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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27, 2006

A quick drive around Berlin Pond yielded some lingering waterfowl – in fact, most likely some of the same individual ducks seen on the December 15 Christmas Bird Count. Out in the open water were 3 Common Goldeneye, a female Ring-necked Duck and a Hooded Merganser. Also two dozen Mallards (that's a male's blazing blue speculum and feet pictured to the right) were in a small farm pond near Berlin Pond. No sign of that female Black Scoter.

Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18, 2006

Birds are still the major theme of Nature News this month. This morning a flock of 25 Cedar Waxwings flew over the nature center.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16, 2006

Another Christmas Bird Count today – Plainfield, which includes parts of towns from Marshfield to Montpelier (including the nature center). Highlights from this count include a Bald Eagle (an adult), first seen by one team near Max Gray Road in Calais and then by the "Nature Center Team” in East Montpelier, just off Route 14 south of Route 2. Also notable were 2 Northern (“Yellow-shafted”) Flickers at the Barre Country Club (the first since 1996), a Northern Shrike and 57 Mallards (a record high count for that species).

Stay tuned for complete count results or visit the Mad Birders website for Mad River/Northfield results.

Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15, 2006

Some preliminary results from the Mad River/Northfield Christmas Bird Count. The “Nature Center Team” of Sandal Cate, Matt Brantner and Chip Darmstadt covered a territory around Berlin Pond.

Highlights from their count include 65 Canada Geese, 3 Common Goldeneye, a Ring-necked Duck, a female Black Scoter, a pair of Hooded Mergansers and a lone American Black Duck on Berlin Pond. Also, a Ring-necked Pheasant at the north end of Berlin Pond (not in the count circle) and a Northern Shrike on Crosstown Road in Berlin.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14, 2006

With no or little ice on the North Branch of the Winooski, there have been a few lingering water bird sightings. Both a female Common Merganser and a Belted Kingfisher were seen/heard today.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

December 6, 2006

A lone American Robin feeding in a Winterberry Holly shrub at the North Branch Nature Center today. Hopefully not yet a sign of spring!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Education Blog Posts

Here is a collection of our blog posts related to education through the ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) program, Forest School and Preschool, and other NBNC programs:

Play and Child-driven Learning in a Classroom Without Walls

November 28, 2014A field of golden rod and a green forest canopy greeted students upon their arrival at Forest Preschool this Fall.  A landscape, covered in...

A World of Leaves at Forest Preschool

October 21, 2014Mother Nature pulled out all the stops this Autumn, transforming the landscape into a brilliant wash of red, orange, and gold...

October 2, 2014

In central Vermont we are welcoming in another school year with stunning foliage, warm days and the ongoing chorus of crickets and katydids. Here at the North Branch Nature Center we are celebrating our 5th year of...

To Be a Black-capped Chickadee

May 23, 2014

In the morning and evening these days, the spring air is filled with bird song. The leaves are waking up...

Beavers Mobilize
April 16, 2014
To begin our Wednesday ECO days outdoors each week at Waitsfield Elementary, kindergartners hike down a field in town to...

April 10, 2014
In my mind, spring mud is synonymous with sap buckets and sugaring season...

Marching into Spring at Forest Preschool; Snow Paints the Picture
March 31, 2014
I am always excited to flip the calendar page from February to March. The days lengthen and the sun climbs higher in the sky... 

Kindergartners Track Mammals Into their Classroom 
March 20, 2014
Tomorrow is Spring Equinox. The lengthening daylight hours tell a different story than the two feet of snow on the ground...

What We Do After School 
February 17, 2014
Almost everyone has at least one thing that they look forward to every week, be it a yoga class, pizza night, or that one morning that you get to sleep in...

Snow, Glorious Snow! 
February 16, 2014
After a frigid and nearly snowless January, a freshly laid blanket of white was a welcome addition to winter at Forest School last Friday... 

Students Welcome Snowy Owls to Vermont
January 3, 2014
Right before the end of the 2013 school year, students at Moretown Elementary School spent the day learning about Snowy Owls...

Learning beyond the classroom...in a bakery!
November 27, 2013
The Forest Schoolers had been showing real interest in baking and cooking projects...

Discovering Animal Homes
November 25, 2013
As the temperature dips down and the snow piles up, it is a good time to be thankful for having a warm and cozy home.  We celebrated animal homes a few weeks ago with Forest School, seeking out where animals lived...

More Sticks! More Math Outdoors! 
November 7, 2013
This autumn I have spent hours cutting 2 foot long sticks in the forest behind my home. I also have a collection of sticks that are just a foot long and then a random assortment of sticks with twists and curves, just to shake it up a bit....

Loose parts magic
November 1, 2013
I've been looking for ways to enhance my students creativity and problem-solving skills in my outdoor-based preschool and kindergarden.  In my research amongst other blogs and educators, the hot way to do just that is through loose parts play...

Becoming bears 
October 14, 2013
In preschool, the best way to learn about something is to pretend to be it.  The changing leaves and the slight crispness to the air are a sign for bears to begin their hibernation process, so we became bears for the day...

Quiet in the Forest
October 4, 2013

It's the beginning of all our ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) programs in surrounding schools and the students have fallen back into our outdoor learning routines beautifully...

Building our play-spaces
September 17, 2013
The Forest Preschoolers are active, imaginative, and LOVE to build. They love to create their worlds, and will craft pretty much anything they can get their hands on into elaborate scenes...

First week of Forest Preschool!
September 6, 2013

I noticed two major signs of fall this week:  the temps were crisp and cool in the morning, and eager 3, 4, and 5 year olds started their first week of Forest Preschool!  Being outside the whole time, the children used their imaginations and took advantage of the forest to have a grand old time...

Back to (Forest) School
August 28, 2013
Being a teacher, the end of the summer usually means sprucing up your classroom for the coming year.  At Forest School and Forest Preschool, we use the outdoor surroundings as our classroom.  Like here...

Caterpillars in the Classroom 
August 21, 2013There are many rituals that teachers perform as they prepare to return to the classroom, and this year, one of those rituals is going to be especially challenging: searching the local milkweed patch for Monarch caterpillars...

Build an Adventure in Your Forest
May 29, 2013
This spring students at East Montpelier Elementary School launched the beginning of our most popular ECO lesson to date.  These kindergarten and first graders at EMES were really looking to put their big creative energy to use...

Forest School farm field trip
May 21, 2013
We were lucky enough to visit a Forest Schooler's family's farm today!  Located just up the road from the NBNC, we spent the morning exploring forests, ponds and streams, helping with farm chores and enjoying the humid spring weather...

Poems by the river 
May 8, 2013
Poems are big these days.  Montpelier's annual Poem City just wrapped up its amazing score of events, readings and poems in almost every storefront.  Recently, Vermont Public Radio highlighted poetry's ability to help kids learn to read.

Amphibian Monitoring & Education
April 10, 2013
You wouldn’t think many people would be out walking at midnight on a Wednesday, but the amphibian crossing site at Shelburne Pond was busy with people escorting amphibians as they migrated.  A group of UVM students enrolled in a Herpetology course made careful counts of the critters they saw.  And a family moved from frog to frog...

[more education posts will be added soon!]