Hands-on lessons at Wildlife Day build a love of nature

ADDISON — A shower and some drizzle failed to dampen the spirits of the 340 people who attended the 11th Dead Creek Wildlife Day on Saturday, Oct. 6. Beginning at 7, the bird-banding demonstration at the Dead Creek Route 17 access area was popular with family groups, who got to see migrating yellow-rumped warblers, blackpoll warblers and two peregrine falcons up close. The Big Sit, taking place nearby, logged 38 bird species through the day from a 17-foot circle. A special bird walk for beginning birders and demonstrations of working retrievers were also well attended.
Popular events included Vermont Game Warden Rob Sterling with his search and rescue dog, Rufus. Live critters, including a porcupine, peregrine falcon and saw-whet owl were presented by the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center of Holderness, N.H. A popular workshop identified owls’ prey species by dissecting owl pellets. Making wooden decoys, soap carving and bluebird nest box construction attracted crowds of parents and youngsters through the day. And featured presentations on bats and white-nose syndrome, forest pests, and black terns provided intriguing up-to-date information on lesser-known Vermont species at risk. And the evening owls night event produced a migrant saw-whet owl for a large crowd.
Dead Creek Wildlife Day is a collaboration of Otter Creek Audubon, the Addison County chapter of Ducks Unlimited, the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Vermont Forest, Parks and Recreation and Vermont Fish and Wildlife divisions. It takes place annually on the first Saturday of October at the headquarters area of Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area on Route 17 in Addison.

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