Upcoming Birdwatching Programs

Call 802-229-6206 for more info. Pre-registration required for most programs.
Schedule subject to change. Please check in regularly for additions and changes.

Cape Ann Coastal and Pelagic Birding Trip
Friday, March 9th through Sunday, March 11th
Leaving Friday from NBNC at 5 p.m.
Cape Ann, Massachusetts, is a worldwide destination for winter birds and birders. We’ll head out on a morning pelagic boat trip with expert guides in search of hard-to-find offshore regulars like Razorbills, Dovekies, Murres, Kittiwakes, Scoters, and Skuas. Our search then continues from land as we canvas the coastline for rare sea ducks and gulls in the afternoon. Coastal birding will continue Sunday, and we'll arrive back in Vermont on Sunday afternoon. Led by NBNC naturalists and educators Sean Beckett and Ken Benton. Sign up early, as space is limited!
Fee: $495 (single occupancy is an additional $75). Includes all lodging, all transportation, and boat fees.
More Info and Registration

Winter Birding in the Champlain Valley
Saturday, March 17th, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Champlain Valley is one of New England’s best inland destinations for March birding. We’ll search Lake Champlain and surrounding habitats for ducks, eagles, gulls and other early spring highlights.
Fee: $35 NBNC members, $50 non-members. More Info and Registration

Amazing Ecuador: Birding in Paradise
March 18 - 31, 2018
Spend 14 days birding in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Over 1,500 species of birds call Ecuador home, including a whopping 134 hummingbird species alone. We will cover everything from the paramo grassland above tree line to lush tropical rainforest, visiting renowned birding areas including Yanacocha, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Cabanas San Isidro and Guacamayos Ridge. We pay a special visit to Paz de las Aves, where Andean Cock-of-the-Rock display and    several species of antpitta show up looking for a handout of worms every morning. We will also descend into the lowlands, where we’ll   travel by boat from Coca, down the Napo River to the remote Sani Lodge. With birds like the Shining Sunbeam, Sword-billed Hummingbird and Toucan Barbet, we will truly be birding in paradise! Learn more about our 2018 Ecuador trip.

"Timberdoodling" at NBNC
April 8th, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
It's spring and love is in the air! We will listen and watch for the mesmerizing courtship flight of the American Woodcock (a.k.a. Timberdoodle), which nests along the North Branch of the Winooski near our nature center. With luck, we may also be serenaded by Wilson's Snipe and a chorus of Spring Peepers. This springtime spectacle has awed nature lovers across the northeast for centuries. Familes welcome!
Fee: $5/$10 members/non-members (paid at the door). RSVP (requested but not required)

Digital Nature Photography 101 Class
Four sessions: Wednesdays, April 11th, 18th, and 25th 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 5th, 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
New to digital photography? Eager to capture better images of the natural world? In this hands-on series, develop the foundations of a well-rounded nature photographer. We’ll explore composition, artistic technique, exposure, lighting, camera skills, and equipment settings. The perfect course for those curious about f-stops, shutter speeds, and the mysterious buttons on your new camera.  Learn how to use your camera to develop a deeper connection with nature, while building the technical skills to dramatically improve your photography. Limited to 12 participants.
Fee: $85 NBNC members, $105 non-members. More Info and Registration

Friday Morning Bird Walks
April 27th, May 4th, May 11th, May 18th, May 25th, June 1st
Join us for weekly trips to birding hotspots around the Montpelier area searching for spring migrants like warblers, vireos, thrushes, and waterfowl. Practice your birdwatching skills in this group setting led by NBNC's expert birders and naturalists. Locations TBD. RSVPs requested but not required.
Fee: Free for NBNC Members/$10 for non-members

Boreal Birding in the Northeast Kingdom
April 28th 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Deep in the boreal forests and bogs of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom lurks a suite of charismatic yet elusive bird species found nowhere else in the state. On this pre-black-fly season adventure through the Kingdom, we'll visit birding hotspots in search of the "Boreal Grand Slam:" the Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and Spruce Grouse. Departing via carpool from NBNC.
Fee: $35 for NBNC members/$50 for non-members. More Info and Registration

