Nulhegan Basin Important Bird Area

Nulhegan Basin Important Bird Area

Important Bird Area Brunswick, Vermont 05905

Nulhegan Basin IBA (National Audubon) webpage
Nulhegan Basin IBA map

Tips for Birding

When submitting eBird observations at Nulhegan Basin Important Bird Area, it is most helpful to start a new checklist for each hotspot in the IBA. Use the general hotspot when you have a checklist that includes multiple locations or if no other hotspot or personal location is appropriate for your sightings.

Birdwatching in Vermont, pp. 115-116.

Tom Berriman's Birding Essex County, Part 2.

Birds of Interest

The extensive boreal habitat and associated wetlands are home to a number of rare species. Foremost is the state-endangered Spruce Grouse whose largest population numbers are in this IBA. Common Loon, another state endangered species also nests on several ponds within the IBA. A number of priority species can also be found at this site including Gray Jay, Cape May, Wilson’s, Bay-breasted, Palm, and Tennessee warblers, Boreal Chickadee, and Black-backed Woodpecker. Many of these species are found at a few other locations in the state and represent a suite of birds usually found further to the north.

About this Location

This is a large area in the Vermont context; 25,700 acres (40 square miles). It is 21 miles north to south; and 10 miles west to east at the widest. It is the most boreal of Vermont’s landscapes, in large part due to its height above sea level. It has good examples of a variety of boreal ecosystems enhanced by significant topographical relief in spite of no major, tall mountains. The size and shape of the IBA reflect its history of ownership rather than ecological boundaries. Cherished in that part of the state are the expanses of unbroken wildlands notwithstanding the logging history.

The Nulhegan Basin IBA is Vermont’s largest IBA comprising a mosaic of forest and wetland habitat types. The predominance of boreal habitats is typical of forests found further to the north and as such supports a number of species rarely found in Vermont. The IBA is centered around the Nulhegan Basin and stretches from Lewis Pond in the north to the Granby Stream and its tributaries to the south. Included in this area are the Moose, Ferdinand, and the Yellow bogs. Vermont Natural community types include Lowland and Montane Spruce-Fir forests, Northern Hardwood Forest, Spruce-Fir-Tamarack and Black Spruce swamps, Dwarf Shrub, and Black Spruce Woodland bogs and Intermediate Fen.

This IBA includes the Conte National Wildlife Refuge and Wenlock and West Mountain Wildlife Management Areas as well as a number of other state-owned lands. Much of this land was acquired through one of the largest land deals in Vermont. Controversy has revolved around the management of the state lands and access to areas for timber harvesting. Surveys for Spruce Grouse are conducted every 2 years. Other issues include the accidental shooting of Spruce grouse by hunters and invasive species.

Content from Nulhegan Basin IBA (National Audubon) webpage and Ian Worley

Last updated January 23, 2024