Birding the Basin: West Haven Field Trip

Birding the Basin: West Haven Field Trip -- Join us for a great field trip in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin!
Join us for a great field trip in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin!

This event has been changed due to weather. It will now be held on June 26, 2011. All other details remain the same.

Saturday, June 25, 2011, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Jim Andrews, herpetologist and long-time birder, will lead us in a field trip to West Haven, Vermont. We hope to find Prairie Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers, and maybe a few rare reptiles! Jim has led many of our Birding the Basin field trips, and we are delighted to have him back again.

Best for adults and older children. Meet at McDonald’s on Route 22A in Fair Haven (pending Lake levels). Birding experience and spotting scopes optional; we recommend binoculars of course! (Have you tried digiscoping yet? Some of us do it with iPhones, even!)

Fee: $20 for members of the Birds of Vermont Museum;  $25 for non-members  (you can pay ahead or at the “door”).

Please pre-register by calling 802 434-2167 or emailing

Early Bird Morning Walks

Early Bird Morning Walks, May 15 - Jun 12, 2011, 7 a.m.
Early Bird Morning Walks, May 15 - Jun 12, 2011, 7 a.m.

Join us for an early morning ramble in the Birds of Vermont Museum forest and meadows. Share your sightings, practice identifying birds by ear, or learn from other birders. Enjoy the start of the day with us, birds, and other woodland inhabitants.

Walks are led by experienced birders familiar with Vermont birds.

Finish the walk with bird-friendly “birds and Beans” coffee inside the Museum.

Bring binoculars and good walking shoes, rain gear if needed. Park at 900 Sherman Hollow Road, in the Museum parking lot.

Sundays, May 15 – June 12, 7:00am – 8:15am
Outdoors on Museum property
Appropriate for adults and older children
Free, donations welcome.

Join the County Quest!

Guest post from Ali Wagner, Birder and Museum Member

Last fall, a few of Vermont’s counties decided to take part in a friendly challenge of seeing and reporting the most species of birds during the 2011 calendar year.  This has morphed into a state-wide challenge with all counties eagerly participating.

The quest, as described by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is “part fun, part discovery, part conservation, but mostly fun.”

The goal is to get more people involved in birding as well as documenting bird species of the state. There’s a nice write-up at eBird:

If you would like to contribute your sightings, go to or to sign up!  If you have any questions, you can contact Ali  at or 802 434-7672.

Vermont eBirdVermont Center for Ecostudies

Birding the Basin: Results from October 24

The weather on October 24th was rain, rain, and then some more rain. And chilly! But 9 intrepid birders traveled the Champlain Valley Basin, checking the skies, fields, and puddles for birds (migrating and otherwise). It was lots of fun and there was a lot of laughter. Thank you, Shirley, for providing us this list! Birds are listed in the order seen.

  • American Crow
  • European Starling
  • House Sparrow
  • Canada Goose
  • American Kestrel
  • Mourning Dove
  • Rock Pigeons
  • Northern Harrier
  • Song Sparrow
  • Blue Jay
  • American Robin
  • Snow Goose
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Black-crowned night heron
  • Wood Duck
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Mallard
  • American Black Duck
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Northern Pintail
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Surf Scoter
  • Horned Grevbe
  • Common Loon
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Great Black-backed Gull (not a Black Duck as I’d earlier mis-read the note –Kir)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Wild Turkey
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Northern Flicker

If you are on FaceBook, and you have photos, feel free to post them on the event Wall (Facebook event page: ). We’re also happy to link any online photos to this post if you send us the link.

Birding in Panama and the Darien

Birding in Panama and the Darien (Flyer)

Panama boasts nearly 1,000 different bird species and the largest intact tropical rainforest in Central America, but as a birding destination it still lacks the fame of its neighbor Costa Rica.

Please join us for a photographic tour of the incredible diversity of birdlife Panama has to offer—from the hummingbirds and toucans of the national forests along the Panama Canal to the tanagers and trogons of the coffee-growing region in the northwest to the macaws and manakins of the roadless south-eastern wilderness that is the Darien.

Presented by Professors Kimberly Sultze and Jon Hyde.
This lecture is oart of the Lucille Greenough Enrichment Series.
Doors open at 6:30p.m. for wine and cheese; slide lecture begins at 7:00p.m.

Sunday morning walk

[As posted to VTBIRD mailing list by Erin Talmage]
We started with a soggy morning walk and ended at the Museum’s viewing
window drinking bird-friendly coffee and eating local baked goods.

