Footprints and more: Tracking Workshop, February 27

Small mammal tracks with keys for scale
The size of a track matters, but you don't always have a ruler.

On Saturday, February 27th, the Museum is hosting a Tracking Workshop from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with Mike Kessler of UVM. Join us to find out what non-bird animals live in our backyard. Elements of nature observation will be covered. Please dress to be outside; snowshoes are encouraged if we get snow. Suggested donation: $5. Feel free to call with any questions. Appropriate for older kids and adults.

2010 Annual Art Contest Open

Enter your bird art in the Birds of Vermont Museum 2010 Art Contest.

Art Contest Rules for 2010

  1. This competition is open to persons aged 0 – 18 years old
  2. The theme of the contest is Birds, Birds, Birds!
  3. Entries on paper must be no larger than 8 1/2 x 11″ , 3-D Art must be smaller than 6″ x 6″ x 8″.
  4. One entry per person   – name, age and contact information must be included with entry. Entries may be picked up at the Museum after Nov. 1, 2010.
  5. Contestants can use any medium – (paint, pencils, crayons, markers, clay, wood, papier-mache)
  6. Entries must be received no later than  September 30, 2010
  7. Please drop off, or mail, entries to Birds of Vermont Museum, 900 Sherman Hollow Road, Huntington, Vermont 05462
  8. All entries will be  displayed at the museum throughout the 2010 season, so enter early!

Judging

Entries will be grouped by age of contestants.

First, second, and honorable mention prizes will be awarded in each of the following groups:

  • 5 years and younger
  • 6 – 8 years
  • 9 – 13 years
  • 14 – 18 years
  • 3-D Art (multi-age)

Winning entries will be displayed on the BOVM website and/or our FaceBook page with the artists’  permission.

Winners will be announced at the Museum at the Fall Festival, October 9, 2010 (see more events on our calendar).

Thank You to our 2010 Sponsors

Guy’s Farm and Yard, Williston, Vermont
Artists’ Mediums, Williston, Vermont

Climbing the walls? Paint them instead!

Painting Party, February 27

We are looking for volunteers to help us paint the walls downstairs in the Museum. We’ll be painting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Lunch will follow, 12:00 – 1:00, so please let us know if you will be coming.

The 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15

Camel's Hump: view from the Birds of Vermont Museum's backyard
Camel's Hump: view from the Birds of Vermont Museum's backyard

Interested in yet another good reason to go birding? How about the Great Backyard Bird Count? It’s another Citizen Science project we do here, and it’s always open to more participants.

We’ll be open on February 13, Saturday, from 9-4. Come by to learn more about it, to count birds, or just visit.

Here’s a brief introduction from the Cornell Lab or Ornithology’s e-newsletter:

The next Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) takes place Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15, 2010. The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are calling on everyone to “Count for Fun, Count for the Future!” During last year’s count, participants turned in more than 93,600 checklists online, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded. …[T]he success of the count depends on people tallying birds from as many locations as possible across the continent.

Spread the word …through our volunteer ambassador program. Volunteer ambassadors do a variety of things, including hanging up GBBC fliers, giving presentations in their community, and even talking to their local media. For more ideas on how to promote the GBBC, fill out the online ambassador sign-up form and specify the kinds of activities you’d like to do.

More info from the National Audubon Society: http://www.audubon.org/gbbc/
or from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/

About Project FeederWatch

The Christmas Bird Count isn’t the only citizen science activity that the Museum does. We do Project Feeder Watch, too. It makes for a very pleasant lunchtime: good food and a viewing window (today we saw our first Wild Turkey and Tufted Titmouse of the month). Many of you with feeders at home or work can participate. You can sign up at any time. Here’s an overview from a recent Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s e-newsletter:

Project FeederWatch

The 2009-10 season of Project FeederWatch begins November 14, though you can sign up at any time. FeederWatchers keep track of their birds through the winter and report their tallies each week. This helps scientists track changes in winter bird populations from year to year.

