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December 2020

Slugs, Seed Dispersers, & Stone Walls: Community Ecology of Northeastern Herbaceous Flora with Nathan Kiel – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 2 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Every spring, naturalists seek the friendly faces of Spring Beauty, Red Trillium, and Bloodroot as symbols of warming temperatures and lengthening days. These dense carpets of herbaceous plants  in the forest floor comprise the majority of vascular plant biodiversity in the north woods. Yet past agricultural activity and other contemporary factors have left many modern forests without these plants, and with little opportunity for natural reestablishment. In this presentation, learn about the little-known ecosystem of dispersers, pollinators, seed thieves, and the other characters involved in the ecology of spring ephemerals. We'll discuss factors affecting plant distribution on the landscape, and explore current research and restoration initiatives around eastern forests.

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Online Course: Winter Ecology with Jason Mazurowski

December 8, 2020 - January 31, 2021
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

This course is designed for those who wish to embrace the cold — to explore, understand, and appreciate the winter world. Students will learn how to read the winter landscape, explore ice age relics clinging to alpine summits, decipher animal tracks, tackle the challenge of winter tree ID, and discuss the implications of Lake Champlain’s warming waters.

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From ‘Sangers to Sochan: Plant Gathering in the Southern Appalachian National Parks with Maria Dunlavey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 9 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In the botanical wonderland of the Southern Appalachians, plant poaching is a very real threat. It's also a reflection of how important plants are to the people who live here — providing food, medicine, and income, not to mention cultural connection and belonging, for everyone ranging from the Cherokee to white settlers to newly arrived immigrants. But overharvest threatens to wipe out some species, like ginseng and ramps, even on the protected landscapes of the national parks. How can the parks keep their plant populations safe? And is there any role for cultural harvest inside their boundaries?

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Winter Owl Exploration in Addison County

December 12 @ 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$25

Winter Owl Exploration Saturday, December 12 | 3 - 9 pm $25 members / $30 non-members | Limited to 12 participants Personal vehicle required Owls are among our most beloved yet seldom seen birds. Of the seven owl species that we regularly encounter 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 when they can be found hunting over large open fields at…

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Children’s Author Virtual Visit – Alex McConduit

December 16 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This Virtual Author Visit with Alexander McConduit will feature a reading from his new book, Bloom, and a Q&A with the audience. McConduit will also give a short talk about his career and his love for nature, travel and his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. The visit will conclude with a musical reading of McConduit's Thorn in My Horn. 

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60th Annual Plainfield Christmas Bird Count

December 19 @ 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join the nation's largest and longest-running citizen science project. The Christmas Bird Count, organized by the National Audubon Society, has been getting birdwatchers outside recording species in their backyards and towns for over a century! This project has become a powerful tool for understanding the rise and fall of bird populations over time. NBNC organizes and compiles two local Christmas Bird Count circles. The Plainfield count encompasses a 7.5-mile radius around Plainfield, including the towns of Montpelier, East Montpelier, Calais,…

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5th Annual Hunger Mountain Christmas Bird Count

December 20 @ 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join the nation's largest and longest-running citizen science project. The Christmas Bird Count, organized by the National Audubon Society, has been getting birdwatchers outside recording species in their backyards and towns for over a century! This project has become a powerful tool for understanding the rise and fall of bird populations over time. NBNC organizes and compiles two local Christmas Bird Count circles. The Plainfield count encompasses a 7.5-mile radius around Plainfield, including the towns of Montpelier, East Montpelier, Calais,…

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January 2021

Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist with Donald Kroodsma – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

January 13, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Once you are attuned, every singing bird becomes interesting. There’s never “just a robin,” for example, or chipping sparrow, or whatever it is that you’re listening to. No, there’s more to be heard-- something beyond the ID that can forever captivate the curious listener. As a result, you’re never “done” with birds, never done listening to the most common of birds, such as . . . robins, thrushes, sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, buntings, starlings, mockingbirds, thrashers, tanagers, wrens, grosbeaks, cardinals, and, oh my, warblers galore . . . you name it. Not a bad bird anywhere. Each one captivating. Somehow, sadly, we’ll have to limit the number of performers to fit into the confines of the allotted time.

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Winter Wildlife Tracking Institute

January 16, 2021 @ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$235

Join naturalists/trackers Jonathan Shapiro of Fox Paw School and Dave Muska of North Branch Nature Center for a three-month wildlife tracking immersion! Participants will deepen their tracking and trailing skills through expert field instruction and independent study in a shared community of practice. Students will leave with richer skills in identifying and interpreting animal trails, and a deeper connection to our wild neighbors.

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Birds, Bees, Bats, and Bugs: Why Animals Make and Use Sound with Laurel Symes – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

January 20, 2021 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This engaging and accessible presentation will delve into the world of animal sound to explore how and why animals produce sound. Using examples from crickets to whales, we will discuss animal sounds that are too fast for us to follow, sounds that are too high for us to hear, and sounds that take hours or days to finish. The talk will include many opportunities to listen to animal sound and will include examples from far away and close to home.

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February 2021

Winter Birding in the Champlain Valley 2021

February 20, 2021 @ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Winter Birding in the Champlain Valley 2021 Led by Zac Cota | $30/$40 NBNC members/nonmembers Saturday, February 20 2021 In case of bad weather, this program will take place instead on Sunday, February 21 The Champlain Valley is one of New England’s premier inland destinations for winter birdwatching. Join expert birder and NBNC Teacher Naturalist  Zac Cota on a trip to explore the shores, fields, and forests of the Champlain Valley in search of eagles, waterfowl, raptors, owls, snow buntings, winter…

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