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iNaturalist Vermont Flies Past 100,000 Observations

iNaturalist Vermont Flies Past 100,000 Observations

With a tap on his smartphone and a click to submit to iNaturalist Vermont, Charlie Hohn added the 100,000th record on Friday, a beautiful Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid.

Finding Ferns

Finding Ferns

We found 22 fern species during an iNaturalist Vermont walk with interns and citizen naturalists on a two-hour tour of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Led by VCE’s Kent McFarland and Park ecologist, Kyle Jones, the group was able to document 17 of those with photos in iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life.

A Ghost in the Making Released Online

A Ghost in the Making Released Online

A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, an enchanting short film about the disappearance of the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee and one man’s journey to find out what’s happened to it, is now available to watch online.

Vermont iNaturalist Discovers a New Population of a Rare Dragonfly

Vermont iNaturalist Discovers a New Population of a Rare Dragonfly

As a novice photographer, James Welch enjoys documenting the biodiversity he sees around his home turf. With his camera in hand while walking his dog last week, Welch stumbled upon a rare find.

Mansfield Update: Hardy Survivors and a Site-faithful Sharpie

Mansfield Update: Hardy Survivors and a Site-faithful Sharpie

After forced cancellation of a planned field trip to Mt. Mansfield in early June, when wind chills on the ridgeline plummeted to 14 degrees F, VCE returned on June 15-16. The avian chorus was subdued, but the hardiness of resident birds was evident. A male Sharp-shinned Hawk banded in 2013 was a surprise returnee in our nets.

A loon and eagle having a showdown

A loon and eagle having a showdown

I was literally in the middle of a stand-off between two showy birds.

Reports of color-banded birds are rolling in!

Reports of color-banded birds are rolling in!

Reports of color-banded Gray Catbirds and Song Sparrows are now showing up regularly on eBird checklists from the Buzzell Bridge Road and Mystery Trail areas of Union Village Dam thanks to keen observers like Mary Waugh, Jenn Megyesi, and Kathy Thompson.

Looking for WHIPs in all the Wrong Places

Looking for WHIPs in all the Wrong Places

Monday, May 30th marked the close of stage 1 of VCE’s 2016 Eastern Whip-poor-will (WHIP) surveys for team Sara/h (Sara Zahendra and Sarah Carline). This session was a far cry from West Haven.

Across the Kingdom, VCE Birdathon a Boreal Success

Across the Kingdom, VCE Birdathon a Boreal Success

The Green Mountain Goatsuckers mixed it up this spring, opting for a new approach and venue. We migrated to Vermont’s fabled birding mecca – the Northeast Kingdom, and we made a key strategic move by enlisting the Kingdom’s foremost birding guru, Tom Berriman, as our local guide.

A Field Guide to June 2016

A Field Guide to June 2016

Here in Vermont, we dream of June during the darkest days of January. Verdant wooded hillsides glowing brightly under a robin egg sky. Warm afternoon breezes rolling through the valleys as we lounge by the clear waters of a cold river. The chorus of birds waking us each morning. June is a dream, and here are some of its natural history wonders.

Male Loons Can Make Poor Choices

Male Loons Can Make Poor Choices

Last week, the loon pair on Metcalf Pond nested on summer cottage beach. Bad move. After 3 or 4 days of incubation, the eggs disappeared and the loons gave up even before the landowners came for Memorial Day weekend. Learn why this might have happened and an update on nesting loons this year.

Help Find Colorful Bird Bracelets

Help Find Colorful Bird Bracelets

Identifying individual birds and tracking their fate over time offers insight into important details of a bird’s life: how long it lives, where it moves during the year, and how many offspring it rears. VCE’s newest citizen-science project is testing whether birders can help carry out this kind of important – but difficult – field work.

The 'Price is Right' Bird Delivers

The ‘Price is Right’ Bird Delivers

For VCE biologist Jason Hill, unveiling the secrets this bird holds is more exciting than a new car or a vacation in Hawaii. This summer Jason and his crews are logging many miles on foot at six Department of Defense installations across the country to recapture Grasshopper Sparrows with valuable data on their backs.

Counting Birds: When Zeros Equal One or More

Counting Birds: When Zeros Equal One or More

We’ve all been there. A friend visits from out of town, and you take them birding at a reliable spot for your locally uncommon bird—say, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. After hours of listening and walking around the woods, your search turns up empty. “I don’t get it,” you apologetically exclaim to your friend, “they are usually here—I just saw one yesterday.”

