Through the Window: December 2023

Wood carving of a Northern Cardinal by Bob Spear. The bird is perched on a bare, slightly branched log. Its body faces the viewer, but it is looking to the viewer's right. The carving is outside (for the photograph), and bare fall trees and leaf-covered ground can be seen in the background.
Northern Cardinal (male); wood carving by Bob Spear

December was a bit wet this year. We were fine (still watching how the streams flow around and under our various bridges, of course). People seemed to be enjoying staying in Gale’s Retreat, and we certainly have enjoyed our walks in the woods to check on it before and after the guests.

One heavy wet snowfall  took out more main branches from the crabapple tree. We’ll see how the Ruffed Grouse adapt to that.

December Bird List

Continue reading “Through the Window: December 2023”

Through the Window: November 2023

Ruffed Grouse in leafless crabapple tree.
Ruffed Grouse in leafless crabapple tree.

November is often pretty quiet; we get wrapped up in the Race, with working indoors with our Annual Appeal, with staff getting some breaks for holidays. The birds don’t care!

It’s an amusing treat to watch the Ruffed Grouse reach for each small decorative crabapple fruit, dried and frozen though they may be.

November Bird List

Continue reading “Through the Window: November 2023”

Race Around Birds 2023 – Self-timing Weeks

Human running away from viewer, wearing orange shirt, black leggings. This person is running on a frosty woodland trail with a bright blue sky and fall colors in the remaining foliage.

The Birds of Vermont Museum is hosting the fourth annual Race Around Birds trail run! There are two options for runners (and walkers), and you can even do both:

On-Your-Own (Virtual) Race: choose a day between October 21st and November 3rd, and record your time on the paper forms (available at the Museum’s front door).

Race Day run: Saturday, November 4th, at 10a.m. This is a typical trail run, and a bit longer than 5k. We can welcome up to 50 runners. (Please carpool)

Race results will be posted in our blog.

To Register

While registering is free, we encourage donations to support the museum, as well as cover the cost of trail work, post-race snacks and water, and possible swag. You may register for Race Day (group race), Virtual (self-timed) race, or both.
Registration open:

Read more below:

Spear Trail sign in fall

Course Description

This is a trail race with some steep uphill climbs. Some segments are more like single-track mountain trails. This is a HARD course.

The course is approximately 3.6 miles. The course winds around and crosses itself, making a slightly tangled figure 8 (using the trails on both sides of Sherman Hollow Road). There will be signs and maps.

The course is well-marked and you will return past the Museum to complete both loops. There are no supplies and no first aid stations on the course. Bathrooms and water are available when the Museum is open (Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am – 4pm, in October only).

The Race Map is available online: https://birdsofvermont.org/docs/trail-map-for-race-web.pdf . person lacing up sneakers on the spear trail

How It Works

You may run or walk the course.

On the November 4th Race Day, racers will start at 10 a.m.

For the On-Your-Own (Virtual) Race, runners and walkers may come to the Museum at any time from daylight to dusk from October 21 to November 3. No dogs and no nights. You may run (or walk) the course multiple times on different days, in order to improve your times. You may run in groups, but the trail is generally single-file.

For the virtual option, you will keep track of your own start and finish times. Time-keeping forms will be in a marked box to the left of the Museum’s front door. Fill out a form for each day you race. Then, when you’re ready to run, take a map (if you need it), get to the start line (the west end of the parking lot by the parking sign), mark your starting time, and GO! Afterward, fill in your finish time and drop it in the box.

Please note: virtual runner results are not official, but like all results, will be reports in our results post on our blog.

If you are running on Race Day, please carpool. We have limited parking.A blurry runner passes the Spear Trail sign.

But wait, there’s more!

If you share photos or comments online, we encourage you to use these hashtags:
#RaceAroundBirds #RaceAroundBirds2023 #BirdsOfVermontMuseum #RunningIsForTheBirds #TrailRace #VirtualRace #HuntingtonVt #TrailRunning #TrailRunner

Send questions to trailrunning@birdsofvermont.org!

map of trails with race course info at the Birds of Vermont Museum

Printable race packets (trail map, course notes, entry form, waiver) are available as PDFs (see below):

Prior years’ results are at https://birdsofvermont.org/tag/results/

screen shot of all trails recording of race course showing elevation

 

Through the Window: September 2023

Life-like Pine Warbler woodcarving by Bob Spear
Pine Warbler, carved by Bob Spear

It’s the last month for the Hummingbirds (for the year). Nevertheless, they delighted those who sat at the Viewing Window this month, as the “Hummers” continued to defend “their” feeders!

