In our recent Animal issue of Seven Days, we profiled Bridget Butler, Bird Diva. If you've heard her dish about finches on VPR or seen her miraculously take flight with migratory snow geese on WPTZ (OK, that didn't happen), you know Butler is like one-stop shopping for all things bird. Her knowledge is so deep, in fact, that we couldn't fit it all in one article.
For our story, Butler kindly supplied us with a list of top birding spots in the area. Unfortunately, we didn't have room for it in the paper. So, rather than deprive you of this insider info, we thought we'd throw it on the Web. Here it is:
Hot Birding Locations in Vermont
Woodside Natural Area, Essex — With a small complex of beaver ponds and surrounding wetlands in addition to the Winooski River, this place goes off with warblers and other songbirds during spring migration. Wanna see a Baltimore oriole? This is the place!
Delta Park, Colchester — Probably the best spot on the Burlington Bike Path for birding, this is where the Winooski River spills into Lake Champlain. An incredible place to see many species of herons, terns, ducks and shorebirds.
Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington — A sweet set of different habitats at the nature center make for some great beginner birding. Make sure to check out the trail behind the nature center for the spectacular indigo bunting and the cheery chestnut-sided warbler. Bonus: Bird's of Vermont Museum is just up the road and their trails connect with the Audubon trails!
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Swanton — Lots to explore here not only by foot but by boat. A day trip on the water in your canoe or kayak will get you views of the haunting black tern and the biggest great blue heron rookery in the state. Oh, and those rusty blackbirds that keep eluding me.
Geprag Park, Hinesburg — Thickets and field come alive with all kinds of warblers and sparrows, but keep your eyes and ears open for two unique birds that can be found here: the golden-winged warbler and the eastern meadowlark.
Berlin Pond, Berlin — Not only is this a great spot for migrating songbirds in the spring, it's a fabulous place to look for some of the funkiest marsh birds around. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked for the American bittern, Virginia rail, sora, and pied-billed grebe.
Photo of chestnut-sided warbler via Wikipedia.