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April showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring May birds. The month of May truly is the peak month for birdwatchers across Wisconsin.

Some of the most colorful songbirds found in our area arrive during May, including orioles, hummingbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings and up to 30 species of wood warblers. In addition, extremely colorful and ornate waterfowl such as green-winged teal, wood ducks, mallards, redheads, canvasbacks and other ducks arrive to breed in the rich wetlands and waterways.

Several nature centers and wildlife areas are planning big celebrations to welcome the birds home.

» Feather Fest, Mosquito Hill Nature Center’s annual birdwatching festival, will be held on May 3. For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.newbirdingclub.org.

» On the same day, the Oshkosh Bird Fest will take place. For more information, visit www.oshkoshbirdfest.com.

» Enjoy a guided bird hike every Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha. For details, visit www.heckrodtwetland.org.

» Guided bird hikes are also held on various days of the week at High Cliff State Park in Sherwood. For information, visit http://friendsofhighcliff.org.

» International Migratory Bird Day is May 10. You’ll find a range of celebrations, including events at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and most area nature centers.

» The Horicon Marsh Bird Festival takes place May 9-12. Enjoy field trips, presentations and birdwatching throughout the world’s largest freshwater cattail marsh.

I’ll have more on all of the upcoming events to help you and your family celebrate the joys of May and our colorful, feathered friends in next week’s nature column appearing on Tuesday in the Life section.

More on birding: Birding news from around the state | Browse birding photos | Share your shots

Browse sandhill crane, prairie chicken, snowy owl, pelican, loon, goose, eagle, whooping crane, tundra swan, heron, turkey, cardinal, blue jay, woodpecker, hummingbird and other bird photos.

— Rob Zimmer: 920-419-3734, yardmd@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @YardMD

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