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Ohio Valley Birding Festival--2024


The 2024 Ohio Valley Birding Festival is scheduled to run from Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28.  This page contains a listing of all the hikes and activities associated with this year's festival.  You can click here to download a schedule and you can download the OVBF bird checklist here.   

Watch our

2024 OVBF video

Friday, April 26

Patoka River NWR Birding Hike
7:00 A.M.   Meet at Boyd Woods on the Refuge
Oakland City, Indiana
Approximately  2-3 hours
Sturdy Shoes Recommended

Join us for a b
irding walk through Boyd Woods in search of warblers
and other migratory songb
irds. We'll continue the hike past Snakey
Point Marsh for possible views of waterfowl and marsh birds, and end 
at a little-visited portion of the Columbia Mine Preserve to look for
grassland sparrows.

Directions: East on SR 64 out of Oakland City one mile from SR 357 (Main Street) to CR 1275E (look for
refuge sign).  Turn left and follow signs to Snakey Point Marsh and continue on to the parking lot on the left
at Boyd Woods (Maxey Marsh on the right).


Northern Cardinal  Photo Credit: D L Batema

Howell Wetlands Birding Hike
5:00 P.M.   Meet at Howell Wetlands Parking Lot
1400 Tekoppel Avenue
Evansville, Indiana

Approximately 2 hours

Accompany us on a search for early spring migrants, during a walk
through this 
restored wetland and grassland area on Evansville's West
Expect to see warblers, vireos, thrushes and other migratory
songbirds as you walk the trails and boardwalks.  


Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper  Photo Credit: D L Batema

Saturday, April 27

Birding at Audubon Wetlands*
7:00 A.M.  Meet at Audubon Wetlands
across from 790 Wolf Hills Road
Henderson, Kentucky
Approximately 2 hours
Wear shoes for marshy conditions 

This recent wetland 
acquisition essentially doubles the size of Audubon State Park. Help us identify the bottomland forest birds that occupy this wetland including woodpeckers and several of the spring songbird migrants. This property is home to a heron rookery and an active bald eagle nest.

Please note that this hike is dependent upon Ohio River flood stages.  If water levels at Evansville surpass 32 feet, please meet at Audubon Park Museum for an alternate hike.

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Boardwalk at Audubon Wetlands

Audubon's Bird Migration Walk*
9:00 A.M.  Meet at Audubon Museum
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky
Approximately 1.5 hours

The Park's Beech-Maple forest is an urban oasis for woodland songbirds.  In addition to the seven woodpecker species, several Neo-tropical migrants can be seen.  Join us as we look for Eastern Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Yellow-throated and Prothonotary Warblers, Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Belted Kingfishers, Indigo Buntings, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos. New birders are welcome!  Members of the Evansville Audubon Society's Jr. Birders will assist with this hike.

*Portions of this hike may be ADA accessible.  Please ask your hike guide for information.

Red Bellied

Red-bellied Woodpecker Photo Credit: D L Batema

Families of a Feather: Migration
10:00 A.M.  Meet at Wesselman Woods
551 N. Boeke Road
Evansville, Indiana
Program will last 1 hour

Many species of birds make heroic journeys to find resources as the seasons change.  Find out more about the obstacles in their way in this session of "Families of a Feather", a free monthly program providing interactive lessons for beginning birders (ages 8+) and their guardians.  Go to for further information.

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Bell's Vireo  Photo Credit: D L Batema

Family Birding Fun  
10:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.--Stop by Anytime
Audubon Museum
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky

Make-N-Take Hummingbird Spinners:  These incredible little birds flap their wings so quickly, their wingbeats appear to us as just a blur.  Put together this optical illusion and watch to see your very own hummingbird fly!
Bird Olympics: How do your physical abilities compare to those of birds? Take the challenge at each bird station to get an amazing glimpse into bird survival.

Upcycled Bird Feeders: (Note start time of 11:00 A.M.) Bring your own clean, dry, plastic soda bottle (16.9 oz, 1- liter, or 2-liter) and let the staff of Wild Birds Unlimited help you repurpose it into a functional bird feeder for hours of enjoyment at home.  Limited to the first 125 participants.
This bird feeder activity is graciously supported by the Wild Birds Unlimited store at 5620 E. Virginia Street, Evansville, IN.



