North Branch Nature Center
"Connecting People of All Ages with the Natural World"

North Branch Nature Center is a nexus of education, natural history, and citizen science in central Vermont, serving 10,000 visitors annually. For twenty years, NBNC has put people in touch with the sights, sounds and sensations of the wild.

Our 28-acre preserve of forest and fields is nestled in a gentle bend of the North Branch of the Winooski River, just two miles from downtown Montpelier. North Branch is firefly light sparkling in a child’s eye. It is a circle of naturalists exploring the secrets of warblers and willows. And it is a quiet place to walk or ski, swim or sit, or simply relax beside the river.




Networ with NBNC FB blogger Enews

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Upcoming Events

57th Christmas Bird Count
Saturday, December 16th
bohemian waxwingFor over a century, thousands of birdwatchers nationwide have donned snow boots and binoculars to scour their hometowns to document and enjoy resident winter birds. This annual tradition has become a powerful tool for understanding the rise and fall of bird populations over time. This winter, join us for one of the oldest (57 years and counting!) counts in Vermont. Beginners welcome! Learn more

Winter Owl Exploration
Saturday, December 9th, 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 member, $20 non-member
Owls are some of our most beloved, yet seldom seen birds. In this outing, we'll discuss how and where to search for owls, and how to do so ethically and safely. Of the seven owl species that can be regularly encountered in Vermont, the migratory Short-eared Owl is one of the most sought after by birders. Early winter is a great time to search for Short-eared Owls at Dead Creek WMA, where they can be found hunting over large open fields at dusk. Afterwards we will visit nearby spots in search of Northern Saw-whet, Eastern Screech, Long-eared, Barred, and Great Horned Owls. Pre-registration is required and the event is limit to 20 participants.

Superbowl of Birding XV
Friday, January 26 to Saturday, January 27.
Leaving Friday from NBNC, at 5 p.m.
Winter’s premier birding competition is back! Past NBNC’s youth and young adult teams have tallied nearly 100 species in this adventure to the New Hampshire and Massachusetts coast, including gems like Razorbill, King Eider, and Snowy Owl. For any interested teens - let us know early if you’re interested in joining the team. Beginner birdwatchers and naturalists welcome!

Cape Ann Birding and Boat Trip
Friday, March 9th, 5:00 p.m. - March 11th, 5:00 p.m.
Cape Ann, Massachusetts, is a worldwide destination for winter seabirds. We'll join a morning pelagic boat trip with expert guides in search of hard-to-find offshore regulars like Razorbills, Dovekies, Murres, Kittiwakes, Scoters, and even Skuas. Our search then continues from land as we canvas the coastline for rare sea ducks and gulls in the afternoon. Sign up early, as space is limited!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Buy "Bird-Friendly"

Order your bird-friendly coffee through NBNC and save on shipping! You'll be supporting the Nature Center, the birds, and the farmers who grow this sustainably produced product. All orders can be picked up from the Nature Center. Click here to download an order form.

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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