Washington Islands Birding Festival
May 16th - May 19th, 2019


Letter to Birders

This is the second year of our birding festival. Our 2018 festival was a great success and 2019 festival will be even better. We hope you will join us for this wonderful time of birding in small groups with experienced guides on these beautiful Islands. Washington, Plum and Rock Islands are on a flyway where thousands of birds come through every year on this particular weekend. At the 2018 festival we totaled 146 species on our check list. 

We urge you to make your lodging reservations as soon as possible as it can be tight this time of year. A list of open hotels, motels, inns, campground, etc. along with a list of open restaurants and the ferry schedule is available on the Washington Island Chamber of Commerce website: www.washingtonisland.com 

The festival will be limited in size. We will accept 60 registrations and maintain a waiting list in case of cancellations. 

Check-in for the festival will be manned Thursday afternoon (12 noon to 5pm) and all day Friday and Saturday in the Rutledge room at the Community Center on Main Road. You may also check in at the Washington Hotel Friday evening. Those arriving late Friday night can check in at the Rutledge Room early Saturday morning. 

We will do our best to stick to our schedule. Birding on the Islands goes rain or shine. You might also want to bring a scope if you have one, a chair for the big sits, insect repellent and of course, your binoculars. Please also be aware of the danger of ticks in some of the habitats you will be visiting. Proper clothing is a must. You might also want to bring some snacks to take with you on the birding outings. 

Our boat trips to Rock and Plum Islands are weather and wind dependent. If you don’t wish to join us on these excursions there will be alternative opportunities to bird on Washington Island. If the weather/wind/waves prevent us from taking our boat trips we will also offer alternate birding activities. 

If you have any questions that are not covered in this registration material please contact: Chari Rutledge at 920-912-7666 or chari@therutledges.com 

We are looking forward to seeing you at our Washington Islands Birding Festival!!! 

Sponsored by: The Art & Nature Center, U.S Fish & Wildlife, The Washington Island Ferry Line 

Washington Island has been designated a “Bird City”. 

2019 Birding Festival Schedule

12 noon to 5 p.m. Check-in office open Rutledge Room at the Community Center
910 Main Road. See signage on road.
8 am to 3:30 pm Check-in and Dispatch Office open
coffee, fruit & breakfast bars
Rutledge Room at the Community Center
910 Main Road. See signage on road.
8:30 am to 11:30 am Bird Banding & Birding on
Washington Island
Banding at Potato Dock. Birding Groups
leave from the Potato Dock.
Lunch Lunch on your own A list of open restaurants is in your
check-in packet.
1:30 pm Reassemble Rutledge Room Parking Lot
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm Birding Opportunities Leave from Rutledge Room parking lot
4:30pm to 6:00 pm Wine & appetizers and check-in
for late arrivals & those who have
selected this option.
Hotel Washington
354 Range Line Road
6:30 pm Dinner on your own or Fish Boil
at KK Fiske
A list of open restaurants is in your
check-in packet
5:30 am to 4:00 pm Check-in & Dispatch Office open
coffee, fruit & breakfast bars
Rutledge Room
6:40 am Be at the dock to board the
boat to Plum Island
Park behind the Welcome Center near the ferry
dock on Lobdell Point Road and walk to the
Island Clipper dock.
7:00 am Boat leaves at 7:00 am SHARP! From the Island Clipper dock
7:00 am to 12 noon Birding and Banding on Plum Island
12:00 pm Boat leaves Plum at 12:00 pm SHARP! From the Plum Island Dock
7:00 am to 12 pm Washington Island birding for those
not going to Plum Island
Leave from the Rutledge Room parking lot
Unguided groups
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm Lunch on your own A list of open restaurants is in your
check-in packet
2:30 pm Reassemble Rutledge Room parking lot
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm Birding on Washington Island Small groups to various habitats
5:30 pm Dinner at Nelson's Hall For those who have selected this option.
7:00 pm Program Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC)
6:30 am Meet at Jackson Harbor Rock Island State Park parking lot
1924 Indian Point Rd
7:00 am Boat leaves at 7:00 am sharp! Banding & Small groups to various habitats
7:15 am to 12:00 pm Bird Rock Island Banding & Small groups to various habitats
11:45 am Be at the dock to board the Karfi!
12:00 pm Boat leves Rock 12:00 SHARP!
7:00 am to 12:00 pm Birding on Washington Island for
those not going to Rock Island
Big sits, group or single birding, on your own

We hope you enjoy the festival!

You may continue birding on Washington Island on your own this afternoon.
Note: In case of inclement weather, alternate programs will be listed in the Rutledge Room.

Birding Festival Registration

2019 WI Birding Festival Registration

Registration Fee  - $40

Optional Add-Ons:
- Hotel Washington (cash bar) - $10
Friday Fish Boil -
(cash bar) - $18
Saturday Dinner - (cash bar) - $24
All meal prices include tips.

Please use separate registration form for each person.
Registration deadline is April 20, 2019. Cancellation Refunds will be made up to May 1st less $10.00 handling fee.  No refunds after May 1st.

Please select any meal options if you are interested below. When you are ready to checkout, please proceed to the shopping cart at the top right of the page.

Register and Pay Online
Add to Cart
Friday Night Fish Boil
Add To Cart
Saturday Night Dinner
Add To Cart

You may also register by downloading the form below, print and fill it out, and mail it with your payment to: Laura Waldron, 1799 Main Road, Washington Island, WI 54246. 

Birding Guide Bios

Coming Soon

Saturday Night Program


Right here in Wisconsin

We are delighted to present Reena Bowman, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist who is based in Green Bay. She coordinates the Piping Plover recovery program for Wisconsin. Reena has a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. The recovery program has been a great success. A quote from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service article: “It’s another groundbreaking year for endangered Great Lakes Piping Plovers in Lower Green Bay. Four pairs nested at the Cat Island Chain this year, fledging six chicks, just a year after a pair nested at the site for the first time in more than 75 years and successfully fledged three chicks.” This is very exciting and we are so pleased Reena will be at our festival to tell us her story Saturday evening at the Trueblood Preforming Arts Center. If you ar e interested in reading more about this program you can access an article at: www.fws.gov/midwest/news/CatIslandPlovers.html

2018 Washington Islands Festival Bird List