Wildlife & Bird Watching
Our Jay Peak Region is an outdoor vacation playland for more than just humans! The top of Northeast Kingdom is home to a wide range of wildlife including birds, moose, deer, bear and even bobcat has been sited once in a while! So it’s no surprise that this is a great place to observe nature in action. In fact, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont has the nation’s highest participation rate of “wildlife watching.” At the Top of VT, living with wildlife is the only way.
According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, there are no less than 84 wildlife management areas throughout the state. You can download detailed maps of these areas, complete with trails and topography at the department’s web site, http://www.fishandwildlife.com.
The Top of VT attracts large flocks of migratory birds to its quiet waters and wetlands. Here on the shores of northern lakes and waterways, you’re likely to see an abundance of waterfowl, such as mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, snow geese, and more.
A few area birding sites are:
Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area
Minutes away from downtown Newport by bicycle (using the recreation path from Newport) or automobile, you will find the precious Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, a 420 acre parcel located along the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog on the United States-Canada border, in Derby Vermont. The WMA is located approximately five miles north of Newport City on the Eagle Point Road. It is owned by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in partnership.
South Bay Wildlife Management Area (Orleans County)
Lake and associated wetlands (1500 acres).
Breeding location for state threatened and rare species.
Important species include; the threatened Black Tern, Common Moorhen and American Bittern.
Franklin County Airport IBA (Highgate)
Franklin Co. Airport (110 acres).
Breeding location for priority species.
Important species include Grasshopper Sparrow and Upland Sandpiper.