the Big Sit!

A Stanley brand 25' metal measuring tape; a pair of black binoculars; a bag of Birds and Beans coffee (scarlet tanager dark roast). All three item are line d up on a wooden railing, with green foliage behind them.

The most relaxed birding around. And around and around …

How many birds (and birdwatchers) can we identify from a 17-foot diameter circle between sunrise and sunset? Can we beat last year’s record? We’ve seen birds big and small, in night and day: from Kinglets to Great Blue Herons, Barred Owls to Turkey Vultures.

This is a great long-running community science project. Pledges and donations welcome:

We are observing from Dawn to Dusk. The Museum is open from 10am – 4pm. Masks required when inside the Museum.

Call or email to ask about joining the observation team.

For much more info, see https://www.thebigsit.org/ .

Check out the reports from previous years: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 (overall), 2021 (ours)

several birders standing during a Big Sit event
What is it? Birders focus during the Big Sit.

Through the Window: June 2022

Woodcarving of red-eyed vireo, life size in profile, posed standing in ferns with autumn-tined leaves as a blurry background
Red-eyed Vireo from the Teaching Warblers collection. Carved by Bob Spear in 1988. Photographed by Erin Talmage.

It’s been a pleasant early summer month at the Birds of Vermont Museum. We’re continuing our Early Birder Morning Walks on Sundays, and had a new walk offered: “Tree IDs for Birders”. We even had a booksigning and a carving class!

Even though we’ve cut back on our feeding, we have still been able to enjoy spotting birds through our windows (and doors) at the Museum.

June Bird List

Continue reading “Through the Window: June 2022”

Through the Window: May 2022

American Redstart female stands on a green terry-cloth towel, looking slightly toward the camera. Photo by Erin Talmage for the Birds of Vermont Museum.Still limiting feeding, although this month we saw so many birds that one might hardly have thought we were doing this! (Also, see below for why.)

We also noticed that at certain times of the day, the light hit the front door just right (or perhaps, just wrongly) to apparently encourage bird collisions. We have fixed this! (More on this below, too.)

Also this month (and next): Early Birder Morning Walks! Check out the results when the walk leaders post them to eBird.

May Bird List

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Through the Window: April 2022

Eastern Phoebe on a bare branch
Eastern Phoebe on a bare branch
Eastern Phoebe. Photo by E. Talmage and used by permission.

Despite changing from regular feeding to a restricted type and amount (see below for why), we still enjoying observing birds through our window. Something about just sitting, watching, maybe taking notes or doing Feederwatch…  this helped us get through a wicked bad mud season and a few April snowfalls. 

And as we post this, we’re well into another migration season! Check out BirdCast for nighttime forecasts of what’s moving where.

April Bird List

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Through the Window: March 2022

Fox Sparrow (woodcarving by Bob Spear)
Fox Sparrow, carved by Bob Spear.

March usually see us getting excited about what’s left to do before our drop-in season (May – October) and which migrants are passing by on their way further north (looking at you Fox Sparrow. Also mud. Sherman Hollow Road at the end of March this year was …. remarkable. Yet passable, unlike some other roads around the state. So we could keep feeding the birds.

By the way, Vermont Fish & Wildlife recommends taking in your bird feeders on April 1st, to avoid habituating bears to our spaces. Our feeders are 8′ off the ground on a steel pole set in concrete; it’s both bear resistant and not too much of a temptation. Bears learn quickly what’s out of reach and not worth the effort.

Birds at the Vernal Equinox (and then some)

Continue reading “Through the Window: March 2022”

The Great Backyard Bird Count

black-capped chickadee eyes black oil birdseed in the platform feeder in fall-winter

Friday – Monday, February 18-21, 2022 • All Over the World

With a friend or one your own, watching one bird or counting hundreds, join a worldwide community-science and conservation project. All you have to do is observe for 15 minutes and submit your observation(s). Here are few more details from https://www.birdcount.org/participate/ :

Step 1 – Decide where you will watch birds.

Step 2 – Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.

Step 3 – Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings:

For more info: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/