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Outdoor Radio: Crows Come Home to Roost

Outdoor Radio: Crows Come Home to Roost

With the sun dropping below the hills the chase was on. We followed them as best we could, zig-zagging through traffic and city streets, as they streamed from the pre-roost towards their final destination. With the light fading fast, we found them. Thousands of crows, with more arriving by the second, gathered in the trees.

The 2016 Vermont eBird County Quest Awards

The 2016 Vermont eBird County Quest Awards

From a Great Horned Owl on Snake Mountain on January 1st, to Long-tailed Ducks at the South Hero Causeway on December 31st, Vermont birders attempted to discover as many species as possible during the 6th annual Vermont eBird County Quest in 2016.

Once Common in Vermont, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Now Federally Endangered

Once Common in Vermont, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Now Federally Endangered

Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumble bee was a common sight, so ordinary that it went almost unnoticed…

The Mount Mansfield Phenology Project

The Mount Mansfield Phenology Project

The Mansfield Phenology Project is a new effort by VCE to track variation in the phenology of a mountain ecosystem and to understand how changes in the timing of key biological events affects the plants and animals that call this place home. Watch a short video and learn more.

A Field Guide to January 2017

A Field Guide to January 2017

Although the days are slowly growing longer, life in the Northeast now finds itself in the coldest depths of winter. January is about survival. Wildlife that doesn’t migrate adapts instead in order to make it to spring. Here’s a few tidbits of natural history happening outdoors this month around you.

A Climate Ride Benefits VCE Interns

A Climate Ride Benefits VCE Interns

In September Akshata Nayak embarked on the longest bicycle trip of her life. Until that day, her riding had been limited to an afternoon on a bike path or a ride around her hometown. But she heard about an organization called Climate Ride and inspiration struck.

Public Meeting to be Held on Conserved Lands in Northeast Kingdom

Public Meeting to be Held on Conserved Lands in Northeast Kingdom

The meeting will discuss the proposed long-range management plan for Victory Basin Wildlife Management Area, Victory State Forest, and Darling State Park on Tuesday, January 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Burke Mountain Room at Lyndon State College.

iNaturalist Vermont Becomes Biodiversity Big Data in 2016

iNaturalist Vermont Becomes Biodiversity Big Data in 2016

With over 122,000 observations of nearly 5,000 species contributed by 1,321 citizen scientists, in just four years iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, has become a big data biodiversity source in the Green Mountain State.

Bird Watchers Post Big Data to Vermont eBird in 2016

Bird Watchers Post Big Data to Vermont eBird in 2016

This year marks the 14 year anniversary of Vermont eBird, the first state portal for eBird. In just a decade-and-a-half, the bird checklists that bird watchers have shared have helped make Vermont eBird, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, the largest citizen science biodiversity project in the state and around the world.

December 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

December 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Dean and Susan Greenberg for winning the December 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. Their image of a Bobcat (Lynx rufus) looking…

Happy New Year and Thank You

Happy New Year and Thank You

Threatened species update

Threatened species update

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes 742 new species of birds. One of these newly recognized species is the Western Chat-tanager, an Hispaniolan endemic that we’ve been studying for many years.

Volunteers Help Loons to Another Record Breeding Season in 2016

Volunteers Help Loons to Another Record Breeding Season in 2016

It was a banner year for Common Loons breeding in Vermont. Volunteers helped us monitor 93 nesting pairs around the state, a record number since monitoring began four decades ago.

Field Guide to December 2016

Field Guide to December 2016

Fear not, during these short days and long nights of December, we’re still finding plenty of life. Once we pass the winter solstice, more light will begin to creep back into our lives. Until then, here’s some wintry natural history to keep you going.

November 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

November 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Ron Payne for winning the November 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of an American Beaver’s incredible woodworking skills was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.

Spiders in Winter

Spiders in Winter

Spiders are “poikilothermic,” meaning their body temperatures vary significantly, more or less tracking that of their environment. The chief challenge of winter for spiders in the temperate zone, then, is dealing with the cold.

Outdoor Radio: Deer and Data

Outdoor Radio: Deer and Data

  Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland visited a deer reporting station in Barre during Youth Hunting Weekend. They talked…

Two Mountain Birdwatchers Receive the 2016 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award

Two Mountain Birdwatchers Receive the 2016 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award

This year’s citizen science awardees, Mike Zimmerman and Steve Chorvas, have climbed peak after peak, year after year, helping to conserve montane birds.

Kent McFarland Receives 2016 Sally Laughlin Award

Kent McFarland Receives 2016 Sally Laughlin Award

At VCE’s annual holiday celebration on December 6, our very own Kent McFarland received the first-ever Sally Laughlin Award for the Conservation of Endangered and Threatened Species. ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz presented the award, and Sally Laughlin – who inspired it – was there to share the special moment.

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…

A Learning Experience

A Learning Experience

Amber Wolf (left) was our inaugural Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern. Her enthusiastic spirit embodied Alex’s deep-rooted interests and abiding respect for the natural world.

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.