Birding Basics Class
Four sessions: April 29th, May 6th, May 20th, June 10th
Become a better birder! In this class, you’ll develop a breadth of knowledge and skills to better appreciate Vermont’s common and not-so-common birdlife. Identify species from sight and sound by scrutinizing field marks and decoding birdsong. Understand avian ecology and interpret behavior by exploring a wide range of habitats and natural communities. Participate in Vermont bird conservation by immersing in local avian research programs. Whether you are a backyard birdwatcher ready to expand your knowledge, or a passionate naturalist seeking a fun new approach to field ornithology, this course is the perfect primer for better birding in Vermont. A total of 20 hours of instruction. Limited to 10 participants.
Fee: $95 NBNC members, $110 non-members. More Info and Registration

The 2018 World Series of Birding (for teens)
May 10th-13th
For 24 hours each May, competitive birdwatching teams from across the nation descend upon the forests, fields, and shores of Cape May, New Jersey, to record as many bird species as possible. Vying for birding fame and glory, teams turn leave no Turnstone unturned, and no warbler un-watched. This event is both a riotously fun adventure, and an excellent way to hone your birding skills. After a several-year hiatus, NBNC is bringing a team to represent Vermont in the competition’s High School division. Open to all interested teen birders and naturalists regardless of experience!
Fee: TBD.

Birding Paddle on the Missisquoi
May 12th, 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with North Branch Nature Center and the Friends of the Missisquoi by paddling through the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in search of neotropical migrants and spring waterfowl. We'll likely encounter eagles, osprey, terns, orioles, tanagers, warblers and more as we canoe and kayak through 5-6 river miles of Northern Vermont's premier birdwatching destination. Over 150 species have been seen in Vermont's wildest, most expansive river delta and floodplain forest. A trip for all ages. BYOB: bring your own (non-motorized) boat. Meeting at the the boat launch on Mac's Bend Road in Swanton, VT.
Fee: $10 for NBNC members/$15 for non-members. More Info and Registration

NBNC to the Wild West: Yellowstone's Bears, Wolves, and Birds
May 25th - 31st 2018
Fee: $2,525.
On this week-long, small group safari into the heart of the wild, find out why the 18-million-acre Greater Yellow Ecosystem has been hailed as "America's Serengeti," and "The Land of Fire and Ice.” Sold Out! Learn More and reserve your spot on the waitlsit.

"Winged Warbler" Quest
June 2nd, 6:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Blue-winged and Golden-Winged warblers rank among the most elusive and threatened nesting warblers in the northeast. They flummox ornithologists with hybrid wardrobes and confound birders with mismatched songs. This adventure with NBNC birding experts brings us to tangles, thickets, wetlands, and woodlands on a quest to decipher and demystify these enchanting and spunky songbirds. Meeting location TBD.
Fee: $20 NBNC members, $30 non-members.

Mountain Birding on the Long Trail (with the Green Mountain Club)
June 9th, 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Ever wonder what birds you've encountered on your journeys through the Green Mountains? Join NBNC's naturalist us on a hike to identify and learn about the most common and intriguing birds encountered along the Long Trail. We’ll meet a variety of species across a range of ecosystems and elevations, with the ultimate goal of reaching the alpine habitat of Vermont’s most threatened bird, the Bicknell’s Thrush. Hosted in partnership with our friends at the Green Mountain Club. Meeting location TBD.
Fee: $40. Registration opening soon at the Green Mountain Club


Birding at NBNC

They're colorful. They're musical. They are present year-round and can be found almost anywhere on the planet. It's no wonder that birds have fascinated people for generations. NBNC has a rich history of offering birding programs to the public for both recreation as well as research. Be sure to explore the "Birding" section of our site to learn about the many ways you can get involved in birding with NBNC.

With a variety of habitats, from the NBNC's open fields to the riparian forests, birdlife thrives at this wildlife sanctuary in the middle of Montpelier. Over 155 species have been observed on the property, which hosts a diversity of productive habitats. As you walk through the fields, you may hear Savannah Sparrows singing from the tall grass or see Tree Swallows soaring overhead. As you arrive at the field's edge, the lively calls of American Redstarts and Chestnut-sided Warblers ring from the treetops. And as you stop at a riverside bench to enjoy the scenery, a Belted Kingfisher may fly by as it searches for fish on the wing. Grab your binoculars and come on down to the North Branch Nature Center to enjoy central Vermont birding at its best!

Recent Sightings (via eBird) :

North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier VT 05602
(802) 229-6206

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
Trails open every day
Directions to the Nature Center
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