Exploring our trails and COVID-19

Yes, our trails are open! But we ask you to take extra precautions for now:

  • Please visit only if you live locally (within about 10 miles); current spread-prevention guidelines recommend this. If you are from farther away, we hope to see you later this year.
  • Please take extra care: we have limited or no cell service, and trails can be rough or uneven. Please don’t climb anything.
  • Please stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from each other. Pass with care and extra room. Give each other even more room if it is windy or if you are breathing hard (we have some good slopes!).
  • Please only travel or hike with people you with whom you are already sharing isolation/quarantine/shelter-in-place.
  • Wash hands before and after your visit with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching structures and do not share binoculars or phones if possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or have COVID-19 symptoms, please visit later when you are recovered.
  • Please, no pets. This is our policy for all of our trails, to protect ground-nesting and ground-foraging birds.
  • For additional information about staying safe while enjoying the outdoors, visit the State of Vermont’s website.
  • For further guidance about Vermont trail closures and COVID-19 safety in Vermont, review the VTGC / VTA Recreation and COVID-19 statement.

Through the Window: March 2020

Gray Squirrel in snow
Squirrels seem to appreciate the spillage from the feeders above. The snow has pretty well gone by the time of posting.

Well this was not the March we expected. Admittedly, the birds here seem quite unaffected.

We did keep observing birds from our windows and cams, just with fewer human friends (in person).  Welcome back, Common Grackle and Song Sparrow!

We’ve rearranged our schedules and updated some policies to deal with COVID-19. Details soon! The birds are being fed less often, and we’d already changed what and where we’d fed them. (We do that each spring anyway, because the forests in Huntington do have bears and we’d prefer only smaller mammals take advantage of what the birds leave.)

Continue reading “Through the Window: March 2020”

Through the Window: February 2020

Snow-covered wooden bird in the Museum's rain garden
The rare white pseudoheron freezes in place to stalk prey more effectively. Possibly.

Sometimes, a month with nothing unusual is really quite comforting.

But that was just old friends who are birds! For our human friends, in February we also shared programs about Kinglets, opened up for the Great Backyard Bird Count, painted signs, installed our Little Free Library, played Wingspan at the Museum, and hopefully inspired art! Of course, you’d have to look through the window the other wayto see most of those things (or come inside).

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Through the Window: January 2020

Wild turkeys = traffic delay on Sherman Hollow road (photo copyright © 2020 Erin Talmage)
Wild turkeys = traffic delay on Sherman Hollow road (photo copyright © 2020 Erin Talmage and used by permission)

It’s been a somewhat snowy month (with what feels like big temperature swings and more thawing). This has made for lovely photos (check out our instagram), and not-too-troublesome road conditions for people coming to our events (a series of bird talks and a few walks). The feeders aren’t quiet, exactly, but they are slight less diverse. Still, it’s a joy to see turkey tracks when you go out in the morning to fill the feeders!

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Through the Window: December 2019

Red-breasted Nuthatch. Carved by Bob Spear in the early 1960s.
Red-breasted Nuthatch. Carved by Bob Spear in the early 1960s.

We’ve enjoyed welcoming some new birders to our monthly bird monitoring walks. This more than makes up for the quiet of the winter species counts at our a Viewing Window. These walks are the last Saturday of every month. We record those observations over on eBird.

Before you head over there, though, enjoy this short but sweet December window observation list. What’s your favorite of the species listed here? How come ?

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Through the Window: August 2019

teaching warblers
Teaching warblers: half of the set carved by Bob Spear.

Summer is nests and fledglings, flowers and pollinators, greens and golds and more. Young birds come to the feeders, squawk … and sometimes get ignored by their parents! Hummingbirds defend the feeders and the bee balm; some hawk moths get mistaken for hummingbirds. The forest canopy is thick and provides deep cover for the warblers and more. It’s a rich and beautiful time. Who needs a feeder, with so much to eat in the forest?

No one, really, but some come anyway:

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Through the Window: July 2019

Adult Common Grackle tends its juvenile while a Rose-breasted Grosbeak looks on.
Adult Common Grackle tends its juvenile while a Rose-breasted Grosbeak looks on.

By July, the birds get pretty busy with nestlings, fledglings, and juveniles.  A few juveniles of one kind of another come to the feeders, and fuss at their parents to keep on feeding them.

Here are the species seen at the feeders over the last month. Sometimes we can even tell when the bird is a juvenile!

Continue reading “Through the Window: July 2019”