If you love eagles, owls, hawks and other wild birds, this is a place in Vermont that you’re going to love. At the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quechee, you’ll see and learn about birds and raptors in a terrific environment. But this isn’t a zoo – this is a non-profit learning center and rehab facility for injured or orphaned birds.
A trip here is educational and interesting for all ages, and you’ll enjoy the daily shows and feedings which will leave you with a new level of respect and knowledge. You won’t want to miss this gem of a place which is worth the trip, as well as close to many other area attractions.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Open year-round, the 47-acre campus is dedicated to rehabilitation of wild birds.
VINS is always discovering new, fun and creative ways to offer educational experiences. Their special events are always family friendly, and kids of all ages will learn something new about nature both through the presentations and the onsite trails.
Some of the fascinating species you’ll find here include the peregrine falcon, great gray owl, Harris' hawk, bald eagle, snowy owl and Eastern screech owl.
This snowy owl was just about the only snow in Vermont this winter!
The birds at VINS are unable to return to the wild due to extensive injuries, but their primal instincts and striking features still remain compelling. What an amazing thing to have a place for these birds! Can you tell what these babies are? (The answer is a dark-eyed junco and a tiny robin.)
How about identifying these? (1 robin and 3 starlings in the left nest and 3 house finches on the right.)
The highly trained rehabilitators treat more than 400 injured and orphaned birds from throughout Vermont and New Hampshire each year. Wild animals need professional care when they are sick or injured, and the staff at VINS is dedicated to healing sick wildlife and raising orphaned youngsters with the goal of returning them to their natural home.
Five little owlets getting ready to fly!
Did you know that all wild birds are protected by law?
Additionally, they also care for the resident raptors, arthropods and reptiles and answer dozens of wildlife and natural history questions daily, so you can be assured that the staff is well educated and prepared!
The raptor show is the popular favorite so don’t miss it while you’re visiting. It’s a must see!
The passionate staff and volunteers here give these birds the care they need, provide a wonderful quality of life and educate people about these amazing animals.
Check out this video about the staff, animals, and rehabilitation that takes place at VINS.
VINS features state-of-the-art raptor enclosures, exhibit spaces, classrooms, interpretive nature trails, as well as a wild bird hospital.
See the care the animals receive at the viewing window in the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation to get a glimpse into the exciting world of rehabilitation offered at VINS Nature Center.
A high priority is placed on making high-quality, compelling, and fun environmental learning opportunities accessible to more people and communities through onsite and outreach nature education programs.
Not only do these birds provide rare beauty, but they also help educate the community and further encourage VINS' mission of motivating individuals and communities to care for the environment through education, research and avian wildlife rehabilitation.
The Raptor Information, Support and Education (RISE) program is a new and informative way to support the resident raptors' and songbirds' daily care, as well as the education programs.
RISE (Raptor Information, Support and Education). The Raptor Information, Support and Education (RISE) program is a new and informative way to support the resident raptors' and songbirds' daily care, as well as the education programs.
Supporters of these birds receive an adoption certificate, photograph, description and background of the adopted bird, a subscription to VINS' biannual newsletter Vermont Nature and more. There's plenty to learn...
Lots to see...
Many ways to help...
And if the weather isn't cooperating - fear not. There's good place to duck for cover on a rainy day!
Combine a trip here with seeing the Quechee Gorge and other area attractions for a great Vermont day!