Welcome to the Virtual

17th Annual Northwoods Birds & Wildlife Festival 

All online content will be available for viewing through June 19th.  Please watch at your convenience.  All questions can be emailed to Annie McDonnell at annie@discoverycenter.net or give us a call at (715) 543-2085

Share your bird and wildlife sightings and experiences with other Festival participants in the comment section at the bottom of the web page, and watch for updates from the field in the side bar.

bird fest icon 2021 (1)

Welcome to the virtual portion of our Festival!  Thank you for your support of the North Lakeland Discovery Center, we hope you enjoy your virtual festival experience.

In celebration of the International Migratory Bird Day, the North Lakeland Discovery Center is pleased to release it's 17th Annual Birds & Wildlife Festival!  Thank you for your participation!

The mission of the North Lakeland Discovery Center is to connect people, nature and community and inspire an ethic of care for Wisconsin's Northwoods.  We want to thank our Festival presenters and field trip leaders for helping to support this mission and for sharing their knowledge and passion with our community.

*Disclaimer* - The video and audio quality of a few of our presentations is less than perfect.  We appreciate your understanding and patience.  WiFi in the Northwoods keeps life interesting.  Thank you.

Online Programs:

Presenter: John Bates is a local Author and Naturalist.  John Bates is the author of nine books on the Northwoods and Upper Midwest, and a contributor to seven others. John has been featured on Wisconsin Public Television several times and has been a frequent guest on Wisconsin Pubic Radio. He has worked as a state forest naturalist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and owns Trails North, a naturalist guide service. He also conducts outdoor classes for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Nicolet College, the North Lakeland Discovery Center, and many others. For twenty-eight years he has written a biweekly column, "A Northwoods Almanac," for the Lakeland Times in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Presentation: Aquatic Birds of the Northwoods

Presenter: Emily Stone  is the Naturalist and Education Director at Cable Natural History Museum and the author of "Natural Connections, Exploring Northwoods Nature Through Science and Your Senses".

Presentation: The Unsung Heroes of Nature: Spiders, Insects, Bacteria and Fungi! These misunderstood critters play essential roles in our ecosystems and gardens. Not only that, they have surprising adaptations and are sometimes even beautiful. Emily Stone

Presenter: Jenna Malinowski is a Wildlife Biologist and Habitat Manager with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for Iron County and southern Ashland County.

Presentation: The Little Turtle Flowage Habitat Management 

Bruce Bacon is a retired Wisconsin DNR wildlife biologist and a Master Bird Bander.   Bruce began banding waterfowl in 1976 and then received his songbird banding permit in 1982, he has banded over 120 species of birds throughout his long banding career.

"Bird Banding Demonstration" - A bird in the hand beats two in the bush! In this program Bruce Bacon demonstrates the techniques of bird banding.  Watch ten species of common Northwoods birds up close and in detail, and learn how banding is used for research on bird survival, productivity, and distribution.  This video was filmed on May 29th, 2020, at the North Lakeland Discovery Center.

Presenter: Carol Warden is a Research Specialist with the Trout Lake Center for Limnology


Presentation: Zooplankton of Wisconsin Lakes 

Presenter: Quita Sheehan  is a Conservation Specialist with the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department

Presentation: Gardening for Bugs & Birds 

Presenter: Emily Heald is the Water Program Coordinator with the North Lakeland Discovery Center

Presentation: The Wonderful World of Wild Rice 

Presenter: Licia Johnson is the Education Director and Naturalist at the North Lakeland Discovery Center

Presentation: Understanding Black Bears 

Presenter: Annie McDonnell is the Naturalist & Volunteer Coordinator for the Discovery Center.

Presentation: The Snowy Owl, The Tundra Ghost 

Presentation: Baffling & Breathtaking Bogs, an Intro to Bog Ecology

Thank You Sponsors! 

Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce

Bird & Wildlife Festival Photos by Mark Westphal

N96A3538 pm first look ts w sig
apperson bald eagle w sig
N96A2223 upper g loon 1 trim 1 w sig
N96A2658 white throated sparrow 40 1 w sig
N96A3642 marsh wren at pm 1 w sig
N96A4173 painted close up w sig
N96A4218 yellow warbler pm w sig
N96A4283 chestnut sidded warbler w sig
N96A0463 osprey nest 51 and h
IMG_4303 pm gyl trim w sig
N96A0411 common tellow throat at powell
N96A0374 pm dragon fly
Sandhill Crane Flying
N96A0396 killdeer at powell
N96A0400 wild rose pollinator at powell m
N96A1605 gbh mill pond 11 w sig
N96A0121 bluebird at 40
N96A0249 alder flycatcher
N96A0166 indigo buntingat powell m

Please support our Sponsors!




  1. Annie McDonnell on June 4, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Birds and Wildlife Festival got off to a great start Friday morning with a trip to the Presque Isle Ponds with Bird Club members Donna Roche and Amy and Tom Sheldon. 38 bird specie reported including: Canada Goose, Mallards, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Ruffed Grouse, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Osprey, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker (Eastern), Alder Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tree Swallow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

  2. John Heusinkveld on June 4, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Wonderful day for a pontoon tour of Trout Lake. Many, many loons ( no chicks), lots of eagles including two nests, the chick visible in one, mallards, mergansers, ring billed gulls, grackles, eastern kingbirds and black terns.

  3. pool cue on March 26, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    The 17th Annual Northwoods Birds & Wildlife Festival at Discovery Center is a must-attend event for all nature lovers. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the diversity of bird and wildlife species in the Northwoods region through informative presentations, hikes, and interactive activities for all ages. Whether you are an experienced birder or just starting out, this festival will surely ignite your passion for nature and conservation. Don’t miss this amazing event!

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