May 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

May 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the May 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of a Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris) was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.

Outdoor Radio: The Future Of Vermont's Lake Sturgeon

Outdoor Radio: The Future Of Vermont’s Lake Sturgeon

In this edition of Outdoor Radio, VCE biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join Chet MacKenzie from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to learn how biologists are trying help Lake Sturgeon thrive once again.

Color-banded birds at Union Village Dam

Color-banded birds at Union Village Dam

Our newest citizen-science initiative has officially started! This summer, VCE is asking citizen scientists to observe (and report upon) color-banded populations of Song Sparrows and Gray Catbirds at two locations in Central Vermont. This week at Thetford’s Union Village Dam Recreation Area, we marked and released several Song Sparrows, and we are eagerly awaiting the first re-sightings of these birds.

Vermont Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrine Falcons

Vermont Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrine Falcons

Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a spring day, but you should check to see if the area you’re planning to hike or climb is open. Several cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons.

Keep an Eye Out for Turtles

Keep an Eye Out for Turtles

It’s springtime and Vermont’s turtles on are on the move. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe and report your sightings.

Banded Gray Catbird

A New Opportunity for Citizen Scientists: Resighting Color-banded Birds

Want to be a field ornithologist? Here’s your chance. We invite all citizen scientists, regardless of their ability or birding experience, to participate in this collaborative endeavor.

April 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

April 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Erika Mitchell for winning the April 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest.

A Field Guide to May 2016

A Field Guide to May 2016

The month of May is a show-off. Woodland wildflowers jump out of the ground and demand attention. Trees flower and leaves burst from long-dormant buds. Birds arrive on southern night winds and liven the dawn with a chorus of song. May shouts of life and rejuvenation.

Pacific Loon Spotted on Lake Dunmore

Pacific Loon Spotted on Lake Dunmore

Pacific Loon sighted on Lake Dunmore this week by Mike Korkuc, our 2015 awardee of the Julie Nicholson Citizen Science Award.

Jason Hill, Brett Sandercock (Kansas State University), and Clay Graham prepare to relase an Upland Sandpiper wearing a solar-powered GPS tag at Konza Prairie, Kansas. © Jason Hill

Lifting the Curtain on Grassland Bird Migration

Grassland bird migration is a mystery that VCE is helping to unlock, thanks to the use of cutting edge technology….

Outdoor Radio: Amphibian Crossing Guards Help with Migration

Outdoor Radio: Amphibian Crossing Guards Help with Migration

Its an annual rite of spring for both amphibians and enthusiastic volunteers. Amphibians leave their underground winter home on rainy spring nights and migrate to nearby wetlands to reproduce. But along the way, they sometimes have to cross roads and if they’re lucky, crossing guards are there waiting to help.

Sandhill Cranes Make Surprise Visit to Windsor County

Sandhill Cranes Make Surprise Visit to Windsor County

The unexpected Earth Day sighting of 3 Sandhill Cranes at the Windsor Prison farm may reflect the species’ recent increase in New England, and the possibility that this stately species will be more regularly found in the Upper Valley and beyond.

Vermont Butterfly Big Year Takes Flight

Vermont Butterfly Big Year Takes Flight

With the help of an army of citizen scientists, we aim to record every species of butterfly in Vermont this year. It’s a blend of science, education, competition, enjoyment, and a quest to monitor the changing nature of the state. Join the Big Year!

Common Loon extreme preeding

Loon Pairs Arriving on Vermont Lakes

With the ice giving way to open waters on Vermont lakes in April, Common Loons are returning to their breeding homes.The Common Loon is one of our most iconic expressions of life in the north. And you can help us keep it that way.

New eBook: The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, New Hampshire

New eBook: The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, New Hampshire

Hector Galbraith, a venerable birder and ornithologist, examined a myriad of old documents dating to the early 1900s, as well as more recent and ongoing eBird datasets, to summarize avian occurrence, abundance and seasonality in his new ebook – The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, New Hampshire.

March Showers Bring April Flowers?

March Showers Bring April Flowers?

Wildflowers are blooming early with record warm temperatures this year. Learn how you can help monitor their phenology using iNaturalist Vermont.