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1. The opportunity to search for over 100 bird species exists at Shivering Sands, a Nature Conservancy preserve on Glidden Dr. Here, cedar swamp combines with lowland forest and is dotted throughout with micro-habitats, all packed into a biodiverse five square miles. Look for the parking area that leads to a short hike, about 3 miles north of the junction of Cty Rd T (east out of Sturgeon Bay) and Glidden Dr. A DNR property also offers another Shivering Sands hike a bit farther to the north (prepare for potential mosquitos if you hike these areas). Be part of the flock!
2. The Festival of Nature: “Celebrating our World Class Wetlands,” in Door County, Usually takes place in May. Many Door County hikes, available by registering through The Ridges Sanctuary, will be centered around birding.
3. The Ridges Sanctuary will offer Early Bird Hikes at 6:30 am on Saturdays in summer. Birders gather at The Ridges Sanctuary to carpool, piling in and out of vehicles at local sites including sharing of equipment, jocularity and good sighting success. There will also be Not So Early Bird Hikes at 9:00 am once a month, or so, on Saturdays.
4. Check The Ridges Sanctuary calendar for guest speakers or workshops, such as bluebird box building, on bird-related topics.
5. Volunteer to count birds in December as part the Door’s Christmas Bird Count.
6. While you are strolling through our lush forests, see large, rectangular woodpecker-created holes in dead trees (there are a lot of these type of holes along the Ice Age Trail in Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay). Pileated woodpeckers drill for ants, leaving behind important shelters for owls, bats, ducks and swifts - both rhyme and reason exist in nature patterns, make contact!
7. Get some black oil or striped sunflower seeds and head to the nature center at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek; sprinkle some seed on your outstretched arm, or on top of your head, hold still and wait. Soon, a chickadee, dee, dee, will come to perch on you, look you in the eye, snatch a seed, and take it back to a nearby, sheltered branch to crack it open.
8. Call the Open Door Bird Sanctuary, for bird-of-prey and songbird rehabilitation. Located in Jacksonport, on Cty Rd I, 1 mile from Hwy 57, to apply for an appointment to visit.
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