Birds in The Hills

Birds In The Hills 2019

Join Rural Action, Camp Oty’Okwa, and the Athens Area Birders for our family-friendly Birds in the Hills Festival April 26-28 at Camp Oty’Okwa in the Hocking Hills. This affordable three-day festival will feature activities for adults, families, and specifically for children. We welcome anyone with even a remote interest in birds and the outdoors, including those who have never picked up a pair of binoculars. Meals and camping are available Friday night through Sunday at Camp Oty’Okwa.

Birds in the Hills Festival will feature field trips to Crane Hollow Nature Preserve, Zaleski State Park, and bird walks through Camp’s extensive groves of Eastern Hemlock. Participants can expect to see and hear up to 20 species of warblers, including the Black-Throated Green and Blackburnian Warblers that prefer the cool hemlock gorges of Camp. We are also likely to see Cerulean Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, and a plethora of other migratory songbirds.

Saturday night’s festivities will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jarrod Burks, music from the Coal Cave Hollow Boys, a chicken & hog roast dinner, a local beer tasting, and a bunch of kid-friendly environmental education activities. Can’t make it for the whole weekend? Just come out for Saturday night! Admission and dinner for one adult to join in the party on Saturday is only $20.

Birds in the Hills shirts now available!

  • The event runs from Friday, April 26th in the evening to Sunday, April 28th in the afternoon
  • Contact Sally Sugar for more information: 740-767-2225; sally@ruralaction.org.
  • Lodging and camping are available at Camp Oty’Okwa. Food will be provided by Camp– vegetarian options will be available and the meals will include local foods. We will also have bird-friendly coffee from Ridge Runner available.
  • This event is not pet-friendly as we want to ensure high-quality wildlife-viewing experiences and a safe environment for children.
  • Can’t make it for the entire weekend? Join us Saturday evening for the keynote speaker, chicken & hog roast dinner, local brews, and the Coal Cave Hollow Boys!

These are just some of the cool things that will be at this year’s festival. Click here to view the 2019 schedule!

This Year’s Activities

  • Bird Banding with Bob Scott Placier
  • Exploring the caves and caverns around Camp Oty’ Okwa
  • Beer tasting
  • Music from the Coal Cave Hollow Boys
  • Family hikes and crafts
  • Silet Auction
  • Astronomy
  • Survival skills

Guided Field Trips (2019)

  • Fern & wildflower field trip to Crane Hollow Nature Preserve with Joe Moosbrugger
  • Warbler field trip to Zaleski and Lake Hope with Bruce Simpson
  • Walking field trip to Crane Hollow Nature Preserve with John Watts
  • Prothonotary warbler field trip to Payne’s Wetland in the Wayne National Forest with Joe Brehm

Keynote Speakers (2019)

  • John Watts will join us Friday night to talk about the variety of birds who visit Hocking County each year.
  • Dr. Jarrod Burks, an archeologist with a passion for the study of ancient earthworks, will join us Saturday night. He will teach us about the use of bird effigies during the Hopewell culture period.

The Birds in the Hills Festival welcomes everyone and does not tolerate harassment of any kind. If you experience or witness any sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, or otherwise problematic behavior, please notify someone from Rural Action at the event and we will handle it accordingly. We’d like our event to be as safe a space as possible.

Birds in The Hills 2019 is sponsored by