Photos (L-R): Participants on the guided quest observe the tree canopy while guide Nathaniel Sharp calls migratory birds in with a recorded distress call; the effects of the maple leaf cutter (Paraclemensia acerifoliella) on a sugar maple leaf; the brightly colored brown-hooded owlet moth caterpillar stands out amidst the decay of fall; a fungus in the Amanita genus grows from the rich soils adjacent the Zebedee Wetland.
American kestrel, purple finch, swamp sparrow, and cedar waxwings were just some of the species of migratory birds observed by participants in the September 28 guided quest to the Zebedee Wetland in Thetford Center, Vermont. Led by wildlife biologist Nathaniel Sharp from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, participants from the Upper Valley and beyond followed clues around the conserved wetland area while stopping to observe the flora and fauna around them. Twenty-four species of birds were observed, along with many other species of flora and fauna.
One of the projects managed by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies is the Vermont Atlas of Life, a compilation of 675 datasets with over 22,000 individual species observed within the state. Some of the data goes as far back as the 1800s and captures the great natural diversity within the borders of Vermont.
Guided quests offer residents of and visitors to the Upper Valley the opportunity to learn alongside local professionals like Nathaniel while exploring the natural and cultural richness around us. We hope that you will join us for a guided quest in the future, or take a solo quest from our catalog of over 100 Valley Quests, including the Zebedee Wetlands!
By Andrew Deaett