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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.

March 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

March 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Kyle Jones for winning the March 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest.

A Field Guide to April 2016

A Field Guide to April 2016

April is the carnal month. The forest and wetlands return to life with cold desire. Here’s VCE’s Field Guide to April.

Lycaena hippothoe, Purple-edged Copper

Increasing Nitrogen Loads Change Butterfly and Moth Communities

You may have known that excess nitrogen pollution detrimentally affects watershed health. New research shows that increased atmospheric nitrogen loads can also cause changes to plant, butterfly, and moth communities.

An Elm Tree Dating Service on Outdoor Radio

An Elm Tree Dating Service on Outdoor Radio

In this episode of Outdoor Radio, VCE biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland join scientists from the Nature Conservancy and local enthusiasts at the foot of a disease-resistant elm. Like an online elm dating site, they are matching resistant trees in hopes of restoring them to their former glory.

Painted Bunting Delights Vermont Bird Watchers

Painted Bunting Delights Vermont Bird Watchers

Bird watchers are flocking to Pittsfield, Vermont as news spreads of a male Painted Bunting visiting a feeder at a residence there. This represents the sixth state record for the species.

Record-breaking warmth continues in Vermont and around the globe

Record-breaking warmth continues in Vermont and around the globe

February 2016 continued the string of unusually warm months. Average global surface temperature ran a full 1.35 degrees above normal. In Vermont, the lack of a winter has meant little snow, tough times for ski areas, and some early bird arrivals.

February 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

February 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Larry Clarfeld for winning the February 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest.