Midwest Living Review
Whether you're a serious birder or a newbie to the sport, the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival is a wonderful event. The four-day festival, started in 1998, is held annually in early May during the spring migration, ensuring you'll be able to spot lots of birds, even if you're new to the sport. More than two dozen events are scheduled, many of which are free, including lectures, bird-banding demonstrations and a variety of marsh tours. There are often special displays at the marsh's two main centers: the Horicon Marsh International Education Center and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Office & Visitor Center.Roughly 1,000 people flock to Horicon Marsh for this event, which also includes a photo contest and the popular Big Sit, a 14-hour bird-watching extravaganza, during which birders try to observe as many species as possible from a 17-foot circle. Over the past several years, an average of 79 species have been observed from the spot. Also popular are the guided marsh tours, such as the East to West Bus Tour and Hike, a six-hour event that takes you along the marsh's famous Dike Road and into the western half of Horicon Marsh, where bird sightings are plentiful -- and relatively easy because expert guides point out everything you've missed and share peeks through their birding scopes. While the marsh is known for its wealth of Canada geese, visitors often find its great blue herons, white pelicans and even its muskrats more impressive.