Our species list for the entire morning:

Great crested Flycatcher
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
American Robin
Wood Duck
Black and White Warbler
Blue Jay
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
Evening Grosbeak
Brown-headed Cowbird
Mourning Dove
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Wild Turkey
Dark-eyed Junco
Indigo Bunting

Join us on June 13th, June 20th, and/or June 27th  for another bird walk.
(We always end our walks with coffee and goodies!)

For more details and a complete schedule of events see

Early Morning Bird Walk

Shirley Johnson and Alison Wagner have been leading the Early Morning Birds Walks this spring. (Haven’t been on one yet? Come on Sundays at 7:00 a.m.; we will be doing these through June).  They post the birds the group observes on a white board here at the museum, and report some of the highlights to us over coffee.

Last week, Alison lead a group despite the snowy weather. Yes, they were successful, observing some dozen or so species.

Blackburnian Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler (carved by Bob Spear). One of the species identified on today's Early Morning Bird Walk.

Today, Shirley reported hearing two barred owls having a “party”, cackling and laughing back and forth to each other. She also said they’d heard a Louisiana Waterthrush, and compared the sounds of that species as recorded by the iFlyer and the Birding by Ear CDs.

Come along on our next trip! See http://www. events.php for the schedule. There’s no fee, and coffee is provided.

Christmas Bird Count: Woodstock, Vermont

We’re reposting several Christmas Bird Count results from neighboring towns. Email us at if you want us to post yours, too. Final results may also become available on the VTBIRD mailing list and many final tallies are available through Audubon’s 110th Christmas Bird Count pages.

Woodstock, Vermont

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

from Sally Laughlin, via e-mail
The Woodstock Count was held on the coldest day of the count period no doubt, Tuesday 12/29….wind-chill to 30 below. Both numbers of individuals and of species suffered (as did us birders!). We had only 32 species and 2227 individuals. But we had some firsts for our 35 year old count!

Species unusual for our count were:

Cedar Waxwing, 230- located in front of the Woodstock Elementary School
Snow Bunting, 12 – seen in both Plymouth (3) and South Woodstock (9)
Green Winged Teal, 1 – a first for our count
Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 – at a feeder on River Road, Killington
Pied-billed Grebe, 1 a first for our count, in an open pool in the Sherburne Marsh, Killington
Savannah Sparrow, 1 – in Woodstock

Species usually located on the Count, by numbers sighted:

Black-capped Chickadee, 608;
Blue Jay, 287;
European Starling, 229;
American Goldfinch, 188;
Mourning Dove, 130;
Dark-eyed Junco, 92;
Wild Turkey, 55;
American Crow, 52;
Mallard, 47;
White-breasted Nuthatch, 47;
Rock Pigeon, 45;
House Sparrow, 38;
Downy Woodpecker, 29;
Tufted Titmouse, 28;
Hairy Woodpecker, 22;
Northern Cardinal, 21;
American Tree Sparrow, 17;
House Finch, 14;
Raven, 11;
Purple Finch, 9;
Red-tailed Hawk, 3;
Ruffed Grouse, 3;
Black Duck, 2;
Brown Creeper, 2;
Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1;

accipiter sp., glimpsed by a feeder watcher catching a Mourning Dove,
unfortunately not identified to species.

Christmas Bird Count: Barnet, Northeast Kingdom, Vermont

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

We’re reposting several Christmas Bird Count results from neighboring towns. Email us at if you want us to post yours, too. Final results may also become available on the VTBIRD mailing list and/or at Audubon’s 110th Christmas Bird Count pages.

Barnet, Vermont

from Thomas Berriman, via e-mail
Barnet CBC, New Year’s Day:  A record high 23 participants helped count the birds of the Northeast Kingdom on New Year’s day. Absolutely gorgeous weather, 25 degrees [F] with light snow falling and no winds throughout the day, aided the counters to find 41 species with an additional 2 species during count week. 338 miles of roads in the NEK were traveled with another 13 ¾ miles on foot.


Among some of the highlights were: 1 Common Goldeneye, 3 Adult Bald Eagles, 2 Cooper’s Hawks, 2 Great black-backed Gulls, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 5 American Robins, 2 Northern Shrikes and 1 White-throated Sparrow. A complete list of birds seen or heard follows.

Count Results

Continue reading “Christmas Bird Count: Barnet, Northeast Kingdom, Vermont”