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Vt. bird museum creates new outdoor treehouse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. bird museum creates new outdoor treehouse

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HUNTINGTON, Vt. -

A new outdoor treehouse at the Birds of Vermont Museum puts you up close and personal with the fine feathered friends.

"Out here, they'll hear it, they'll see it, they'll feel it," said Allison Gergley, a museum educator.

And a special group of builders are putting learning into practice. A total of 15 students from the Center for Technology Essex are working with the museum to create the structure and they are doing all of the construction themselves. "This is part of our curriculum here, this is site layout and we're doing the foundation for it. So it’s really been a project from the foundation all the way to the roof," said Shawn Rouleau, an instructor at the Center for Technology in Essex.

They have been working on different parts of the project all year and are only a few weeks away from seeing their hard work come together. Parts that still need to be finished include a roof and a walkway that is wheelchair and stroller accessible. "Timber framing has been one of my favorite units because you can take your time doing it, and if you pay attention you'll get it right. It's definitely rewarding," said Matthew Anson Hall, a senior at the school.

And visitors of all abilities will not only be able to observe birds from the pavilion, but can also take in the great view. It's a view that's sure to include some rare findings that bird watchers may not normally be able to see -- like the Louisiana water thrush. "Being a warbler they are very difficult to find.  They like to stay hidden and elusive, but that's not a bird we're likely to see at the feeders," said Gergley.

The museum hopes to be able to work with other schools like they are doing with the Center for Technology Essex through the new outdoor observatory. They will be able to provide a unique 360-degree view to classes from schools all over the state studying birds and ecology. "We're coming at it from the point of view of education and awareness -- just raising the excitement level -- hoping people just want to get outside, learn about the native birds in Vermont, and a treehouse is a great way," said Erin Talmage, the museum's Executive Director.

From the hungry blue jay, to the unmistakable hue of the goldfinch, it's a great way indeed.

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