Not only that, but we saw some unusual-for-the-feeder-area birds as well. Read on to find out what species they were…

September Bird List

Continue reading “Through the Window: September 2023”

October events

White-breasted Nuthatch © copyright Zac Cota-Weaver and used by permission.

person lacing up sneakers on the spear trailSo what’s coming up in the last month of our “open” season? Exercise your sense of art, your legs, your mind with our Spark! show. birds identification opportunities, and our annual race!

We’re open Wednesday – Sunday, 10-4, until Halloween. We’re open by appointment other days and after. The trails are open sunrise to sunset, every day. Libraries have passes, and admission is always free for members (https://birdsofvermont.org/membership/).

=== OCTOBER EVENTS ===

Continue reading “October events”

September events

Unidentified hawk overhead against a brilliantly blue sky. Photo copyright Erin Talmage and used by permission.

Head and neck of Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), a wood carving by Bob Spear (rest of body not visible in photo)The school year has started, but that isn’t slowing us down up on Sherman Hollow Road. Check out the fall programs at the Birds of Vermont Museum, sign up for one if you like, or just drop by. We’re open Wednesday – Sunday, 10-4, until Halloween. We’re open by appointment other days and after. The trails are open sunrise to sunset, every day. Libraries have passes, and admission is always free for members (https://birdsofvermont.org/membership/).

We look forward to seeing you!

=== SEPTEMBER EVENTS ===

Continue reading “September events”

the Big Sit 2023!

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.

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), 2022 (overall), 2022 (ours)

several birders standing during a Big Sit event

Race Around Birds 2023 – Race Day

Human running away from viewer, wearing orange shirt, black leggings. This person is running on a frosty woodland trail with a bright blue sky and fall colors in the remaining foliage.

The Birds of Vermont Museum is hosting the fourth annual Race Around Birds trail run! There are two options for runners (and walkers), and you can even do both:

Race Day run: Saturday, November 4th, at 10a.m. This is a typical trail run, and a bit longer than 5k. We can welcome up to 50 runners. (Please carpool)

On-Your-Own (Virtual) Race: choose a day between October 21st and November 3rd, and record your time on the paper forms (available at the Museum’s front door).

Race results will be posted in our blog.

To Register

While registering is free, we encourage donations to support the museum, as well as cover the cost of trail work, post-race snacks and water, and possible swag. You may register for Race Day (group race), Virtual (self-timed) race, or both.
Registration open:

Read more below:

Spear Trail sign in fall

Course Description

This is a trail race with some steep uphill climbs. Some segments are more like single-track mountain trails. This is a HARD course.

The course is approximately 3.6 miles. The course winds around and crosses itself, making a slightly tangled figure 8 (using the trails on both sides of Sherman Hollow Road). There will be signs and maps.

The course is well-marked and you will return past the Museum to complete both loops. There are no supplies and no first aid stations on the course. Bathrooms and water are available when the Museum is open (Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am – 4pm, in October only).

The Race Map is available online: https://birdsofvermont.org/docs/trail-map-for-race-web.pdf . person lacing up sneakers on the spear trail

How It Works

You may run or walk the course.

On the November 4th Race Day, racers will start at 10 a.m.

For the On-Your-Own (Virtual) Race, runners and walkers may come to the Museum at any time from daylight to dusk from October 21 to November 3. No dogs and no nights. You may run (or walk) the course multiple times on different days, in order to improve your times. You may run in groups, but the trail is generally single-file.

For the virtual option, you will keep track of your own start and finish times. Time-keeping forms will be in a marked box to the left of the Museum’s front door. Fill out a form for each day you race. Then, when you’re ready to run, take a map (if you need it), get to the start line (the west end of the parking lot by the parking sign), mark your starting time, and GO! Afterward, fill in your finish time and drop it in the box.

Please note: virtual runner results are not official, but like all results, will be reports in our results post on our blog.

If you are running on Race Day, please carpool. We have limited parking.A blurry runner passes the Spear Trail sign.

But wait, there’s more!

If you share photos or comments online, we encourage you to use these hashtags:
#RaceAroundBirds #RaceAroundBirds2023 #BirdsOfVermontMuseum #RunningIsForTheBirds #TrailRace #VirtualRace #HuntingtonVt #TrailRunning #TrailRunner

Send questions to trailrunning@birdsofvermont.org!

map of trails with race course info at the Birds of Vermont Museum

Printable race packets (trail map, course notes, entry form, waiver) are available as PDFs (see below):

Prior years’ results are at https://birdsofvermont.org/tag/results/

screen shot of all trails recording of race course showing elevation