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.

Great Backyard Bird Count, 2016

We were open last Saturday to celebrate and support the Great Backyard Bird Count. Naturally, we counted birds—and a few others—as well. We recorded our results at eBird, and below.  Notice there are two days!  If you have questions about the Great Backyard Bird Count, eBird, or citizen science, ask us!

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Feb 13, 2016 9:15 AM - 11:15 AM
 Protocol: Stationary
 Comments:     Museum was open for the GBBC and visitors and Museum staff observed and recorded.
 12 species
 Ruffed Grouse  1     May have been noticed later in day
 Downy Woodpecker  2
 Hairy Woodpecker  2
 Blue Jay  13
 Black-capped Chickadee  28
 Tufted Titmouse  4
 Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
 White-breasted Nuthatch  2
 Dark-eyed Junco  14
 Northern Cardinal  2
 Purple Finch  4
 American Goldfinch  15
 View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27909893
 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Feb 14, 2016 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
 Protocol: Stationary
 Comments:     Museum staff recording during lunch break
 5 species
 Hairy Woodpecker  2
 Blue Jay  5
 Black-capped Chickadee  6
 Dark-eyed Junco  5
 Northern Cardinal  1
 View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27909940
 This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)


How did your counts go?

Open Museum for the Great Backyard Bird Count 2016

Drop by the Museum for the Great Backyard Bird Count! We’re open Saturday, February 13 • 10am – 3pm to share the Count with you!

Share the Great Backyward Bird Count with friends, family, and the Birds of Vermont Museum

  • New to the count? We can tell you about it and help you participate.
  • Need to warm up from your outdoor excursion with Audubon Vermont? Do so from the comfort of our viewing window chairs.
  • Seen a great bird and want to let us know? Sounds good!
  • Need help identifying a bird? From apps to field guides, we can help. You’ll need to know your fieldmarks, though! (And we can help with that, too)
  • Want to have fun? You bet!

See you here!

More about the GBBC: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

Connections in the Canopy

The Birds of Vermont Museum’s treehouse debuted one year ago, much to the delight of the Museum community. Constructed by the students and instructors at the Center for Technology, Essex, the new structure, tucked into the trees above Sherman Hollow Brook, has already proven its immense value as an observation deck and a learning lab. Children attending our Nestling’s Nook story hour and Fledglings Junior Birder programs have enjoyed the treehouse’s outdoor adventure atmosphere as they explore the connections birds have with the environment. Girl Scout troops from the Green and White Mountains Council incorporated the treehouse into their nature walks while participating in three special programs at the Museum this past year. School groups following our guiding questions packet ponder sensory input such as sight, sound, smell, and touch to develop an understanding of the elements of natural systems in their midst. Interpretive drawings of living and non-living components in the bird-filled habitat surrounding the treehouse help young people make connections within food webs and nutrient use and recycling.

Many visitors to the treehouse linger over a picnic lunch as they take in the 360-degree view of life within the tree canopy. Bob and Gale enjoyed regular lunch dates there throughout last summer while connecting with the magic of the Birds of Vermont. Situated over the brook, the treehouse enables new and experienced birders to hear and glimpse birds which favor habitats featuring flowing water, such as the Louisiana Waterthrush. During the spring breeding season, Early Birders’ walks regularly finish at the treehouse for debriefing and bird chats.

It’s been a joy to see how accessible and enlightening the treehouse is for our visitors; we look forward to new experiences in the coming days and months. We hope you will join us there too!

Expert birder pwned by 4-year old

Guest story by our friend and expert birder, AW.

While the four-year old (L) picked and munched on fresh beans from the garden, I noticed some birds in a dead tree. Red-eyed Vireo, a young Eastern Phoebe, and wait! Oh! A warbler? A Wilson’s? That would be cool, a first in my yard.

Me: Hey L, there’s a really cool bird in the tree; I think it’s a Wilson’s Warbler. I’m going to go set up my scope to get a good look if you want to come look at it.

L: Okay, I’ll come.

Me: This could be a Wilson’s Warbler! It would be great to see one because they just pass through Vermont when migrating. We don’t get a chance to see them often. Continue reading “Expert birder pwned by 4-year old”

Ongoing Events: Sundays for Fledglings


More or less alternate Sundays, May 18 – October 31 •  2 – 3pm
(Next ones are June 15 and 29)

Welcome to the 2014 “Sundays for Fledglings” series. Come discover birds with us, from feathers to flying, from art to zoology.  Want to develop mad skillz in observation, research, and goofing around? Yes!  Earn Your Junior Birder Badge! If you already have one, we will help you become an even better birder, biologist, or artist!

Programs runs more or less alternating Sundays May – October. Keep an eye on the calendar for Monthly Themes, schedule changes, and more!

Perfect for kids aged 5-9 (siblings welcome).
Free with admission; donations welcome • Pre-registration is helpful and please check the schedule

Sundays for Fledglings: Kids + Birds = Fun!
Sundays for Fledglings: Kids + Birds = Fun!

Ongoing: Storytime in the Nestlings Nook

Join us for stories about birds and more. Intended for pre-schoolers but all ages are welcome. Stories are followed by a craft project, music or nature walk, depending on the topic and the weather. Got a favorite book about birds? Share it with us!

Free with admission; donations welcome • Pre-registration is not necessary

Summer storytime dates:
Tuesday, June 10  •  10:30am – 11:30am
Tuesday, July 8 •  10:30am – 11:30am
Tuesday, August 12 •  10:30am – 11:30am

Storytime in the Nestlings Nook at the Birds of Vermont Museum
Storytime in the Nestlings Nook, second Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.



Dining to Donate: March 6

Join friends of the Birds of Vermont Museum at Applebee’s of South Burlington on March 6, from 4pm – 9 pm. If you present our flyer to your server, Applebee’s will donate 15% of your check (excluding tip and taxes) to the Birds of Vermont Museum!

Dining to Donate is one way that Applebee’s gives back to their community, by working with non-profit  organizations like the Birds of Vermont Museum. Applebee’s donates 15% of the price of a meal to the Museum as long as the diner presents this flyer and dines on a certain pre-selected day. Our day is March 6th!

By going out to eat that evening, between 4 and 9 pm, at Applebee’s in South Burlington, you will support the Museum’s Bridges to Birds project. All funds collected will help connect people to birds; in particular, the Museum will use these funds towards rebuilding our flood-damaged entranceway and completing an outdoor tree-centered, bird watching and educational space.

This is an informal way to gather as individual families, reconnecting friends, or as a larger group. We will also have a birthday card to sign, celebrating Bob Spear who has just turned 94.

Please feel free to copy the flyers and distribute them personally before March 6th; everyone who dines at Applebee’s and shows the flyer on March 6th will benefit the Museum.

See you there and thank you!

Dining to Donate flyer: bring this to Applebee’s March 6th
(please check your settings or print preview when you print it or it might come out small. Thanks!)

Upcoming events: Museum open for GBBC

Come on by to learn about and celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Observe and record birds in our “backyard” and learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count. We’ll share our experience in this long-running citizen science project, help you identify birds, pick the right feeders for your home, and more. The Museum exhibits and trails will be open; warm drinks and snacks for sale as well.

Saturday, February 15, 10am – 3pm
Don’t need to register; we are open.
Regular admission (free for Museum members always and for Green Mountain Audubon members today)