Through the Window: December 2022

Lifelike wood carving of a Black-capped chickadee, perched on the side of a rough-barked stump. Carved by Bob Spear.
Black-capped Chickadee, carved and painted by Bob Spear.

It’s the end of 2022, and a pretty good year it’s been. We hope the same is true for you.

Thank you for following us, supporting us, and being part of the museum community.

Enjoy the brief list of this month’s birds, consider donating to our annual appeal, and keep on birding!

Happy New Year!

December Bird List

Continue reading “Through the Window: December 2022”

Through the Window: November 2022

Downy Woodpecker and Blue Jay on a rectangular suet feeder. Photo appears to be a digiscoped image through a binocular lens.
Digiscoping a Downy Woodpecker and Blue Jay sharing a suet feeder. Photo by E. Talmage, and used with permission.

Welcome to the first month of our by-appointment season! It’s sometimes extra quiet around here as we work to catch up on reports, projects, and prepare for our annual appeal. 

And Feederwatch began! We have some volunteers who are wonderfully dedicated to helping the Museum participate in this community science program, so thank you Michele, Megan and Debbie!

November Bird List

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Through the Window: October 2022

Red-bellied woodpecker, carved by Bob Spear
Red-bellied woodpecker, carved by Bob Spear

October is glorious! We started the month with the Dead Creek Wildlife festival, continued birding during the Big Sit!,  admired pollinators on fall flowers like asters, explored and documented plants for the phenology project, and welcomed campers visiting through the Harvest Host program. We spent some time working on the Retreat, which we hope to open to overnighters sometime in the next year.

Of course, we have to sit down by the Viewing Window and just watch birds  to recover from all of this.

October Bird List

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Race Around Birds 2022

hill in fall colors with more trees in foreground

The Birds of Vermont Museum is hosting the third 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 5th, at 10a.m. This is a typical trail run, and approximately 5k. We can welcome up to 50 runners. (Please carpool)

On-Your-Own (Virtual) Race: choose a day between October 22 and November 4th, 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.

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. The course is essentially a loop on each side of the road. Think of it as a figure 8 (although the loop on the north side of the creek is more convoluted than a simple loop).

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

The race course map is updated from last year; Pop’s (red) trail is a little different and this year we are only running the single lap option.runner lacing up sneakers on the spear trail

How It Works

You may run or walk the course.

On the November 5th 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 22 to November 4. 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 of up to three or four, 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 (you’ll finish on the other side of the road) and drop it in the box.

If you are running on Race Day, please carpool. We have limited parking.

But wait, there’s more!

If you share photos or comments online, we encourage you to use these hashtags:
#RaceAroundBirds #RaceAroundBirds2022 #birdsofvermontmuseum #runningisforthebirds #trailrace #virtualrace #huntingtonvt #trailrunning #trailrunner

Send questions to!

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

Printable race packets (trail map, course notes, entry form, waiver) will be  available as PDFs soon. (See below)

Last year’s results are at

screen shot of all trails recording of race course showing elevation


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 .

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: 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)”