Audubon Museum-JJ Audubon State Park

Hands-on Bird Banding Workshop with 
Master Bird Bander, Scott Kramer
10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
Audubon Museum (behind the museum)
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky

Come help with an ongoing conservation project as we catch, identify, band, and release birds from the John James Audubon State Park.  Bird banding helps us understand bird migration, behavior, social structure, lifespan, survival rates, and population trends.  This is a great opportunity for seeing feathered friends up close and connecting with nature.  So, bring your camera.

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Bird Banding

"Raptors Wild!" Presented by the Talon Trust

11:30 A.M. Friends of the Audubon Meeting Room
Audubon Museum
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky
Donations to the Talon Trust will be accepted
Approximately one hour

Enjoy an interactive personal experience with live raptors!  Volunteers from the Talon Trust, Inc. will share stories of birds that have been injured and can no longer survive in the wild, but now serve as ambassadors for their species.

The Talon Trust, Inc. is a local volunteer-based organization dedicated to the conservation of native raptors through rescue, rehabilitation, and education.  All donations received by the Talon Trust go to help feed and care for injured raptors.



Lauren Norvell: Talon Trust

Owl Puke-Yuck! Or not? 
12:45 P.M. Audubon Museum Nature Center
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky
Approximately 30-45 minutes

The thought of owl puke may seem disgusting at first, but wait
until you see what is inside that lump!  These nocturnal hunters seek out all sorts of prey.  Discover what critters the owls consider a tasty dinner when you dissect a sterilized owl pellet.  You just may be amazed at what you find.

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Owl Pellets

"Native Plants and You"
presented by Donnarae Woolston of Ancient
Roots Native Plant Nursery located on 
5801 Hwy 66, Poseyville, IN

1:30 P.M. in the Audubon Museum  
John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky
ately one hour

A yard planted as a monoculture or that leans heavily on the use of non-natives creates a diversity desert.  The difficulties of such an ecosystem have damaging effects on birds, insects, and wildlife.  Learn what you can do to correct these issues in your own backyard and attract beneficial insects that directly feed the birds.
Donnarae Woolston has always been a nature lover, exploring and admiring the life that grew around her.  She began to reclaim her own land and woods when she learned how imperative native plants are to the ecosystem that supports wildlife and human health.
Native plants have become her passion.  Donnerae, with the support of her husband Daniel, opened a native-only plant nursery called Ancient Roots Native 
Nursery, LLC.  Their mission is to provide access to native plants and share their knowledge of the importance of planting native.


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Ancient Roots Native Plant Nursery

Drawing Audubon Style
2:45 P.M. at the Audubon Museum, Friends of
Audubon Meeting Room 

John James Audubon State Park
Henderson, Kentucky
Approximately 45-60 minutes

Cost: $5.00, preregistration recommended; Space limited.

John James Audubon, famed artist, naturalist, and ornithologist, made it his life's work to artistically capture each bird species in his paintings.  He did so in a unique and fascinating way.  Join artist Savannah Hopkinson as she leads you step-by-step through Audubon's method for drawing birds. You, too will soon have an appreciation for the finer details of our feathered friends in a keepsake to take home.  For ages 10 + ; no art skills needed.

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Blue Jay; Audubon Print

Sunday, April 28

Eagle Slough Natural Area Birding Hike
7:00 A.M.  Meet at the Eagle Slough Entrance
On Waterworks Road, Just north of Ellis Park
Evansville, Indiana
Approximately 2 hours

This local urban wetland was recently returned to its natural
state.  Join us for an early morning birding walk through this
127-acre property.  Expect to see a variety of warblers, thrushes, tanagers, vireos and wrens. Wood ducks and some late shorebirds are also likely.  This is an easy, flat walk along an old railroad bed.

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Wood Duck Photo Credit:  D.L. Batema

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve*

1:00 PM Meet inside the Nature Center
Wesselman Park

551 N. Boeke Road
Evansville, Indiana

Approximately one hour

This old-growth forest sanctuary boasts many year-round bird species and provides unprecedented stopover habitat for Neo-tropical migrants passing through the area. Expect to see warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes and more.

* This hike is an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sanctioned hike. 

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Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Sponsors for the 2024 Ohio Valley Birding Festival are the
Evansville Audubon Society, John James Audubon State Park, and Wild Birds Unlimited

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