. Walks at Warner Park held on the … Read more

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

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

    Secrets of Birds!  Chuck Henrikson knows a lot about birds (he teaches at the UW) and loves taking families and kids on outings.  Chuck will help you find some of the different types of birds in the Preserve from Flycatchers to Kingfishers, and share some of his knowledge about how feathers work, what bird bones weigh, why beaks are shaped the way they are, and other fascinating details.  UW … Read more