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Yellow Warbler / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Yellow Warbler, one of the species we talled this morning at North Branch Nature Center / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Here in Montpelier, the best city on the planet, the Black-billed Cuckoo beat its caterpillars senseless this morning before swallowing them whole. The Scarlet Tanagers sang for us in full-frontal view. And an Eastern Bluebird warbled from the top of a white pine.

So went this morning at North Branch Nature Center during my bird walk on the final day of Montpelier’s Walk & Roll series of walking events around the city. Thanks to everyone who made these walks possible, particularly John Snell. Let’s do it again next year.

The cuckoo, rare and stealthy, is a prize wherever you find it. This one sat and fed on caterpillars out in the open for our group. Other highlights included a Wilson’s Warbler (migrating through toward some bog to our north) and a Rufous-sided Towhee, which is also uncommon here in Montpelier. We even listened to Willow Flycatcher (“FITZ-bew!”) and Alder Flycatcher (“Free-BEER!”) counter-singing.

Spring migration surges this week as bird diversity here in Vermont reaches its highest point of the year. So get out and enjoy one of nature’s great displays.

Here’s a combined bird list (57 species) from my outing today at NBNC and environs and from Ken Benton’s walk at the Nature Center yesterday, which featured Canada Warbler near the bridge.

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Mallard
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Mourning Dove
  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Least Flycatcher
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • House Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Veery
  • American Robin
  • Gray Catbird
  • European Starling
  • Ovenbird
  • Tennessee Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • American Redstart
  • Northern Parula
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • House Finch
  • American Goldfinch
  1. John Snell says:

    Thanks for leading this walk. I don’t know what I thought was more important this morning than joining you but, duh, sorry I did not make it out to NBNC. I hope you had a good group of people to see this great group of birds. (Chimney Swifts flying over my house today!!)

  2. Michele Clark says:

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’ll be there next year!

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