Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

A recent bright spot for me in this utterly depressing spring was the IDBF. Did you know that an estimated 8 million birds that flew overhead during just the first 3 days of the festival on their annual migratory journeys? The Lake Michigan shoreline is a major funnel for birds making their journeys every spring and fall, and the number of birds on the move at this time of year is just staggering. On that Friday morning, I was up at the longshore tower at the Indiana Dunes State Park with an Audubon volunteer who does bird counts each morning starting before the sun is up. We watched dozens and dozens of blue jays, cedar waxwings, and other birds passing overhead making their way north and east along the lakeshore. This really is a magical place.

I saw a few lifers (Virginia rail! Nesting cerulean warblers!), met some wonderful people, and led a downtown walk to kick off Valparaiso’s own “Birds of Paradise” sculpture scavenger hunt.

L-R: Sculptor Chad Copeland, Valparaiso City Director of Engagement Maggie Clifton, Me, and the Birds of Paradise Blue Heron sculpture. Photo courtesy Indiana Dunes Tourism
You can pick up your own (FREE!) copy of the coloring book, which contains clues to find all ten sculptures, at the Valparaiso Public Library.