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(In-Person) Slow Birding: Reconnecting with Nature and Self w/ Bridget Butler

September 12 @ 9:00 AM - September 13 @ 5:00 PM


Biodiversity University – Slow Birding: Reconnecting with Nature and Self
Instructors: Bridget Butler
September 12 – 13 | $265
Course size: 8 students

Sounds a bit strange, “slow birding.” Watching birds isn’t really fast in the first place and the pace of a birder in the field is already slow and methodical. But, it is possible to change how we approach traditional birding and what we get out of it. Slow Birding is a practice that builds a deeper observation of birds while at the same time creating a deeper connection to your self and the place you live.

Birding or bird watching is one of the top three hobbies in North America. People spend thousands of dollars a year on equipment, guides, birdseed, feeders and travel in order to enjoy birds. Birds are everywhere, from cities to farmlands, from the mountains to the shorelines. Birding can be competitive and methodical or it can be mindful and meditative. Recent studies have shown that noticing birds can improve your mental health, reduce depression and improve memory and attentiveness. Other research points out that just being in nature has the power to make us happier.

Bird Diva Bridget Butler will share the practice of Slow Birding and how you can awaken your innate birding skills and reconnect with nature. She’ll share a variety of techniques that will help you look at birds, listen to them and interpret their behavior that will not only build your skills as a naturalist but will provide you with a practice that will allow you to slow down and reconnect with the natural world.

Course Goals & Objectives

  • Participants will learn how to create a practice of observing birds using the sit spot method
  • Participants will learn the birding by impression approach to identifying birds
  • Participants will develop skills to recognize bird vocalizations and describe what they’re hearing
  • Participants will learn how to interpret a variety of bird behaviors
  • Participants will reflect on biophilia & why health improves when we spend time in nature

About the Instructor(s)

Bridget Butler, AKA The Bird Diva, has been working in conservation and environmental education for more than 20 years throughout New England. Her business Bird Diva Consulting has her traveling across Vermont delivering presentations, leading bird walks, and surveying birds for landowners. Bridget has worked for the Audubon Society in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and helped create Audubon Vermont’s Forest Bird Initiative. You may have seen her on local television talking about birds and conservation or heard her on Vermont Public Radio’s annual bird shows on Vermont Edition. As the Bird Diva, she feels it important that birders use their passion for birds to make a difference by helping to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife. Bridget lives in St. Albans with her husband and three young children who she’s grooming to be the next caretakers of this wild world!




September 12 @ 9:00 AM
September 13 @ 5:00 PM
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North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602