Insect Walk with Spencer Hardy

Kick off our Community Day Celebration with biologist Spencer Hardy, Project Coordinator of the Vermont Bee Atlas.

Come explore this summer morning and discover what birds and insects share our landscape.

Outdoors—it’s where the bugs and butterflies are!

This is a slow-paced walk; museum trails are open until sunset for those wanting to wander further.

Max: 10 people
Free (as part of our Community Day; donations always welcome)
PLEASE pre-register.


Click/tap the button above or call 802-434-2167 or email museum@birdsofvermont.org.

More about Spencer: https://vtecostudies.org/about-us/staff/spencer-hardy/

Museum Community Day

Young child holds a toy plush bird while looking at a bird identification folding guide

Free Admission in thanks to our Huntington and Members community!

Special Events!

  • Insect Walk with Spencer Hardy (max 10; please register here)
  • But Why? Book signing with Jane Lindholm & Melody Bodette
  • Kids’ Crafts & Activities
  • Ice cream until it runs out

More info coming!

Thanks so much to everyone in our communities for supporting us for 36 years.

Possibly happening…. stay tuned:
Bird Olympics
Soap Carving
Block & Bird or See It Sketch It outdoor art session
Special Tours

Annual Butterfly and Bug Walk

Young Entomologist

Experience Vermont’s butterflies and other insects up close!

Join Vermont Entomological Society naturalists and entomologists for an exploratory stroll on the Birds of Vermont Museum grounds.

Bring binoculars, magnifying glasses, and an insect net if you have one. Pack a lunch if you would like to picnic after the walk. Do bring your water bottle and dress for outdoors.

Registration link coming soon.

Max: 15 people • waitlist available
Masks required when indoors.
(We will update this listing with any changed COVID-19 precautions  as we get closer to the date.)

If it is raining on the day of the walk, please call the Museum (802 434-2167) to see if we have rescheduled; probable rain date Sunday, July 10).

Terrific for anyone interested in Vermont’s six-legged creatures.

Free! (Donations welcome)

Check out the Vermont Entomological Society site https://www.vermontinsects.org/ — gorgeous photos and information about the Society.

Ask a Naturalist: Ticks, Mosquitos, and Blackflies

A map of Vermont with red dots showing locations of mosquito traps in 2019 in the state.

Local naturalists answer your questions about some small, annoying, yet important invertebrates of Vermont! 

The April session of Ask-a-Naturalist, from Audubon Vermont, Birds of Vermont Museum, and Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas gives you the chance to learn new and fascinating things about some small creatures we normally just brush off.

Do you know how many different kinds of mosquitoes we have in Vermont? And that some don’t bother humans at all? How about ticks, and when to worry about which diseases? Have you seen “Blackflies: defenders of Vermont” on a T-shirt, and wondered what roles blackflies play in our ecosystems? Join this session and find out more!

This is an online free event. Please register with Audubon Vermont at https://act.audubon.org/a/ask-a-naturalistmosquitoesticksflies


Bring us your questions and curiosity!

We love hosting free programs, and are able to do so because of generous donors. If you can, please donate to one our organizations:

Thank you, and see you soon!

Moths in the Evening

Brown moth with one dark band across wings.

What’s small, cute, and comes out at night? Moths!*

Join Vermont Entomological Society naturalists and entomologists for a twilight walk to find out what attracts moths, what they do in the wild, and how they differ from butterflies.

Bring magnifying glasses and an insect net if you have one. Do bring your water bottle and dress for outdoors.

Led by Michael Sabourin of VES

Free! (Donations welcome)
Please register in advance:

Max: 10 people • waitlist available
Meet in the parking lot of the Museum.
Masks required when within 6′ of other people.
(We will update this listing with any changed COVID-19 precautions  as we get closer to the date.)

If it is raining on the evening of the walk, please call the Museum (802 434-2167) to see if we have rescheduled.

Check out the Vermont Entomological Society site https://www.vermontinsects.org/ — gorgeous photos and information about the Society.

* p.s. Some moths come out in the day and aren’t small. Whether they are cute or not—well—that’s up to you!

Insects of the Day

A stonefly in a glass jar is held toward the camera by a young white man

Which wonderful, weird, and wild insects are out during the day? Explore the museum grounds with James Grant, wildlife photographer.

Bring  magnifying glasses and an insect net if you have one. Do bring your water bottle and dress for outdoors.

Stay after the walk for lemonade in the tree house.

$5 suggested donation
Max: 10 people • waitlist available


Meet in the parking lot of the Museum.
Masks recommended when within 6′ of other people (required indoors)

If it is raining that day, please call the Museum (802 434-2167) to see if we have rescheduled.
(For evening insects, come to our Moth Walk on August 27).

Annual Butterfly and Bug Walk

Young Entomologist

Experience Vermont’s butterflies and other insects up close!

Join Vermont Entomological Society naturalists and entomologists for an exploratory stroll on the Birds of Vermont Museum grounds.

Bring binoculars, magnifying glasses, and an insect net if you have one. Pack a lunch if you would like to picnic after the walk. Do bring your water bottle and dress for outdoors.

Please register in advance:



Max: 10 people • waitlist available
Masks required when within 6′ of other people.
(We will update this listing with any changed COVID-19 precautions  as we get closer to the date.)

