The Binocular Site

Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, Vermont

Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 2,858 acres in Addison County, Vermont. The land that makes up the wildlife management area (WMA) was once covered with forests, and provided plentiful hunting and fishing for the Native Americans who lived there. After Europeans arrived in what is now New England, they found the land ripe for farming, and cut down many of the trees to make room for farms. To this day, large dairy farms surround the WMA, and many farmers lease land from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. In order to lease this land, farmers must comply with the Department's approved cultivation techniques in order to preserve and maintain the indigenous wildlife.

Dead Creek itself is about ten miles long, and is best navigated by canoe. Viewing the land from the water allows wildlife enthusiasts to see flocks of migratory birds passing through in the spring and fall, as well as many other species who live along the creek's banks. Snake Mountain, found within the WMA, offers Mountain Road, a hiking trail on the west side of the mountain. Hikers can reach the summit in less than two hours, and will find beautiful vistas seen only from the mountaintop.

Dead Creek WMA contains all manner of plant species, including white oak, red oak, shagbark hickory, and white pine. Along the creek are marshes that contain thick patches of cattail. The WMA is a resting area for migrating birds, in particular, snow and Canada geese. Approximately 20,000 geese stop in Dead Creek in spring and fall. Other bird species that migrate through include the sedge wren, osprey, and black tern. Permanent bird residents include snowy owls, lapland longspurs, norther harriers, grasshopper sparrows, and bald eagles, among many others.

The state bird of Vermont is the Hermit Thrush and you can find a checklist for birding activities in Vermont here.

You can learn more about Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area on the Audubon Vermont website.

If you've visited Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, please take the time to share your experience and any tips or insight you have about this Vermont birding location below.

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