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Trapp Family Lodge Four Seasons of Bird Watching in Vermont

The Trapp Family Lodge is home to a variety of natural, and maintained, habitats ranging from Spruce and Fir dominated forests on Round Top above the famous Cabin to Kim Earley’s beautifully designed and manicured gardens. It is because of this great diversity and mix of manicured and wild vegetation that the Lodge and the surrounding property host an amazing diversity of bird life throughout the year.

Property/Trail Passes are available for day guests at $10 per day.  Please register at the Outdoor Center.

Love birding? Check out this index for guided birding tours across the globe!


Four Seasons of Bird Watching

To say our bird watching season starts in April is a misnomer as there is much to see year round, but it does give us a place to start as it is when migratory birds begin arriving and passing through to points north at their summer breeding grounds here in the Green Mountains. The vanguard of the spring migration starts to show before the snow has completely melted, and it is not uncommon to see large groups of robins, sparrows, and red winged black birds crowded on bare patches of ground that dot the landscape searching for food. In addition, many hawks can be seen hunting the field edges as the retreating snow banks expose the winter dens of many rodent as well as riding thermals over head. As the days progress into May the migration peaks with the arrival of colorful warblers, melodic vireos, striking tanagers, nimble flycatchers, and a host of other migrants. They set up breeding territories and begin a new cycle of life on the planet earth.

The bird song can be so loud and pervasive at times that it can be difficult to separate out individuals as they attract mates and defend territories. For those of us here at the Lodge it is sweet music that begins the day. In addition, the forest trees have not completely leafed out yet which makes viewing easy.

As spring blends into summer our feathered neighbors begin the earnest business of raising and fledging young from the nest sites. Adult Kildeer perform their drop wing defense to distract you away from the ping pong ball sized precocial young and Eastern Phoebes intercept insects in mid air to feed growing chicks at the nest. While the early morning bird song drops off from spring’s intensity nest activity reaches its own fevered pitch as males and females come and go bringing food to their hungry broods.

As summer transitions to Vermont’s idyllic fall we see a great spike in the number of birds flying about. The young of the year fledge the nest and begin life outside the comforts of their parents wing (no pun intended…really). It can make for some of the most delightfully challenging, and exciting, bird watching of the year with the drab and undistinguishable markings of immature birds making each sighting new.

This season is also the beginning of the fall migration and a great many birds begin one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. Some leave the Lodges property and fly as far away as Central and South America. Others, like the Snow Bunting and White Crowned Sparrow, leave the Arctic tundra and Boreal forests of the far north and fly to Vermont for the winter. Still more pass through on their way to their wintering grounds. It is a time to see a great diversity of rare and uncommon birds here on the property; from our year round residents to the irregular migrants passing through. Coupled with our famous landscape and foliage it makes for quite heady days in the fields and forests.

Moreover, as winter sets in, and the snow starts to fall, many birds come out of the spruce/fir and krumholtz forest that crown our mountain tops to the valleys to take up residents in the lower elevations to ride out winter. Dark Eyed juncos and Purple finches set up house in the spaces left empty by those birds that have left the area for the warmer climes of the south. Along with our resident ravens, crows, nuthatches, finches, and wood peckers they make for wonderful ornamentation during a winter’s schuss or snow shoe excursion around the property adding a new dimension to our world famous skiing.

One of the greatest things about bird watching here at the Trapp Family Lodge is its accessibility. At any time of day you can step outside any one of the Guest Houses, Villas, or Lodge properties and see a number of birds. A short walk around either the Lodge grounds or on the trail exposes one to a great diversity of bird life. Whether you have a passing interest in birds or are a dedicated ornithologist there is something for you here.

Trapp Family Lodge Bird List

On Property

103 Individual Species

Common Name

Great Blue Herron
Snow Goose
Canada Goose
Mallard
Wood Duck
Hooded Merganser
Killdeer
American Woodcock
Wilson's Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Goshawk
Cooper's Hawk
Broadwinged Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk
Northern harrier
Osprey
Peregrin Falcon
Merlin
American Kestrel
Black-billed Cuckoo
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Whip-poor-will
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Wood Pee Wee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Chimney Swift
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tufted Titmouse
Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
Veery
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Shrike
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Bohemian Waxwing
European Starling
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Nashville Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Ovenbird
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Wilson's warbler
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Savanah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Indigo Bunting
Snow Bunting
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Northern Oriole
American Goldfinch
Pine Grosbeak
Purple finch
Evening Grosbeak

 

Scientific Name

Ardea herodias
Chen caerulescens
Branta canadensis
Anas platyrhyncos
Aix sponsa
Lophodytes cucullatus
Charadrius vociferus
Scolopax minor
Gallinago delicata
Actitis macularius
Cathartes aura
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Accipiter gentilis
Accipiter cooperii
Buteo platypterus
Buteo jamaicensis
Cyrus cyaneus
Pandion haliaetus
Falco peregrinus
Falco columbarius
Falco sparverius
Coccyzus minor
Bonasa umbellus
Meleagris gallopavo
Columba livia
Zenaida macroura
Stix varia
Caprimulgus vociferus
Archilochus colubris
Ceryle alcyon
Colaptes auratus
Sphyrapicus varius
Picoides pubescens
Picoides villosus
Dryocopus pileatus
Tyrannus tyrannus
Myiachus crinitus
Contopus virens
Empidonax minimus
Sayornis phoebe
Tachycineta bicolor
Hirundo rustica
Chaetura pelagica
Cyanocitta cristata
Corvus brachyrhyncos
Corvus corax
Parus bicolor
Parus atricapilus
Certhia americana
Sitta carolinensis
Sitta canadensis
Troglodytes aedon
Troglodytes troglodytes
Regulus satrapa
Regulus calendula
Sialia sialis
Hylocichla mustelina
Catharus fuscescens
Catharus gluttatus
Turdus migratorius
Lanus excubitor
Dumetella carolinensis
Bombycilla cedrorum
Bombycilla garrulus
Sturnus vulgaris
Vireo olivaceus
Vireo solitarius
Vermivora ruficapilla
Dendroica caerulescens
Mniotilta varia
Dendroica fusca
Dendroica pensylvanica
Dendroica coronata
Dendroica virens
Dendroica pinus
Dendroica petechia
Seiurus aurocapillus
Geothypis trichas
Setophaga ruticilla
Wilsonia pussila
Pheucticus ludovicianus
Piranga olivacea
Cardinalis cardinalis
Passerculus sandwichensis
Melospiza melodia
Spizella passerina
Junco hyemalis
Zonotrichia albicollis
Zonotrichia leucophrys
Passerella iliaca
Passerina cyanea
Plectrophenax nivalis
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Agelaius phoeniceus
Molothrus ater
Quiscalus quiscula
Icterus galbula
Carduelis tristis
Pinicola enucleator
Carpodacus purpureus
Coccothraustes vespertinus

 

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