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December 2020

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

December 9, 2020 @ 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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Children’s Author Virtual Visit – Alex McConduit

December 16, 2020 @ 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, 2020 @ 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, 2020 @ 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

Online Course: Bugs in Winter with Charley Eiseman

January 3 @ 12:00 AM - January 5 @ 12:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Explore the different strategies insects and other arthropods have for surviving the winter. Each species has one life stage that overwinters, which may be the adult, egg, larva/nymph, or pupa. Each unit will focus on one of these life stages, including examples of species that can be found out in the open all winter as well as some that are hidden from view.

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

January 13 @ 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 @ 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 (Date/Time Change!)

January 27 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 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 @ 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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Owls of Vermont – A Virtual Presentation

February 26 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

People worldwide have long been captivated by owls, though the intimate details of their lives go unnoticed by most, held secret by the night. Vermont is home to a diverse cadre of owl species including fearsome nocturnal predators, iconic visitors from the high arctic, and stealthy migrants who pass through our backyards by the hundreds. We will explore the unique position owls hold in both our culture and our ecosystems, and learn ways to detect and protect these enigmatic creatures.

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March 2021

What’s in a Name? – Learning to see and identify bird subspecies (online presentation)

March 3 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We can all identify a cardinal - but can you tell the difference between an Arizonan Northern Cardinal from one at your feeder? Learn what subspecies are common in Vermont, how to identify them, and how it can be rewarding to see and hear backyard (and back of the mountain) birds with a closer lens.

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Online Course: Drawing on Creativity with Rachel Mirus

March 7 @ 12:00 AM - 12:30 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

Observing nature has inspired many artistic flights of imagination. This course will use nature study through observational drawing to learn about a selection of familiar animals, from birds to beetles. From that foundation, we will follow in the footsteps of scientific illustrators and storytellers to invent our own reconstructions of vanished animals like the dinosaurs or our own versions of folk animals like the jackalope. Along the way we will cover field sketching, adding color to drawings, watercolor gradients, and more. Come learn to fuel your imagination with your love of nature!

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ECO Homeschool Program (Ages 6-12)

March 8 @ 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$450

A meaningful and fun learning environment based in environmental education and a mentorship model. We are pleased to announce new full-day ECO Homeschool programs with a wider age range to better meet the needs of our community. Space is limited!

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Inside-Outside: Nature Based Educators of New England (Chapter Meeting)

March 11 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Inside-Outside is a network of educators and organizations from throughout the northeast and beyond. We come together to connect and support one another in teaching and learning outdoors, while continuing to grow the nature-based education movement. NBNC hosts a once a month Central Vermont Chapter meeting for anyone interested in learning more about nature-based education for children in grades preK to 12th grade. We host our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.

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Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

March 15 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

One event on March 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Need a break? Join NBNC naturalists for a casual, lunchtime virtual gathering to swap nature notes, ponder wildlife sightings, explore questions, and spend time with like-minded nature lovers. We'll see you there!

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Amphibian Road Crossings: Ecology & Volunteer Training

March 16 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Join NBNC scientists to learn about our Amphibian Road Crossing program, and find out how you can help Vermont's frogs and salamanders safely cross the road during their annual spring movements. Every April, amphibians migrate by the millions from upland forests to wetland breeding grounds, often crossing roadways at their peril. North Branch Nature Center's ARC program trains volunteers to survey known and suspected road crossing sites and help amphibians across the road while collecting valuable data to inform local conservation and transportation planning efforts. Over the last two years, NBNC volunteers conducted 300 surveys and documented 8,700 salamanders at 60 crossing sites across Central Vermont! This citizen science project accommodates volunteers of all ages and background-- the only requirement is an eagerness to enjoy and protect our local amphibians!

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Drawing on Birds: Comics, Science, and Sharing Nature with Rosemary Mosco

March 17 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Learn about the funny side of nature - and especially birds - and discover why comics and science are natural allies. Rosemary Mosco, a cartoonist, naturalist, and kids' book author, will explain her unique blend of art and science, and share some of the funny creatures she's encountered along the way.

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April 2021

Inside-Outside: Nature Based Educators of New England (Chapter Meeting)

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

Inside-Outside is a network of educators and organizations from throughout the northeast and beyond. We come together to connect and support one another in teaching and learning outdoors, while continuing to grow the nature-based education movement. NBNC hosts a once a month Central Vermont Chapter meeting for anyone interested in learning more about nature-based education for children in grades preK to 12th grade. We host our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.

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Green Mountain Meadowlarks: Ecology and Conservation of an Imperiled Grassland Bird

April 15 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Eastern Meadowlarks in the Northeast are rapidly declining; based on the latest USGS Breeding Bird Survey results, they’re undergoing an estimated 8.7% annual decline in Vermont. With their recent designation of Threatened in New Hampshire, and imminent listing in Vermont, now is a golden opportunity for targeted survey efforts. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies is partnering up with New Hampshire Audubon to launch a bi-state “blitz” this spring to encourage birders and community scientists to target areas of grassland habitat with the goal of seeking out meadowlarks. Join North Branch and VCE to learn about these imperiled songbirds and what you can do to help keep them on the Vermont landscape. 

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April Break Camp for K-3rd Grade

April 19 @ 8:30 AM - April 21 @ 3:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$185

Spring is a great time to explore the Nature Center. Children in grades K-3 join us for one, two or three days of spring nature adventures and activities. We will make art using natural materials, explore the fields and forest for signs of wildlife, try our hands at wild edible cooking and give back to the land in celebration of Earth Day.

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Nature Trivia Night with Northeast Wilderness Trust

April 22 @ 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

April 22 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm Free | Registration Required - Space is Limited MORE INFO & REGISTRATION Calling all Nature Nerds! Join Northeast Wilderness Trust and North Branch Nature Center to celebrate Earth Day the wild way, with a round of Nature Trivia. With a variety of topics and a range of easy, medium, and difficult questions, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. We’ll have prizes for the first, second, and third-place winners, and plenty of laughter and…

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May 2021

Nocturnal Migration: The birds flying over your bed while you sleep – by Larry Clarfeld

May 4 @ 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Presented by Larry Clarfeld Tuesday May 4  | 7:30 - 8:30 pm Free | Join via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85469408269 Hosted by:  Green Mountain Audubon Society and North Branch Nature Center Migration is one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world, and yet much of the migration of North America’s birds takes place under a cloak of darkness. This talk by Larry Clarfeld will illuminate nocturnal migration, delving into the historical context of the “night flight”, current techniques for studying this…

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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup

May 6 @ 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:30 AM on Thursday, repeating until June 17, 2021

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Thursdays, April 1 - June 17 | 9:30 - 11:30 am For children ages 0-5 with parent or caregiver A Free, drop-in program | Registration not required (donations welcome) Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for…

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Friday Morning Bird Walks

May 7 @ 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 AM on Friday, repeating until June 4, 2021

Vermont Vermont

Weekly trips to birding hot spots around Central Vermont searching for spring migrants like warblers, vireos, thrushes, and waterfowl. Led by NBNC staff.

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