Green Mountain Audubon Center, Chittenden County, Vermont

About Green Mountain Audubon Center

The Green Mountain Audubon Center is in Chittenden County in western Vermont, south of the town of Richmond. The 255-acre property includes an old farmhouse now used as an office and visitors’ center. In the 1940s the site was a working farm, but since then, many of the fields have grown up to become mature forest stocked with northern hardwoods, white pine, and hemlock. Habitats on the property include wetlands, active beaver ponds, and brushy fields.

White-tailed deer, moose, black bears, fishers, beavers, and small mammals use the tract, along with wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and many other birds; annual spring Bird-a-thons usually record around 80 bird species from warblers to kingfishers. Amphibians breed in ponds and wetlands near the Huntington River, which flows through part of the property.

The Audubon property adjoins 140 acres owned by Birds of Vermont Museum; the two tracts combined are designated an Important Bird Area. A management plan covers both properties.

Improving the Land for Woodcock

Staff biologists follow a strategy aimed at creating diverse habitat types to benefit a range of wildlife, including songbirds, woodcock, and other migratory and resident birds.

South of the visitors’ center, 4 acres of an old field are being kept in four different stages of early successional growth through brush-hogging and manual clearing using a chainsaw and a walk-behind trimmer; this area provides singing grounds and feeding and brood-rearing cover for woodcock. Nearby, a 1-acre patch cut along the border of a pine stand creates an edge area where hardwood brush should grow in thick.


Sign explains how a range of wildlife benefits from early successional habitat.

Farther north along Sherman Hollow Road, 3.7 acres of maturing woodland have been divided into three units. Managers will clear the units sequentially, with cutting getting underway in 2009 and with additional cutting scheduled for 2012 and 2015.

Elsewhere on the property, another old field is being allowed to grow back in aspen. Several old hayfields are mowed every other year to keep them functioning as woodcock singing grounds.

Staff members periodically cut down vegetation casting shade on wildlife-food-producing hawthorns, crabapples, and apple trees. They also work at removing invasive plants including honeysuckle and Japanese knotweed. Similar management activities take place on the adjacent lands of the Birds of Vermont Museum.

Elsewhere in the Sherman Hollow Brook valley are extensive logged areas that woodcock likely use for feeding, brood rearing, and roosting.

Photo of Nashville warbler

Nashville warblers breed and forage in young-forest habitats. Credit: Dave Menke/USFWS

While the Audubon/Birds of Vermont demonstration area is not large in term of acreage, it provides important habitat niches in a landscape where many woodlands are becoming too mature to support woodcock and other wildlife that need brushy forest.

Funding and Partners

Audubon Vermont, Green Mountain Audubon Society, Birds of Vermont Museum, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Management Institute.

How to Visit

The Green Mountain Audubon Center is at 255 Sherman Hollow Road, Huntington, VT 04562, phone 802-434-3068. The organization’s website is