To learn more and to sign up, visit the Project FeederWatch website. New participants receive a kit with a handbook, a bird-identification poster, calendar, and instruction booklet. There is a $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) to help cover the costs of materials and participant support. If you live in Canada, please visit our partner, Bird Studies Canada, or call (888) 448-2473.

Art Contest 2009 Results

Some of our terrific entries on display in the Museum
Some of our terrific entries on display in the Museum

We’ve created a FaceBook Album to show the winning entries from our 2009 Art Contest. Many thanks to all artists, and to their parents and teachers who supported and encouraged them.

Our 2009 wining artists are:

Age 0-5:  Clayton M, Natalia G, and Kate J
Ages 6-8: Syd F, Brandon B, Joanna W, Connor O, Daniel C, Jessica B, Jonah J, Josh D, Logan W, Olivia C, Olivia V, Owen Z
Ages 9-13: Clarisse H, Georgia W, Ashley M, Austin B, and Hannah M
Ages 14-18: Madeline D, Bridget F, Leighsha J, Chiara E, Emmy T

And some special categories:

3-Dimensional: Austin V, Esme C, Hannah M and Jason H
Foil Art: Haley T, Olivia R, Kristina T, Dania A, Jordan A and Justine M

We had a few additional artists deserving mention:

Morgan B for the “Best Bird Part” (a beak); Cadence B for “Best Indigo Bunting”, Kelly W for “Funniest Penguin” and Yasmine N for the “Hummingbird Award”.

More great entries in our 2009 Art Contest
More great entries in our 2009 Art Contest

Big Sit! 2009

On Sunday,  October 11, the Museum participated in yet another Big Sit! We recorded a record 31 species! Thanks to Jim for coordinating the event, and all the volunteers who joined in.

the “official”  TIME SHEET for the 2009 “BIG SIT” (Notables inBOLD): Continue reading “Big Sit! 2009”

Not the eagle you might have expected

Bob and about 40 friends and members of the Museum celebrated his upcoming 90th birthday with a boat cruise on Lake Champlain. It was wonderful, and many said to me afterwards that this would be a fun thing to do annually.

Our carload arrived really early and we were involved with a rescue operation. Someone saw an eagle land in the water and flap around unable to fly away. The skipper and 4 of us went out looking for this bird, and we searched and searched. We had a net and 4 blankets for the rescue. All we found was a large juvenile gull sitting on a huge dead fish floating on the surface, and he flew off when we came near and then returned as we left. So much for eagles in distress! We had a good laugh.

—from a letter by Ingrid Riga, Curator,  to a sponsor of several of the carving exhibits

Bug Walk: July 5th

This Sunday, July 5, 2009, the Vermont Entomological Society will hold its FREE annual Bug Walk at the Birds of Vermont Museum, 10:30 – 12. Join Vermont naturalists and entomologists in a first-hand experience of seeing Vermont’s butterflies and other insects up close.

Participants will have free admission to the Museum that day, so come join us on the only day this week guaranteed (er, highly likely) to be sunny! The fields across the road will be swept with butterfly nets to find all kinds of miniscule critters and butterflies, and maybe some surprises. Feel free to bring binoculars and an insect net if you have one.

Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are picnic tables by the Museum and one more at the pond–where you can see tadpoles, frogs and salamanders (maybe a turtle), not to mention all sorts of water insects.

Should be loads of fun! If it is raining on the day of the walk, call the Museum (802)-434-2167 to see if we’ve rescheduled.

Museum paints puzzle piece as part of Puzzle Palooza

A partially finished puzzle piece for Puzzle Palooza!
A partially finished puzzle piece for Puzzle Palooza!

The Birds of Vermont is working on a puzzle piece for Puzzle Palooza!

See www.vermontartscouncil.org for more information.

The puzzle piece is under construction and is being painted by Museum Curator, Ingrid Riga!