Upcoming Programs and Events
Call 802-229-6206 for more info. Pre-registration required for most programs.
Schedule subject to change. Please check in regularly for additions and changes.

Biodiversity University: Shorebirds - Evening Presentation
Thursday, August 23, 7 - 8:30 pm, NBNC
Charismatic and captivating yet cryptically colored, shorebirds can be both the highlight of the migration season and a birders bane. Despite a reputation for tricky identification, shorebirds can be demystified with a few simple strategies. We will learn about the fascinating lives of these birds, from phalaropes which reverse traditional gender roles, to godwits which make the most grueling avian migration on earth. The 30 or so species regularly encountered in Vermont will be reviewed, as well as a few others that can be found within a days drive. There will be something for everyone in this talk, from the novice shorebirder wanting to learn the basics to the seasoned watcher hoping to brush up on their skills. Presented by NBNC's expert teacher/naturalist Zac Cota. Admission by donation. More Information

Biodiversity University: Shorebirds - Field Trip to the Missisquoi Delta
Saturday, August 25, 7 am - 4 pm
Spend the day with NBNC’s expert staff enjoying sandpipers, dowitchers, and turnstones galore along the shores and mudflats of Lake Champlain near the mouth of the Missisquoi River. This renowned birding mecca is the perfect place to learn or perfect your shorebirds! Practice discriminating between challenging look-alike sandpipers, admire rarer species like godwits and golden plovers, and witness an impressive array of fall migratory birdlife from warblers to waterfowl. Discover northern Vermont's prime shorebirding hotspots. A fun and instructive adventure for novice and expert birders alike. Led by NBNC teacher/naturalist Zac Cota. Shared spotting scopes provided. $35 for NBNC members, $45 for non-members..More Info and Registration

Monarch Tagging and Natural History
Wednesdays, September 5 and 19, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Join NBNC educators and naturalists as we search for monarch butterflies around the nature center. Learn about their amazing migration and life cycle while we tag and measure the butterflies as part of Monarch Watch, the nationwide community science project that monitors this declining species. No registration required. Admission by donation.

"Face the River" - A Presentation by the Vermont River Conservancy
Thursday, September 6, 7- 8:30 pm at NBNC
Reminiscent of a time when rivers played a key role in industrialization, the river shores of our cities and villages today are often the sites of abandoned industrial buildings, parking lots, and other urban uses that hinder public access and compel us to “turn our backs to the river.” The Vermont River Conservancy is championing a new approach where we Face the River and restore a healthy connection between city and town residents and their rivers. VRC is partnering with municipalities to envision river shore restoration projects, leading to the design of riverside parks that reconnect residents with their rivers. In this presentation, VRC will reflect on the role of rivers in Montpelier’s history and discuss current projects and opportunities to Face the River. More Info

Friday Morning Fall Migration Bird Walks
September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 5, 7 - 8:30 am
Weekly walks with NBNC naturalists to search for migratory fall birds at the nature center. No registration required. Free for NBNC members, $10 for non-members.

Biodiversity University: Fall Warblers - Presentation
Wednesday, September 12, 7 - 8:30 pm
Roger Tory Peterson popularized the term “confusing fall warblers”, but don’t let that put you off from learning and enjoying the warblers as they head south for the winter. With a little guidance and practice, you’ll be able to identify most of the fall warblers you see. In this presentation, we will lift the veil of mystery surrounding those “confusing fall warblers,” especially those seldom-seen fall migrants like Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, and Orange-crowned warblers. Presented by NBNC Executive Director Chip Darmstadt. Admission by donation.

Biodiversity University: Fall Warblers - Field Trip in Central Vermont
Saturday, September 15, 7 - 11 am
Taking the tools we developed during the presentation earlier in the week, we will spend the morning at NBNC and nearby locations looking for warblers and other fall migrants. The riparian woods and thickets along the North Branch are prime habitat for a variety of migrants. In addition to many common species, we may find scarcer warblers such as Canada, Tennessee and Northern Parula. A deep, instructive exploration of fall warbler identification and ecology. Never again will confounding field marks stop you from enjoying Vermont's fall avifauna! $25 NBNC members / $25 non-members
More Info and Registration.

Birding in the Northeast Kingdom - Youth Overnight
September 15 - 16, 9 am - 7 pm
Journey with youth and teen birders and NBNC’s expert teacher naturalists to the wildest corner of Vermont during fall migration in search of a rare suite of boreal birds found nowhere else in the state. We’ll hunt for spruce grouse, gray jays, boreal chickadees, black-backed woodpeckers, and other species hiding in the spruce forests and bogs of the Northeast Kingdom. We overnight at the VT River Conservancy’s beautiful new cabin situated in the heart of the Nulhegan Basin, and wake up to migratory songbirds resting and foraging just outside the cabin windows. We’ll explore birding hotspots around the Kingdom through the afternoon, returning to NBNC by dinnertime on Sunday. Led by NBNC AmeriCorps Teacher/Naturalist Zac Cota and NBNC Staff Naturalist Sean Beckett. Cost: $150 Includes: transportation, lodging, expert leaders, Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast/lunch. More Info and Registration

Ghost Orchards and Feral Apples
September 22, 9 am - 3 pm
A bite of Vermont’s forgotten apples is a taste of history. Hiding in plain sight within almost every natural area and neglected back woods are abandoned apple orchards harkening to a bygone Vermont. What most nature walkers dismiss as “crabapples” are often the nearly extinct relics of the nineteenth-century heirloom varietals that made New England the global center of apple cultivation. Join NBNC naturalists on an exploration of derelict orchards to learn about the natural and cultural history of our venerable state fruit. We’ll do some wild-style apple picking, and return to the trailhead to press fresh cider and cook up our bounty into tasty treats. $35 NBNC members, $45 non-members. More Info and Registration

Digital Nature Photography 101
Four Sessions: Thursdays September 27, Oct 4, Oct 11, 5:30 - 7 pm
Sunday Oct 14, 8 - noon
New to digital photography? Eager to capture better images of the natural world? In this hands-on series, develop the foundations of a well-rounded nature photographer. We’ll explore composition, artistic technique, exposure, lighting, camera skills, and equipment settings. The perfect course for those curious about f-stops, shutter speeds, and the mysterious buttons on your new camera.  Learn how to use your camera to develop a deeper connection with nature, while building the technical skills to dramatically improve your photography. 3 weeknight sessions and 1 weekend morning. $85/$105 NBNC members/non-members. More Info and Registration

Photography for Naturalists
October 7, 7 am - 2 pm

Learn to harness your camera to become a better naturalist while building the ecological literacy to dramatically improve your nature photography. In this full-day program, we’ll practice blending photography techniques and naturalist skills to achieve a deeper connection with nature. In this small group retreat led by a master naturalist and nature photography guide, lessons and opportunities are customized to your interests and experience. Participants will leave with a powerful new approach to walking in the Vermont woods. Ideal for all levels of experience. $45 NBNC members, $55 non-members. More Info and Registration

Northern Saw-whet Owl Public Banding Demonstrations
October 10, 11, 12, 16, and 20
, 7 - 9 pm
Join NBNC biologists as we capture, tag, and release these pint-sized owls. After the birds are released, we will discuss the highlights of recent research at NBNC and across the country, and share what’s been discovered about this mysterious little predator. Program will be cancelled in the event of rain or very high winds. Free and open to all ages. Donations to NBNC encouraged. ***RSVP is required***
RSVP opens September 21st.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding - Youth Overnight
October 13 - 14, 6 pm - 8 am
Stay up late with NBNC educators and naturalists as we capture, tag, and release these charismatic pint-sized predators. Good fall weather can yield dozens of migratory Northern Saw-whet Owls at our research station in a single night. We’ll keep the nets open from dusk until the wee hours of the morning, using the Nature Center as our home base for catching some shut-eye before breakfast. Owls and pizza included!
A free program for youth/teen birders and naturalists ages 10 and up. Free, but registration required. Participants must bring sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and pillow. Group size limited to 12. More Info and Registration

Stone Walls and Cellar Holes
November 3, 9 am - 1 pm
Discover how to “read” old forested farmscapes and agricultural architecture to trace 300 years of land use history in Vermont. Stone walls, cellar holes, old roads, and other mysteries “lost” in the woods reveal stories of the families who shaped the landscape as we see it today. Answer questions like who lived here? How did they dress? What did they eat? What did they do for a living? In this fusion of natural history, cultural history, and forensics, participants will develop the ability to interpret cultural imprints encountered in the Vermont woods. Led by Historic Preservationist and landscape historian Samantha Ford and NBNC Staff Naturalist Sean Beckett. More Info and Registration


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Upcoming Adventures Afar

Amazing Ecuador
March 24 – April 6, 2019


Immerse yourself in tropical avian wonders! This itinerary focuses on the southern Ecuador, and we’ll concentrate our time in ecological reserves owned by the Jocotoco Foundation, one of Ecuador’s premier conservation organizations, where over 50 endangered bird species and over 100 regional endemic species can be found. Some, like El Oro Parakeet, are found nowhere else on earth. Learn more

Chestnut-sided WarblerBuy "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.

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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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