Time for Spring Birding!

Posted on Saturday 30 March 2019

The time of the singing of birds is upon us. The Mad Birders Spring Walk calendar is just about complete. Details can be found on the specific calendar entry for each walk.  All walks are free and open to the public.  We have loaner binoculars available at all our walks and our much coveted Mad Birder Caps are also usually on hand for purchase. For any questions, email 

Wednesday  April 17 – Evening Woodcock Walk on Freeman Hill  7:30 PM

Thursday  May 2 – Meadow Rd, Mad River Greenway West  7 AM

Sunday May 5 – Center Fayston Road Walk 7 AM

Thursday May 9 – Big Picture Theater Mad River Path Boardwalk 7 AM

Saturday May 11- Ward Hill Walk 8 AM

Thursday May 16 – Freeman Hill Road 7 AM

Saturday May 18 – Knoll Farm  8 AM

Thursday May 23 – Geiger Property Center Fayston Road 7 AM

Thursday May 23 – Birds and Beer !! 4 PM Walk on Mad River Path Boardwalk followed by facilitated discussion at 5 PM led by Bird Diva Bridget Butler at Lawson’s Liquids Taproom (New Event)

Saturday May 25 – Birding by Ear Workshop – Moretown School 1:30 PM

Sunday May 26 – Birding by Ear Bird Walk – Pony Farm Rd 7 AM

Thursday May 30 – Phen Basin Walk 7 AM (New Walk)

Saturday June 1 – Camel’s Hump Forest Walk 7 AM

Thursday June 6 – Spencer’s Duxbury Walk 7 AM (New walk)

Thursday June 13 – Mad River Path Warren Section 8 AM (New walk)

Saturday June 22 – Granville, Parker Property 7:30 AM


Jeannie Elias @ 8:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In Memory of Chris Pratt

Posted on Sunday 30 April 2017

The Mad Birders are sad to announce the passing of a beloved member of our birding community, Chris Pratt, who left this world on March 20, 2017. Indubitably the ‘better half’ of Team Pipit, Chris was the constant companion of her husband Fred, of 61 years. Chris was affectionately known to the Mad Birders as “Mrs. Pipit”, and could reliably be seen in the driver’s seat whenever Team Pipit was off chasing birds, which was most of the time. In addition to being an excellent birder, Chris was a world traveler, an opera buff and an excellent cook. We will miss her eloquence, her charm, her generosity and her quick wit. Fortunately, we have the recipe for her Syrian Nutmeg Cake, featured at many Mad Birder Pot Luck Celebrations. We look forward to serving it again in her memory. May your spirit soar forever upward on gossamer wings.

Jeannie Elias @ 10:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Remembering Ave Haviland

Posted on Tuesday 16 August 2016


The Mad Birders lost one of their own earlier this month as our dear friend Ave Haviland passed from this life into the next. An enthusiastic birder, Ave was also knowledgeable about wildflowers and native plants. She and her late husband Walt were avid hikers and skiers even as they entered their 80’s. Ave especially loved cycling with the local biking group known as the “Silver Streakers” and lamented when she had to decline a bird walk because of a conflict with a Silver Streakers ride.  Ave enjoyed watching birds at her feeders as much as she loved seeing them in the field. Many Mad Birders looked forward to regular chats with Ave to exchange the latest news on what we had seen at our bird feeders during the winter months. We will miss the twinkle in your pretty blue eyes Ave, and will always remember you in your Periwinkle Blue Mad Birders Hat.

Jeannie Elias @ 8:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Pony Farm Road Walk – Birding before the Deluge

Posted on Sunday 5 June 2016

Thanks to the generosity of our hosts: Cory and Chris Stephenson, the Mad Birders enjoyed a field trip to the old Pony Farm property on Pony Farm Road in Moretown. Varied habitat including fields, river corridor, meadows, wetlands and forests produced a wide array of species. Participants practiced birding by ear skills and several sharp eyed birders spied a Savannah Sparrow on a ground nest, and after the adult flew off, we witnessed the tiny mouths of young nestlings still in the nest. The rains began as we concluded our walk and what’s more fun than birding in the rain anyway?IMG_0308

Jeannie Elias @ 7:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Birding By Ear Workshop Sunday May 22nd at 4PM

Posted on Tuesday 17 May 2016

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) perched on a branch and singing in Long Point, Ontario, Canada.

