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On Thursday, January 10,  at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our third Cabin Fever Lecture series presentation of the winter. Titled Iceland and Ice Land, world-traveling bird, Hank Kaestner talked about two recent trips he took to Icleand and Alaska. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television. Read the rest of this entry »



This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland was led by OCAS board member, Craig Zondag, on a very cold morning. Temperatures started below zero, but with a shining sun and no wind, it was surprisingly comfortable. The park didn’t serve up a large list of birds, but there were some good ones to be seen. Five Eastern Read the rest of this entry »

The 59th Ferrisburgh Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday December 15th. It was a fine day for winter birding with temperatures in the mid-30s to mid-40s. The day was calm with most teams reporting little or no wind. The ground was bare and we saw no precipitation during the day. Forty-six participants broke into twelve teams and spent a cumulative 139 hours in the field while receiving assistance from an additional three Read the rest of this entry »

Though the weather seemed to threaten in the early morning, things cleared up just in tome for the 21 who came out to Button Bay State Park for this years First Day Hike. This this is the fourth of theses walks we have held. One of many events like this that happen around the country at State and National Park to get people kicking off their year right Read the rest of this entry »

This year 42 field birders and 19 observers at feeders located and identified 15,659 birds of 72 species during our Middlebury Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 16th.  This is exactly the same number of species we found in both of the last two years; however, the individual species were different. Read the rest of this entry »


On the afternoon of December 18, OCAS President, Ron Payne, was walking down Mill St. in Middlebury on his way to the post office when he spotted an unusual bird in a flock of Chickadees. Recognizing that it was a Warbler, which meant whatever else it was, it was a good bird for December, he got out his camera and started taking pictures and had the good fortune of getting some good shots. But even with those, he had look the bird up to ID it as a Yellow-throated Warbler, and then was able to count it as a new life bird for his list. Read the rest of this entry »


This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a frosty morning when the starting time temperature was a mere 9°F. It was however a sunny and windless morning so the four people who came out did not suffer too badly from the cold. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you live in or near one of the circles in the map above? If so, you should consider participating in the Christmas Bird Count. One of the oldest, continuously running, citizen science projects, the CBC has accumulated over a century’s worth of data on the occurrence of wintering birds. There are two ways to participate, as a field observer Read the rest of this entry »


Barred Owl, Mourning Dove, Green Heron & Atlantic Puffin.

With the holiday season nearly upon us, we are happy to announce that Gary Starr is again graciously offering proceeds from the sale of his bird ornaments to support Otter Creek Audubon Society environmental and educational programs. These beautiful hand-crafted pieces are perfect as gifts, for a Christmas tree, or for use to beautify your home year-round. Please see the order form for a list of all the ornaments available, pricing and instructions on making a purchase.

When ordering by telephone at 802-388-6552 or through the website, please clearly indicate that your purchase is for this OCAS fundraiser.


In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • OCAS Annual Dinner Celebrates Amy Clapp and Scott Weidensaul
  • IPCC Special Report
  • The Largest Birds Ever
  • Eye-catching Migrant: White-crowned Sparrow
  • The Master Naturalist Program
  • Bird Extinctions and Newly Discovered Species
  • Another Pollinator Problem
  • OCAS Calendar of Events
  • The Man Who Made “A Big Year for Little Birds”

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.


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