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A Red-throated Loon Drops in for Thanksgiving

A Red-throated Loon Drops in for Thanksgiving

Last night, this exquisite bird was found in the middle of the road along Route 15 in Walden Vermont

Swooning for the Snood

Swooning for the Snood

How do you choose your turkey? It might be by weight. Perhaps it is from a favorite farm. Or it could be a brand that you like. But if you were a female turkey, you’d be looking at the snood.

Vermont Butterfliers Tally Big Numbers in 2016

Vermont Butterfliers Tally Big Numbers in 2016

Naturalists love a challenge. For years, birders have ardently (sometimes obsessively) racked up species via county or state lists, year…

Measuring the Loss of a Thrush's Forest

Measuring the Loss of a Thrush’s Forest

Scientists at VCE are using a world database of forest change to examine conditions of the forests on Hispaniola that provide habitat for Bicknell’s Thrush, and the results are alarming. Nearly 240 square miles of potential habitat has been lost between 2000 and 2014.

The fall 2016 migration route (>10,000 km, so far) of an Upland Sandpiper that bred in Kansas. This Upland Sandpiper was fitted with a solar-powered satellite tag in April, 2016 at Konza Prairie, Kansas. Since leaving Kansas in July, she has visited nine additional countries on her southward journey. Map created in ArcGIS.

VCE Tracks Upland Sandpiper Across 10 Countries During Fall Migration

The results of our grassland bird research partnership with the Department of Defense Legacy Program have been eye-opening. This past…

Field Guide to November 2016

Field Guide to November 2016

We call November “Stick Season” here in New England, when the woods are gray and cold and the leaves have mostly fallen. But it’s anything but lifeless. Bird migration continues. The year’s last butterflies flutter on a stray warm day. Learn more about November life in this edition of our monthly Field Guide.

Volunteer Spotlight: Allon Wildgust--Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Volunteer Spotlight: Allon Wildgust–Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Sometimes volunteers do more than what is expected of them for a given project.  Allon Wildgust is a case in…

October 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

October 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Daron Tansley for winning the October  2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a Red Fox hunting small…

Record Number of Bald Eagles Nested in Vermont in 2016

Record Number of Bald Eagles Nested in Vermont in 2016

Bald eagles produced 34 successful young in Vermont in 2016, smashing the most recent record of 26 in 2013 according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The birds remain on the list of species protected under Vermont’s state endangered species law, but this strong year has conservationists hopeful for their continued recovery.

Outdoor Radio: Inside a Lodge

Outdoor Radio: Inside a Lodge

Climb into a beaver lodge with hosts Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland and learn about beaver adaptations and their life in the lodge.

Print a Checklist Instantly with Vermont eBird

Print a Checklist Instantly with Vermont eBird

You can discover the best places for birding in Vermont (or around the world) using the Vermont eBird hotspot explorer. And now, you can even print out a bird checklist from any hotspot to carry with you in the field or study at your leisure.

New Damselfly Species Found in Vermont

New Damselfly Species Found in Vermont

It was a routine warm September day in the field for naturalist Joshua Lincoln. Wandering along the Waterbury Reservoir shoreline,…

Lynx Spotted in Southern Vermont

Lynx Spotted in Southern Vermont

A lone Canada lynx was photographed in the southern Vermont town of Londonderry this June, marking the first confirmed evidence of lynx in Vermont outside the Northeast Kingdom in decades.

A Field Guide to October 2016

A Field Guide to October 2016

October is a month of change. The leaves slip from green to gold. Then, suddenly, they all seem to drift to the ground. Here’s your field guide to some moments that you might not otherwise notice during these few weeks that feature colored hills beneath a deep blue sky.

September 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

September 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the September 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a predatory Sand Wasp (genus Bembix) with a fly was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.

The trans-Atlantic flight of an Upland Sandpiper during autumn migration.

Connecting People and Places via Migratory Birds

Tracking grassland birds with satellite tags is all about understanding their year-round movements. And it’s also about connecting people and lands along the bird’s migratory path.

