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October 2020

Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 15, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

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

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

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“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 19, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

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Turning Stones: Exploring Aquatic Invertebrates with Declan McCabe – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 21, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We’ll explore the ecology and basic identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates and where to see them. The talk will cover inexpensive and home-made sampling gear, and the major groups of macroinvertebrates commonly found in Vermont’s streams, ponds, and Lake Champlain. Sampling techniques for biomonitoring and/or teaching will be covered. The talk will include information of value for parents, teachers, fly anglers, and nature study fans. This talk is sponsored in part by Vermont EPSCoR.

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Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 23, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

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

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 26, 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

Fishes of Vermont: Confessions of an Ichthyologist with Doug Facey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 28, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We will take a brief tour of some of the major groups of fishes of Vermont, including discussions of diversity, biology, and ecology of some of these groups.  Why does Vermont have more species of freshwater fishes than other New England states? Which fish in Vermont is born in the Sargasso Sea? Which is carefully described in Samuel de Champlain’s diary? Which fish have a lung-like structure that allows them to breathe air? Join us for answers to these and other fishy questions.

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November 2020

Macrophotography: A Naturalist’s Perspective with Joseph Saunders – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 11, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Macrophotography: A Naturalist's Perspective Presented by Joseph Saunders of Para Herpetologica November 11th | 7 - 8 PM (Eastern) Free | Live via ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86151252811 In this presentation, Joseph will give you a new perspective and appreciation for the macrofauna of our world. Through his experiences as a naturalist and photographer, Joseph will empower you with the tools and techniques to better notice, appreciate, observe, and photograph the minuscule in nature. He'll share camera settings, knowledge of animal behavior, tips…

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Wild Apples: making the most of the feral apple harvest with Matt Kaminsky – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 18, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In this presentation we will discuss the history and resource of wild apple trees and the many forms that Malus manifests in. This workshop is aimed at giving audience members a background to what exactly makes an apple "wild," and we'll touch on techniques for how to identify, effectively harvest, assess and grade, and steward & perpetuate the bountiful gift of wild apples in our landscape.

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Gulls Demystified with Bryan Pfeiffer – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 20, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Gulls Demystified - Presented by Bryan Pfeiffer Friday, November 20 | 7 - 8:30 pm FREE | Live via ZOOM | Join at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85716943263 They are among the most successful birds on the planet, living everywhere from the polar regions to parking lots. Yet even as they pose for us in plain sight, gulls can be notoriously hard to identify. With Bryan’s images, videos, exuberance and strategies, you’ll be enjoying gulls this winter like never before. And his identification system will guide…

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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, 2020 @ 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 - December 22, 2020
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, 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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Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

January 18 @ 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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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 Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

February 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!

Find out more »

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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