January 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Shawneevt for winning the January 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month contest. The image of a Red Squirrel feeding on an old apple, was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
A Field Guide to February
Early this month wildlife and the rest of us here in New England crossed a threshold – arbitrary yet not insignificant: 10 hours of daylight. Even though we’ve got lots more winter, the light brings about change. Here’s your Field Guide to February.
Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring Program Reveals Decline in Aerial Insectivores
Aerial insectivores have seen better times. For the last decade or so, ornithologists have noted steady declines in this diverse group of birds that feed almost exclusively on flying insects. Now, an analysis of 25 years of data from Vermont confirms this alarming trend.
Walk with the Fisher on Outdoor Radio
Join Outdoor Radio as they use the new-fallen snow to find the tracks of a Fisher and see what it was doing. Along they way, they’ll dispel a few myths about Fisher and learn about some amazing natural history and adaptations. Listen to the show and learn more…
December 2015 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to James Welch for winning the December 2015 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest.
Champions Crowned for 5th Annual Vermont eBird County Quest
The 5th annual Vermont County eBird Quest pitted county versus county, birder against birder — all engaged in a friendly rivalry for top birding honors. Read the results of this remarkable effort.
On the conservation of tropical birds and the fruits of long-term research
VCE scientists began operating bird-banding stations in the cloud forests of the Dominican Republic 20 years ago. New research published yesterday reveals the value of long-term field work for conservation.
“Rarity Roundup:” Hot Birds from the Christmas Count Season
A balmy December, unfrozen lakes, and many eager birders in the field conspired to produce Tufted Duck, Pacific Loons, White-eyed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Townsend’s Solitaire, and a smattering of other rare and usual birds in Vermont during the past few weeks.
A Field Guide to January
With record breaking temperatures and lack of snowfall in December, many of us are hoping that the traditional “January thaw” will bypass us this year, if it even exists at all. With or without the weather anomalies, there’s plenty of life outdoors for us to discover in deep winter. Here’s a few tidbits to get you to bundle up and head out the door.
Outdoor Radio: Being a Bird Brain May Not Be Bad
This month on Outdoor Radio, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland watch chickadees at a bird feeder. They explain the unique adaptation that allows these birds to remember where they hide all those seeds.
Make Vermont eBird your New Year’s Resolution for 2016
Since its inception 14 years ago, Vermont eBird has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to the dedication of Vermont bird watchers. We also hear from many who say that they want to submit to Vermont eBird more often or that they “keep meaning to get started” but have yet to “take the plunge.” Together, let’s make 2016 the year without regret!
Two New Bird Species Found in Vermont
The Vermont Bird Records Committee (VBRC) held its 35th annual meeting in November and reviewed 39 detailed reports of rare, out-of-season, and rare nesting species submitted by birdwatchers. Two new species of birds were discovered in Vermont as well as many other notable records.
Comprehensive New Book Published on Vermont’s Plants
A comprehensive new manual of Vermont’s plants has been released by the New York Botanical Garden Press. The first reference of its kind since 1969, New Flora of Vermont was written by botanist Arthur Gilman of Marshfield, Vermont.
Sharing (data) is caring: VCE and open data
We here at VCE think a lot about the value of sharing, and not just during the holidays. With the help of many, including our dedicated corps of citizen-scientists, we collect lots of information about the natural world and try to put it to good use. We do our best to make sure that our data, and the knowledge we gain from it, gets into the hands of the people that need it.
Globetrotting for Grassland Birds
Rosalind Renfrew reports on her two-month journey to South America, where she worked with VCE’s conservation partners to reverse the disturbing population decline among Bobolinks.
“Fracking” and Wildlife: Suds & Science on January 12
Natural gas extraction from shale formations in Appalachia, already a contentious political issue, also raises concerns about habitat loss and the fragmentation and degradation of forest and grassland wildlife habitats. VCE’s Jason Hill reports.
A Field Guide to December
Fear not, during these short days and long nights of December, we’re still finding plenty of life in the fading light. Once we pass the winter solstice more light will begin to creep back into our lives. Until then, here’s some wintry natural history.
iNaturalist Vermont November Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Marv Elliott for winning the November 2015 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a Barrow’s Goldeneye among Common Goldeneyes, was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
A Lifetime of Beetles
With the help of the Vermont Atlas of Life at VCE, a lifetime of work on the ground beetles of Vermont and New Hampshire has reached fruition and is now available in Carabidae of Vermont and New Hampshire by Ross T. Bell, Professor Emeritus of the University of Vermont.
Wild Turkey Confidential: On Supper and Snoods
So how did you choose your turkey? 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 male’s snood.
Gratitude for Gulls
Cosmopolitan, versatile and elegant in flight, Bonaparte’s Gull is a gull for people who may not like gulls. It slices the frigid air like a swallow. It drifts and swoops and swirls before me here on the Niagara River as the giant falls roar in the distance.
Outdoor Radio: A Blizzard of Geese
Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland visit Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, a destination spot for bird watchers, to see thousands of snow geese that flock there each fall. Listen to the show…
The Season’s First Snowy Owls
The forecast calls for snow — Snowy Owls and Snow Geese. Vermont’s first two Snowy Owls of the season have turned up in the past week.
VCE Presents 2015 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award to a ‘Loonatic’
This year VCE honors Mike Korkuc with the Julie Nicholson Citizen Science Award for his years of dedication to loon conservation.
Outdoor Radio Spawns a Conservation Partnership
Inspired by a story on Outdoor Radio, Brocklebank Craft Brewing in Tunbridge is donating ten percent of sales proceeds from its Timber Rattler IPA to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The funds will support efforts to conserve Vermont’s imperiled timber rattlesnake population.
A Field Guide to November
“Stick Season,” as we call it here in New England, when the woods are gray and cold, has been anything but lifeless so far this fall. Here’s your Field Guide to November.
International Experts Convene for Bicknell’s Thrush
Twenty-one stakeholders of the International Bicknell’s Thrush Conservation Group convened recently in Woodstock, VT to launch a revision of the 2010 conservation action plan for this globally rare and vulnerable migratory songbird.
October iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Roy Pilcher for winning the October 2015 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a Hudsonian Godwit, was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
Where the Bobolink Meets the Booby
The Galapagos islands. Fodder for Darwin’s theory of natural selection, home to sea lions and iguanas so “tame” you can nearly shake hands, and the dream destination for wildlife-watchers who seek its famous specialized finches and the Blue-footed Booby. Add to the list: Bobolink.
Warming waters contributed to the collapse of New England’s cod fishery
Even painful cuts to the fishery have failed to slow this rapid decline, surprising both fishers and fisheries managers. Now a report published this week in the journal Science links the cod collapse directly to rapid warming of ocean waters.