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

  • Saturday, May 27, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Edna Taylor Conservation Park Area, May 27

    Migration Madness!  Join Naturalist Brian Schneider for an easy family-friendly walk from the Aldo Leopold Nature Center into and beautiful Edna Taylor Conservation Park to look for migrating Warblers and other colorful Spring birds and signs of nesting behavior for our Wisconsin resident birds.  Park and Meet: Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Drive Walks through the Edna Taylor … 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

  • Sunday, June 4, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Cherokee Marsh, June 4

    Cherokee History and Restoration Stories!  Free, family friendly nature outing!  Tom Murn is a restoration expert who is well known for entertaining and informative outings about the ecology, history and future possibilities of our natural areas.  We will explore wetland and prairie areas to learn about some of the historical ecology and how humans are helping to restore and preserve this … Read more

  • Saturday, June 10, 2017
    2:30pm to 4:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Owen Conservation Park, June 10

    Owen Conservation Park’s Fascinating History!  Join Arboretum Naturalist Sylvia Marek for a free family friendly outing at Owen Park in the heart of Madison's west side.  Sylvia will share stories about the amazing history of this almost 100-acre natural area featuring beautiful hilltop with native oak opening woods and restored prairies on what was once UW Professor Edward "Buck" Owen's … Read more

  • Sunday, June 11, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Turville Point Conservation Park, June 11

    Walk With A Naturalist!  Nature lovers, families and kids will enjoy taking a fun nature outing with School Naturalist Emily Steinwehe.  The prairies and woodlands will be lush with summer green along the trails.  Emily will help you learn about the fascinating plants, bugs, butterflies, and other creatures that make their home in this beautiful nature preserve on the shores of Lake … Read more

  • Saturday, June 17, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Starkweather Creek Area, June 17

    Bike Starkweather 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 some of the bike paths, side streets and natural areas that border Starkweather Creek from Olbrich Park on Lake Monona all the way … Read more

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Warner Park, June 18

    Birds of Warner Park!  Wisconsin Young Birder Ryan Treves enjoys taking bird and nature lovers, families and kids to discover some of the 140 plus species of birds that migrate through or make their home in the Wild Side of Warner Park from Warner Pond to Old Warner Woods, Marsh Island and the Sled Hill Prairie.  Walks at Warner Park held on the 3rd Sunday every month are co-sponsored by … Read more

  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Edna Taylor Conservation Park Area, June 24

    Summer Equinox at Edna Taylor!  Join Tara Van Dollen for an easy family friendly walk from the Aldo Leopold Nature Center into and beautiful Edna Taylor Conservation Park to enjoy the birds, prairie plants, and rich biodiversity of this hidden Urban Natural Area.  Free nature outing, no registration required.  Park & Meet: Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Drive. Walks through the Edna … Read more

  • Sunday, June 25, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - UW's Lakeshore Nature Preserve, June 25

    Hidden Gems of the Lakeshore Preserve! Naturalist Alex Jeffers will lead a family and kid friendly tour on easy hiking paths to discover some of the Preserve's hidden treasures that visitors to Picnic Point often miss such as Bills Woods, Eagle Heights Gardens, the Biocore Prairie, Frautchi Point, and the beautiful Lake Mendota beach shoreline path. UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve 2002 University … Read more

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

    Bird & Nature Outing - Cherokee Marsh, July 2

    Native Prairie Plants!  Join Naturalist Alex Singer to learn about the work of Wild Ones to help restore prairies.  Discover the magic of planting native plants in our yards and neighborhoods and the many benefits for Monarch Butterflies and other creatures – and for our own health! Walks at Cherokee Marsh held on the 1st Sunday every month are co-sponsored by Madison Bird City FUN partners … Read more

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

    Bird & Nature Outing - Owen Conservation Park, July 8

    Prairies In Bloom!  Join Arboretum Naturalist Sylvia Marek for a free family friendly late afternoon outing at Owen Park in the heart of Madison's west side.  Sylvia will lead you on a tour of easy Owen Park trails and help you learn about the beautiful prairie blossoms and other nature around you.  Free, family-friendly guided nature walks at Owen Conservation Park are held on the 2nd Saturday … Read more

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

    Bird & Nature Outing - Turville Point Conservation Park, July 9

    Turville Trees!  Summer is a great time to be in the woods and see the magnificent oaks, maples and other trees in all their glory.  Sean is a tree expert who makes it fun to find and learn more about the interesting variety and history of the trees at Turville Point and the birds and wildlife that live on them.  Sean will also talk about initiatives to plant community orchards.  Walks at … Read more

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

    Bird & Nature Outing - Starkweather Creek Area, July 15

    Up A Creek With A Paddle!  Join nature lover Carl Landsness with Friends of Starkweather Creek and Deborah Crabtree with Goodman Community Center to explore 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 … Read more

  • Sunday, July 16, 2017
    1:30pm to 3:00pm

    Bird & Nature Outing - Warner Park, July 16

    Enjoying Natures Beauty!  Free, family friendly nature outing, no registration required.  Naturalist Suzy Grindrod will help kids of all ages discover the natural beauty of Warner Park and create your own nature works of art.  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 … Read more

  • Saturday, July 22, 2017
    10:00am to 11:30am

    Bird & Nature Outing - Edna Taylor Conservation Park Area, July 22

    Prairies in Bloom!  Join Naturalist Brian Schneider for an easy family friendly walk from the Aldo Leopold Nature Center into and beautiful Edna Taylor Conservation Park to enjoy the birds, prairie plants, and rich biodiversity of this hidden Urban Natural Area.  Free nature outing, no registration required.  Park and Meet: Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Drive Walks through the Edna … Read more

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

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

    Midsummer Dreaming! Join Naturalist Alex Jeffers on a free, family friendly walk to look for birds and explore one of the most beautiful natural areas in Madison. We will look for the bright colors of Orioles and other Wisconsin birds in the woodlands, prairies, and lakeshore feeding new babies amid the lush summer growth of native plants, flowers, seeds and berries. Free, family friendly, no … Read more