If it is raining on the day of the walk, please call the Museum (802 434-2167) to see if we have rescheduled.

Terrific for anyone interested in Vermont’s six-legged creatures.

Free! (Donations welcome)

Check out the Vermont Entomological Society site https://www.vermontinsects.org/ — gorgeous photos and information about the Society.

Let’s Explore Outside: Ponds! (June)

Green Frog half submerged in pond water

What is in the water, near the water, and above the water? Let’s explore the museum’s small Vermont pond together. Erin will bring nets, observation containers, and hand lenses.

Please dress for weather. Face masks required when we are within 6 feet of each other. Tick repellent recommended.

Meet at the front of the Museum.

Max: 5 people • Waitlist available if the program fills
Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lets-explore-outside-ponds-tickets-150819415933 or click / tap the button:


(We’re also offering this program May 20th)

Free, suggested donation $5-$10

If you are a family group with more than 5 members, please contact us by email (museum@birdsofvermont.org) or calling (802 434-2167).

#ponds #amphibians

Led by Erin Talmage, Executive Director and Wildlife Biologist.
Green Frog photo courtesy Erin Talmage.

Let’s Explore Outside: Ponds!

Pond reflecting a blue summer sky with trees in full summer foliage in the background.

What is in the water, near the water, and above the water? Let’s explore the museum’s small Vermont pond together. Erin will bring nets, observation containers, and hand lenses.

Please dress for weather. Face masks required when we are within 6 feet of each other. Tick repellent recommended.

Meet at the front of the Museum.

Max: 5 people • Waitlist available if the program fills

Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lets-explore-outside-ponds-tickets-150820771989 or click / tap the button:





(We’re also offering this program May 12th)

Free, suggested donation $5-$10

If you are a family group with more than 5 members, please contact us by email (museum@birdsofvermont.org) or calling (802 434-2167).

#ponds #amphibians

Led by Erin Talmage, Executive Director and Wildlife Biologist.
Green Frog photo courtesy Erin Talmage.

Lady Beetles in Vermont

Polished Lady Beetle (Cycloneda munda)_Nathaniel Sharp

Guest post by Julia Pupko of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies

What do you think of when you imagine a ladybug (aka lady beetle)? Is it red with black spots? For years, this was the only image that came to mind when I thought about lady beetles. Furthermore, I had no idea how many different lady beetle species exist, and that the only species I was familiar with was the invasive Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)–the species that commonly congregates in people’s homes during winter. In Vermont alone, there are 42 recorded species of lady beetle (35 native and 7 introduced), and we are still discovering species that have not been previously recorded.

Check out our webinar on this topic!

Lady beetles come in different sizes, colors, and shapes, ranging from just fractions of a centimeter to nearly a centimeter in length. Some are black with red spots, others are the classic red with black spots, some are orange, yellow, or brown, and some have bars instead of spots or no spots at all. These beetles can be found in all types of habitats, from fields, to forests, shrubland, and swamps, to the garden in your backyard!

Despite differences in appearance and habitat preference, many lady beetles share an important feature: they act as a biological pest control, munching down aphids, plant mites, scale insects, and other soft-bodied pests. Native lady beetles have evolved alongside native pest species, and many synchronize their life cycles to align with their pest of choice. For example, both Hudsonian Ladybirds (Mulsantina hudsonica) and Eye-spotted Lady Beetles (Anatis mali) have evolved to synchronize their life cycles with that of the Balsam Twig Aphid (Mindarus abietinus). This means that the lady beetle larvae are growing when aphid populations are at their peak, giving the beetles an increased chance of survival. Balsam Fir trees also benefit, as the growing lady beetles reduce the pest load on the trees. Other native lady beetle species have begun to associate with invasive pests, like the Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle (Chilocorus stigma) and Beech Bark Scale insects, helping to reduce invasive pest loads on infected trees.

However, many native lady beetle species populations across the country are in decline. These declines are thought to be caused by the introduction of non-native lady beetle species, such as the Asian Lady Beetle, land use change, introduced pathogens, and pesticide use. Introduced lady beetles often grow faster than native lady beetle species, outcompeting them for habitat and food, while also consuming native lady beetle larvae. This may result in pest outbreaks in the future, as some studies indicate that native lady beetle species hunt certain native pests more effectively than introduced lady beetle species, and therefore provide better pest control of these insects.

Vermont appears to be experiencing native lady beetle declines as well. Currently, 12 of Vermont’s native lady beetle species have not been seen in over 40 years. That said, the last full survey of Vermont’s lady beetle fauna was completed in 1976. We don’t know if these 12 missing species have been extirpated or still exist in low numbers, and as well we don’t know what conservation measures may be needed to support potentially-declining native lady beetle populations in Vermont. To answer these questions, the Vermont Atlas of Life team at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies started the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas. We are calling on volunteer naturalists across the state to join us in our search, which will increase the chances of finding these beetles. Already, volunteer naturalists have rediscovered four of Vermont’s lost lady beetle species, recorded three new species, and doubled the number of research-grade,  lady beetle observations uploaded to iNaturalist in our pilot year.

If you would like to help in our lady beetle quest, simply install the free  iNaturalist app to your phone (or camera and internet-connected device of choice) and upload pictures of any lady beetle you encounter to the site! Visit the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas website to find out more ways to get involved and learn more about these fascinating beetles.