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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
July 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Jason Hill for winning the July 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of a Long-legged Fly (Dolichopodidae) was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
I Tasted a Moth and It was Awful
Seriously, don’t do this at home. I tasted a frothy moth secretion last night and it was downright awful. I’ve heard for years that these tiger moths were wildly and brightly marked to warn predators of their awful taste, so I had to try it myself.
A Night (and Early Morning) on the Mountain
The view from Mount Mansfield was spectacular. The ridge line silhouetted against the sky during a warm evening, and the…
Mountain Phenology Cameras Yield Extra Surprise
Our new phenology cameras that have been on Mt. Mansfield since April to record snow melt and leaf out contained a neat surprise. Check out the night images captured just days ago and see who was visiting.
Outdoor Radio: A Pollinator Paradise At The Birds Of Vermont Museum
The Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington has created pollinator gardens to attract and support bees, butterflies, flies and other insects. VCE’s Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra visited the museum to talk about pollinators and plants. Listen to the show and explore the amazing images…
New Phoenix Project Mission Needs Virtual Volunteers
Last year, volunteers joined our virtual expedition and digitized nearly 6,000 pages of historic spring bird records in just 3 month. Now we need your help with our second virtual expedition. The rebirth of bird sightings data depends on a dedicated corps of volunteers who, in their leisure time and from the comfort of home, can easily move historic bird sightings from paper to computer.
Vermont Butterfly Big Year in High Gear
Summer is in high gear and so is the Vermont Butterfly Big Year. More than 70 butterfly enthusiasts have added over 1,600 butterfly observations from across the state comprising 66 species, more than half of the butterfly species known to occur in the state.
Seasonal Changes in Evidence on Mt. Mansfield
VCE’s latest field visit to Mt. Mansfield yielded signs that seasonal changes are in store, as free-flying juveniles, molting adults and non-local dispersers are beginning to supplant the resident breeders in our mist nets.
Rutland County Audubon Marks 15 Years of Monthly Vermont eBird Monitoring Walks at West Rutland Marsh
Over 2,000 participants, 666 miles walked, 180 bird checklists recorded comprising 149 species, and its all available for research, education and conservation at Vermont eBird. The monthly bird monitoring walk started on August 16, 2001 at West Rutland Marsh when 15 participants teamed up with Rutland County Audubon Society to record 45 species (including a rare Least Bittern); and it’s been happening every month since.
Mt. Mansfield Yields Avian Surprises
VCE’s seventh weekly visit to our long-term study site on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline yielded a few avian surprises, including the only Indigo Bunting recorded in 25 years of field work.
Mountain Bird Watch: A Real White Mountain Adventure!
After four weeks (for me) and 11 survey routes later, the Mountain Bird watch (MBW) season has come to an end, but of course not without a few great stories and moments up in the mountains!
Vermont Breeding Loon Population Rises Again
Just when we anticipate that the Common Loon population breeding in Vermont will remain steady, the loons find even more places to nest. Six new nesting pairs and the first nest for Chittenden County have been documented this year.
June 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Susan Elliott for winning the June 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of a White-tailed Deer fawn was the most…
A Field Guide to July
The spring birding seasons is winding down. But as the dawn bird chorus now fades from our northern woodlands, fields and wetlands erupt in the sparkle and drama of summer insects. Here’s a short guide to some of the other glitter on the wing this month.
A Flower Trap
With its foot stuck in a milkweed flower like a Chinese finger trap, the European Skipper was struggling to free…