Bob Spear, a renowned naturalist and founder of the Green Mountain Audubon Society, spent his free time obsessively carving birds out of wood. When his birds no longer fit inside his workshop, his friends helped him turn his barn into a museum. Spear passed away in 2014, but his life’s work now sits on display at the Birds of Vermont Museum, a 100-acre property devoted to celebrating and conserving Vermont’s avifauna.
Nearly every bird in the museum is known to live in or migrate through Vermont. Visitors will find shorebirds and wetland displays on the first floor, but the real magic happens on the second floor, where some 120 Wardian cases show off pairs of delicately carved and painted nesting birds. If visitors look closely, they’ll see that each leaf in the dioramas is hand-tooled from metal.
The property also includes a treehouse, a pollinator garden, and walking trails that draw guests through the forest— a great spot for birdwatching.
Know Before You Go
The Birds of Vermont Museum is only open from May through October, although visits can take place during the off-season by appointment. Check the website for details.