A seven-day tour visiting some of the finest natural areas and most charming, historic towns in the Green Mountains and ‘Northeast Kingdom’ of Vermont. Our goal – aside from enjoying a quintessential small-town, New England experience - will be to find all the typical northern and boreal forest specialties in addition to the Bicknell’s Thrush, one of North America’s most enigmatic songbirds.
Explore the New England state of Vermont with us on this brand-new, week-long Venture! With the far-more-visited New York just next door to the west, and New Hampshire and Maine to the east, the ‘Green Mountain State’ has been fairly overlooked by visiting birders through the years. Despite this, and its small size and landlocked geography, Vermont offers quite a diversity of habitats and plenty of allure for any birders willing to take a closer look.
Our trip visits some of the best birding and natural areas, mostly across northern Vermont. In the pristine boreal forests and bogs of the ‘Northeast Kingdom’ we search for all possible boreal specialties such as Boreal Chickadee, Canada Jay, Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, plus other more erratic species such as White-winged and Red Crossbills. In the northwest near Lake Champlain, we visit the state’s largest population of Black Tern in wetlands which also have both American and Least Bitterns, Virginia Rail and Sora. Grasslands near the Canadian border hold small numbers of the state-endangered Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper & Vesper Sparrows, and Sandhill Crane, and we will scan the open areas for all these and more. Most importantly, the ethereal conifer forests of the higher peaks throughout the state host populations of Bicknell’s Thrush, a declining species which we will have several chances at seeing.
As it will be spring, the truly verdant forests of the Green Mountains will be exploding with the colors of wildflowers and a dazzling assortment of wood warblers - up to 27 different species are possible including Blue-winged, Golden-winged (and hybrids the state of the two), Mourning, Nashville, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Northern Waterthrush, and many others. A few of the forests we visit will also feature old-growth stands (a rarity in Vermont) of massive sugar maples, hemlocks, pitch pines and others, some of which are nearly 400 years old! As an added treat we will stay in, dine in, or drive through several smaller, postcard-worthy towns, each with their own unique character, history, and charm.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
American Black & Wood Ducks; Common Goldeneye; Common & Hooded Mergansers; Ruffed & Spruce Grouse; Yellow & Black-billed Cuckoos; Virginia Rail & Sora; Sandhill Crane; Upland Sandpiper; Black, Caspian & Common Terns; American & Least Bitterns; Northern Harrier; Northern Goshawk; Bald Eagle; Black-backed Woodpecker; Olive-sided, Yellow-bellied, Alder, Least, Willow, and Great Crested Flycatchers; Blue-headed & Warbling Vireos; Canada Jay; Boreal Chickadee; Horned Lark; 6 species of swallow; Ruby-crowned & Golden-crowned Kinglets; Red-breasted Nuthatch; Marsh Wren; Veery, Bicknell’s, Swainson’s, Hermit, & Wood Thrushes; Evening Grosbeak; Purple Finch; Red & White-winged Crossbills; Grasshopper, Vesper, Savannah, Lincoln’s, and Swamp Sparrows; Bobolink; Rusty Blackbird; warblers galore (including Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Blackburnian, Canada, Mourning, Nashville, Cape May, Blackpoll, Magnolia, and more); Scarlet Tanager; Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and more