The Birds of Vermont Museum

BOVM or the Birds of Vermont Museum was established in 1987 as a non-profit institution in the city of Huntington, Vermont. This US museum was cultivated to exhibit and preserve a large collection of realistic bird carvings. These bird carvings are designed to educate the masses on the role birds serve within our ecosystem. Presently, the museum is encompassed by a one hundred acre bird sanctuary and features almost five hundred woodcarvings that are biologically accurate crafted by Bob Spear, a master woodcarver and Vermont naturalist.

Bob Spear is the founding director of BOVM and began creating bird carvings in 1950. Spear understood early on that more educational benefits arose from people observing birds’ identification and beauty through carvings rather than from observing through taxidermy specimens. Thus, giving Spear the motivation to begin bird carvings for the specific use of school demonstration. It was in 1979 when Spear decided to retire and dedicate his life to cultivating a collection of bird carvings for museum observation purposes. He wanted to give the world a place to come and learn about birds.

The Birds of Vermont Museum WorldBirder

Over the next eight years, Spear created a large enough collection to establish a museum with the support and assistance of family, friends, and investors making up the museum’s charter members. BOVM finally opened its doors to the public in the year of 1987. The BOVM museum consisted of two hundred and thirty one nested bird carvings in a one floor gallery layout. Since then the museum has expanded to include a second floor, over eight more exhibits, and a gift shop. Plus, an observation window has been added into the museum. Here one can observe live birds in action. BOVM was given the title of a Vermont IBA or Important Bird Area in 2004 along with the Green Mountain Audubon Center. The museum even added in a live feeder cam to its website in 2005.

In the year of 1998, a museum curator was added to the staff by the name of I. Riga. Riga originally studied the subject of art and soon after she came to work at the museum, Spear took her under his wing as an apprentice bird carver. In 2008 Riga created six carvings that are still presently featured in the wetland diorama. Additionally, in 2008 the BOVM museum decided to join Vermont eBird as an affiliate.

The BOVM museum exhibit’s feature a wide variety of bird displays including a winter diorama, a wetland diorama, an endangered/extinct bird species exhibit, a raptor exhibit, a tropical bird exhibit, two displays of birds found in the Lake Champlain Basin, as well as two hundred and sixty biologically correct carvings of Vermont nesting birds/eggs displayed in their natural habitats. Not only does the museum hold over eight exhibits but it also offers many nature trail bird walks, art classes, host lectures, carving demonstrations, and features the work of many local artists.

BOVM doubles as a research institution due to its varied habitat and prime location. Many research programs take place at the museum. Currently, the research projects consist of a survey of breeding birds, an inventory of wildflowers, a point count of bird species (a team project with the adjoining Green Mountain Audubon Centers), a mammal inventory as well as a yearly butterfly count. The Birds of Vermont Museum is located in Huntington, Vermont on Sherman Hollow Road about six miles south of the Richmond Village. Everyone is welcome to observe all that BOVM has to offer!