Weather and Blackpolls Storm Mt. Mansfield

Weather and Blackpolls Storm Mt. Mansfield

VCE completed its 25th consecutive field season on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline in dramatic fashion, encountering a storm of both weather and migrant birds. We banded a record 46 Blackpoll Warblers, and Bicknell’s Thrushes were vocalizing actively even as we took down our last nets in the gusty rain.

Helping Loons from Florida to Alberta

Helping Loons from Florida to Alberta

Success! Last night we managed to catch the loon…without your advice this success story would not have been possible.

A Field Guide to September

A Field Guide to September

Sorry, summer is over, but autumn is spectacular here in the Northeast and wildlife is on the move. So here’s your field guide to some of life slowing down just a little bit and some on the move in September.

August 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

August 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Laura Gaudette for winning the August 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of Claybank Tiger Beetle (Cicindela limbalis) was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.

Looking for Litters of Rattlesnakes

Looking for Litters of Rattlesnakes

I had just reached the top of the boulder-strewn talus slope when I heard Kerry yell from 30 meters away,…

Nighthawk Season: Catch it While You Can

Nighthawk Season: Catch it While You Can

On warm summer evenings in the breeding season in Vermont, Common Nighthawks once roamed the skies over treetops, and towns. Those days are gone now, but you can still get out and see them migrating through Vermont right now.

Outdoor Radio: Monarchs in the Meadow

Outdoor Radio: Monarchs in the Meadow

In this edition of Outdoor Radio, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland track Monarchs in the flower-filled fields of the Burlington Intervale. We’ll learn how Monarchs migrate to Mexico and the challenges to their survival.

Vermont Reservoir Managers Help Loons Thrive

Vermont Reservoir Managers Help Loons Thrive

With all the needs they have to meet from financial to ecological, the management of hydroelectric facilities is tricky. But in some areas, like southern Vermont, the success of loon nests depends on water level management, and many companies are helping to make a difference.

A Field Guide to August

A Field Guide to August

VCE’s monthly field guide to nature celebrates a few audacious summer insects. But we’ll also alert you to animals on the move. Yeah, the “M-word.” So if you’re not quite ready for “fall” migration, well, sorry … too late.

VCE biologist Jason Hill checks in on a satellite-tagged Upland Sandpiper that has spent the last week in between the runways at Baltimore Washington International Airport.

Tracking Birds Has Never Been So Easy, Yet So Hard

Even we have to admit that tracking satellite-tagged Upland Sandpipers (Bartramia longicauda), from our smartphones, while we sip coffee, is pretty incredible…and downright easy. So what’s the hard part?

Hidden Camera Captures Behavior of a Nesting Loon

Hidden Camera Captures Behavior of a Nesting Loon

A loon nest was discovered on a mudflat on Lake Fairlee in mid-July and local naturalist and photographer, Tig Tillinghast placed a hidden camera to capture how the loons reacted to visiting animals and boaters.

Co-producing a research agenda for biodiversity conservation

Co-producing a research agenda for biodiversity conservation

VCE took a big step this June towards defining a research agenda for biodiversity conservation in Vermont. We assembled a diverse group of stakeholders and tasked them with the job of defining the key threats to biodiversity in Vermont, the key information needs regarding those threats, and the research studies that would help fill those information gaps.

A Loon-ey Couple of Weeks

A Loon-ey Couple of Weeks

During my work with the Vermont Loons Conservation Program, I was able to see so many places in Vermont that I had never visited before, or hadn’t in a very long time. I was amazed once again at the beauty of my home state and very proud to be helping conserve its special biodiversity.

Owls and Tennessee Warblers Find VCE Nets on Mansfield

Owls and Tennessee Warblers Find VCE Nets on Mansfield

VCE enjoyed an eventful, if quiet, final summer field trip to our long-term study site on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline. Banding highlights included a juvenile Northern Saw-whet Owl, 2 adult Tennessee Warblers, and 12 juvenile Bicknell’s Thrushes.