Ask a Naturalist: Bird Feeding and Birds in Winter

Seven Eastern Bluebirds at a water dish. Photo by Dana Ono for/at the Great Backyard Bird Count

Local naturalists answer your questions about birding in winter! 

The next  in the series from Audubon Vermont, Birds of Vermont Museum, and Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas ! Ask A Naturalist brings naturalists from our organizations to talk directly to you about what is happening outside.

This is an online free event; please register with Audubon Vermont at [ Link Coming Soon ].

While we can talk generally amongst ourselves about what is exciting outside during our long winters, this program will work best if you bring a question or two (tuning in to listen is also ok)! Questions on migration, hibernation, winter, wildlife, etc are all welcome topics.

We love hosting free programs, and are able to do so thanks to generous donors like you! Please consider a donation to one of our organizations:

Through the Window: October 2021 (and Big Sit)

Golden-crowned Kinglet, carved by Bob Spear. Photograph © copyright E. Talmage for the Birds of Vermont Museum
Golden-crowned Kinglet, carved by Bob Spear. Photograph © copyright E. Talmage for the Birds of Vermont Museum

October is one of our favorite months. It’s not that there’s a larger diversity of birds (that’s June), but it’s the month with the Big Sit! For us that means birders, friends (some of course are both!), birding, relaxing, bird-friendly coffee, conversation, and probably too many cider doughnuts.


Continue reading “Through the Window: October 2021 (and Big Sit)”

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 can we identify from a 17-foot diameter circle from sunrise to sunset? Can we beat last year’s record?

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, and recommended when less that 6 feet apart outdoors.

Call or email to ask about joining the observation team.

For much more info, see .

Check out the reports from previous years: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

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

Through the Window: August 2021

Common Yellowthroat (life size woodcarving) surround by autumn leaves.
Common Yellowthroat, carved by Bob Spear for the Teaching Warbler collection

We continued to be light on the feeding this month, as we tried to do our bit to reduce or limit the spread of the mysterious disease we’d heard of—encouraging the equivalent of “social distancing” for birds. This disease had not been reported in Vermont. By the end of the month, we had resumed a very limiting feeding schedule. Continue reading “Through the Window: August 2021”

Birds, Seed Dispersal, and Ecological Restoration in the Tropics

A composite of three Brazilian birds. Photograph by

A presentation by Natalia Paes:

Economic Value of Avian Seed Dispersal in Critically Threatened Environments

Join Natalia this evening to hear more about the seed dispersal service provided by birds in the tropical forest and how birds can guide the ecological process and even economic investments in ecological restoration of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

A composite of three Brazilian birds. Photographs by Arthur Macarrão and used by permission.

Photographs by Arthur Macarrão and used by permission.

Please register in advance:

Max: 12 people • Please wear a mask inside the museum

A Brazilian woman with long brown hair smiles at the camera. She can be seen from chest up and is wearing a dark jacket and binoculars over a turquoise shirt.
Natalia Paes

Natalia Paes is passionate about birds and has been studying them for 11 years in the São Paulo region of Brazil. Currently, she is a Ph.D student at the University of Campinas in Brazil and an International student at University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment. She has focused her studies on the economic and ecological aspects of seed dispersal provided by birds in areas under restoration process in one of the most threatened biomes in the world, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Her professional experience includes the development of public policies for bird conservation.