staff birdathon 2021 photo
staff birdathon 2021 photo

Our Audubon Vermont staff Birdathon photo, 2021. Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont
Our Audubon Vermont staff Birdathon photo, 2021. Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont


Audubon Vermont's Staff Birdathon Adventure

Enjoy Audubon Vermont staff members' Birdathon experience - it's about more than the birds.

Going to bed the night before Birdathon 2021 I was so excited -  I felt like a kid with a playdate the next day. I pulled up and everyone was on the deck with already at least 10 birds tallied! A group of the team had spent the night camping out at Audubon to be sure to catch the owls and American Woodcock. They were up early again, catching the dawn birdsong chorus. 


Big oak tree on the Warbler Trail. Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont

Since our team is fully vaccinated, we got to head out together seeing everyone’s WHOLE smiling faces. We started on the Warbler Trail. As we headed up the hill we heard my favorite bird, the Blackburnian Warbler. I lingered at the back of the group, doing my best to sneak a peek of brilliant orange and black, but only caught his white belly as he flew over way up high. Off to a great start!  


staff birdathon 2021 photo
Our Audubon Vermont staff Birdathon photo, 2021. Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont

Everyone spent the first part of the morning catching up and sharing life stories and memories. Re-connection seemed to be the theme of the day. This crew can be competitive on our Birdathon day (it happens only once a year) to find as many species as we can, but this year the pressure was off and the enjoyment of the day was incredible. As we reached the top of the Spear Trail and started to head down to the Birds of Vermont Museum Trail our first red eft was spotted. I spent a while laying on my side watching its chin bob up and down with each breath.  

birdathon eft
A red eft spotted on the trail during Birdathon 2021. Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont

We then happened into one of my favorite parts of the day:  a fern foray. Debbie and I extensively quizzed Gwen on the different species of ferns and how she knew which ones were which. I love slowing down and taking the time to intimately check out something, to look for clues as to who it is. It was fun to find the differences and repetitions from the frond to the pinna down to the pinnule. How could you not love the fertile fronds and the hairy armpits (or wooly tufts) of the cinnamon fern, and the darkly stubbled hairy legs (or stipes) of the lady fern? 


Once we got to the Birds of Vermont Museum, we watched Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at the bird feeder while looking over at the brook below. Suddenly our intern Ciara spotted a little brown bird! COULD IT BE? A waterthrush?? Debbie and I followed the brook for a while trying to sneak a good look at the bird. Just as we were almost giving up Debbie spotted it - bobbing bottom and pink legs - a Louisiana Waterthrush! We saw it with food in its beak heading into the nest. What a wow moment! Still lingering on that! 

What a gift to work in such a magical place where we saw in one day 69 different species of birds - and more importantly, we had such a fun day that my stomach hurt the next day from laughing. I hope you are enjoying the birds wherever you are and get out there for birding adventures of your own!  

If you have the means and haven’t donated, please consider donating to support our mission to protect birds and the places they need for now and for the future. It seems like a simple mission but this mission touches so many lives through bird-friendly communities, conservation efforts, and program outreach. Every donation, large or small, makes a difference. Click here to make a Birdathon donation. 

Audubon Vermont Staff Birdathon Birdlist
May 24, 2021
Green Mountain Audubon Center
Huntington, Vermont

(in order of appearance):

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 

Red-eyed Vireo 


Eastern Phoebe  

Wood Thrush 

Blue Jay 

Northern Cardinal 

Black-capped Chickadee 

American Robin 

Brown Creeper 


Black-throated Green Warbler 

Winter Wren 

Hermit Thrush 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 

Barred Owl 

Broad-winged Hawk 

Tufted Titmouse 

Canada Goose 

Great Crested Flycatcher 

Chestnut-sided Warbler  

Least Flycatcher 

Scarlet Tanager 

Red-bellied Woodpecker 

House Wren 

Blackburnian Warbler 

Northern Parula  

Black-throated Blue Warbler 

American Goldfinch 

Blue-headed Vireo 

Red-breasted Nuthatch 

Hairy Woodpecker 

Mourning Warbler 

Dark-eyed Junco 

Pine Warbler 

Common Grackle 

Common Raven 

White-breasted Nuthatch 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 

Black-and-white Warbler 

Turkey Vulture 

Eastern Wood-Pewee 

American Crow 

Downy Woodpecker 

Common Yellowthroat 

Mourning Dove 

Pileated Woodpecker 

Red-tailed Hawk 

American Redstart 

Gray Catbird 

Louisiana Waterthrush 

Yellow-rumped Warbler  

Chipping Sparrow 

Wild Turkey 

Red-winged Blackbird 

Baltimore Oriole 

Tree Swallow 

Eastern Bluebird 

Alder Flycatcher 

Yellow Warbler 

Song Sparrow 

Northern Flicker  

Ring-billed Gull 

American Kestrel 

Swamp Sparrow 

Spotted Sandpiper 

Barn Swallow 

White-throated Sparrow 

American Woodcock  

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