What is Birder Broker?
Birder Broker is a means to connect landowners interested in learning more about birds on their property with experienced local birders who are looking for new places to go birding while at the same time contributing new data to Vermont eBird.
Our purpose is to create a way in which we can build our knowledge about breeding birds on private lands. With over 80% of forested land in Vermont owned by private landowners, we see an opportunity to not only gather data for Vermont eBird but provide landowners with information about songbirds that will help them with their land management choices.
We ask that birders who register as part of the program visit the property they are paired with at least 3 times between June and July. Birders will use Vermont eBird to document what is seen and heard on a route that they work with the landowner to identify. To view the full Birder Broker protocols, click here.
How does it work?
Landowners with 10 acres or more who are interested in finding out what types of birds are using their property sign up through our online form. We will then send you the contact information of a birder that you can reach out to. You and the birder you are paired with will set up a walking route to capture data about the birds on your property. All data will be shared with the landowner and entered into Vermont eBird.
Birders interested in being paired with a landowner need to be familiar with or willing to learn how to use Vermont eBird. You will need to fill out our online form with some details about your experience birding, the Vermont towns you’d like to bird in, and your contact information. You will then be paired with a landowner who will reach out to you to schedule your first visit.
The Vermont Center for Ecostudies & Bird Diva Consulting will maintain a private database of private landowners and birders who would like to help document bird diversity and abundance on private lands. All information that is collected is confidential and will only be used for pairing landowners and birders.
Who is running Birder Broker?
Birder and naturalist Bridget Butler of Bird Diva Consulting has teamed up with Vermont Center for Ecostudies to create and manage the Birder Broker program. The idea came to Bridget after many years of working with landowners who were interested in managing their land in a way that is good for birds and wildlife. One of the more difficult challenges of measuring the success of management activities and conservation of land is documenting the impacts of these strategies on birds. Trying to train landowners to identify birds is a steep learning curve, so why not try to bring experienced birders to them? And, as a birder, Bridget knows how exciting it is to explore new places for birds. So, the idea became how does one play matchmaker between private landowners and the birding community – let’s create a way to connect these two groups. With inspiration from Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s Landowner Connection Program for hunters, Bridget and VCE have created Birder Broker to match private landowners with experienced birders to deepen the connection between people, the land, and birds while contributing to Vermont eBird.
We do hope you’ll be a part of this new program! Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you might have at .
Want to learn a bit more about Birder Broker? Check out this video of Bridget and Nathaniel’s Birder Broker presentation at the 2021 Northeast Natural History Conference.