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) perched on a branch and singing.

Join the Mad Birders and the Moretown Memorial Library on Sunday May 22nd at 4PM for a two-part workshop to learn about birding by ear. Whether you are an experienced bird watcher or just at the beginning of this delightful life long hobby, this workshop is for you. Meet at the Moretown Elementary School Library at 4PM on Sunday May 22nd and join Cory Stephenson and Jeannie Elias to learn some tips and tricks for listening to and identifying birdsong.  For the second half of the workshop we will head outside to the field on Sunday June 5th at 7:30 am to 182 Pony Farm Road in Moretown to practice our newly learned skills. Both events are free and open to the public. For details contact Cory at 496-9728 or Jeannie at

Jeannie Elias @ 6:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mad Birders Flock to State Farm Property in Duxbury

Posted on Sunday 15 May 2016

More than a dozen Mad Birders plus representatives of the Duxbury Land Trust took in the avian wonders of the State Farm Property on 5/14/16

More than a dozen Mad Birders plus representatives of the Duxbury Land Trust took in the avian wonders of the State Farm Property on 5/14/16

Jeannie Elias @ 4:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Spring Birding is HERE!

Posted on Sunday 8 May 2016

Black-throated-Green-Warbler-1440x1035Spring migration is underway, and the Mad Birders are the beneficiaries of this marvelous annual miracle. Black-Throated Green Warblers (pictured above) have returned to the Mad River Valley, along with many other colorful warblers and songbirds. We have walks scheduled throughout the month of May. Join Jeannie Elias on Thursday mornings at 7am for our Thursday Mornings in May series, or on Saturdays. Zac Cota will be leading a walk on the State Farm Property in Duxbury on May 14th and Nancy Turner will lead a walk at Knoll Farm in Fayston on May 21st. We will also be co-sponsoring a Birding by Ear workshop and birdwalk with the Moretown Library on May 22nd and June 5th in Moretown. Check the calendar for details or email us at

Happy Birding!


Jeannie Elias @ 1:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Come Join the Mad Birders for a Woodcock Walk – Thursday 4/14 at 7:30PM

Posted on Tuesday 12 April 2016

American Woodcock

Come join us this Thursday 4/14 at 7:30PM to look for and listen for American Woodcocks, who will be doing their fantastic mating ritual. Meet at the cemetery on Freeman Hill Road in Moretown. For details consult the calendar or email




Jeannie Elias @ 7:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Posted on Sunday 15 November 2015

Common Redpolls in Winter Photo by Ian Clark

Common Redpolls in Winter
Photo by Ian Clark

The Mad Birders will be participating in the 116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Our circle includes parts of the Mad River Valley, Roxbury, Northfield and Berlin (Pond) and our count day this year is Friday, December 18th. Teams of Mad Birders will set out at first light in whatever weather nature gives us that day to count as many birds as they can see or hear on predetermined routes throughout our circle. Our statistics will become part of one of the longest running citizen science projects in history, which gathers data on the presence or absence of various species of birds throughout the world. After our day in the field we will gather together for a sumptuous pot luck supper to report on the birds we found, swap stories and celebrate nature and friendship. All are welcome to participate.

Please contact





Jeannie Elias @ 10:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Join the Mad Birders for an Autumn Birdwalk and Brunch on Saturday 10/10/15

Posted on Saturday 26 September 2015

The Mad Birders will be holding an Autumn Birdwalk at 7:30am on Saturday October 10th at the home of Jeannie Elias and Craig Goss on Center Fayston Road. Songbird migration will mostly be over but we will see what we can, and then circle back to Jeannie’s for a Mad Birder Brunch. We will be celebrating birds, community AND the recent nuptials of Mad Birder Founder Pat Folsom and her beloved, Sei Tokuda in September out in New Mexico. Join us. For details call Jeannie at 496-4730.

Jeannie Elias @ 5:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized