Humans and Songbirds Meet Up on Mt. Mansfield
VCE’s 11-12 July field trip to Mt. Mansfield featured favorable weather and plentiful mist net captures. Banding highlights included the season’s first Winter Wren (it’s astounding how tiny these birds are, given the volume of their song!) and Magnolia Warbler, and free-flying juveniles of 3 species. The human element of this trip was especially rewarding, with a 10 year-old and his grandfather, our two summer interns, and several other enthusiastic visitors.
A Mountain Birdwatch Adventure in the White Mountains
Kirsti Carr, VCE’s UVM Intern, and Nate Launer, VCE’s Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern, recently surveyed two Mountain Birdwatch routes in the White Mountains. Read about their adventures.
Freshwater Mussel Survey Needs Your Help
Freshwater mussels are recognized as the most endangered group of aquatic organisms in Vermont. Join the Vermont Freshwater Mussel Survey and help us survey waterways for these unique animals. Learn all you need to know at our workshop on July 15th at North Branch Nature Center. Read more…
Outdoor Radio: Moth Watching
Attracting, photographing, and identifying moths is a fun family activity. All you need are some lights and a sheet! Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland went out into Kent’s backyard watch moths and talk about the important role they play with naturalist JoAnn Russo.
Saving a Loon’s Life
The phone rang on Friday afternoon and VCE loon biologist Eric Hanson had just received word of a loon entangled by fishing line. I was full of excitement; this would be my first time taking part in a loon rescue, an opportunity I hoped would present itself during my summer as VCE’s Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern.
June 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the June 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His Pine Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis ssp. pini) image was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
A Field Guide to July 2017
The avian breeding season is winding down. Even a few southbound shorebirds will trickle through the region this month on their “fall” migration. But as the dawn bird chorus now fades from northern woodlands, fields and wetlands erupt in the sparkle and drama of summer insects. Here’s a short guide to some of July’s lesser known natural history.
A Mountain Birdwatch Adventure on Styles Peak
Styles Peak is a little-known mountain that is dwarfed by its more popular neighbor, Peru Peak. Yet hiking this survey route was quite pleasant and awarded me with its own unique experiences that make it just as worthy.
VCE’s 26th Year on Mt. Mansfield Off to a Wet Start
VCE’s 26th consecutive field season on Mt. Mansfield has been so far hampered by wet weather, but neither the birds or our resolve to monitor them have been affected. Our second visit of the young season yielded many mist net captures of birds banded in previous years, underscoring the value of this long-term demographic study.
Birds’ Feathers Reveal Their Winter Diet
A study led by VCE biologists and published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications used a new approach for determining what Bobolinks, a declining grassland bird, eat after they head south for the winter—analyzing the carbon compounds in their plumage, which are determined by the types of plants the birds consume while growing their feathers during their winter molt. Learn more…
iNaturalist Vermont Records 150,000th Biodiversity Observation
With a tap on his smartphone and a click to submit to iNaturalist Vermont, Noel Dodge added the 150,000th record. Learn more…
The First Loon Chicks of the Year
This time of year is always exciting with the hatching of the first loon chicks. VCE volunteers have observed at least five chicks this past week, including these chicks from Lower Symes Pond. See more great images…
iNaturalist Vermont Countdown to 150,000 Observations
With less than 700 observations to go, which iNaturalist Vermont user will be the lucky one to add the 150,000th observation…
VCE Teams Up with Lawson’s Finest on Bit o’ Balsam Beer
Join us at Mad River Glen on June 17 for a celebration to launch Bit o’ Balsam American IPA, LFL’s brand new beer featuring wild-crafted Balsam Fir tips harvested at high elevations in the Green Mountains with proceeds going to Bicknell’s Thrush conservation.
Give Nesting Loons Space
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies is asking boaters and anglers to give loons a hand this summer by enjoying them from a safe distance. Learn more…
The Balancing Act: Supporting Nesting Birds in Hayfields
In the forest-dominated landscape of the Vermont and New Hampshire Upper Valley, opportunities abound to lend a hand to grassland birds. Landowners queried experts about how to provide habitat for birds while producing forage in hayfields.
VAL Updating the Checklist of Vermont Moths
The checklist of Vermont moths is being updated by the Vermont Atlas of Life. Thanks to the tireless efforts of both professional and amateur Lepidopterists, nearly 400 new moth species have been found in Vermont since 1995. There are likely many more awaiting discovery.
Loon Banded in 1998 Found Again
I noticed a loon near shore with some flashes of color behind it. It was banded with colorful leg bands for identification. Later at home, I learned that the bird was banded in 1998 and is over 20 years old! Read more…
Bicknell’s Thrush: a bird of the mountaintops…and beyond?
Bicknell’s Thrush is an icon of our high mountain forests. But is that the only place we can find them? Scientists from VCE will take a broader look for Bicknell’s Thrush this summer, looking in some unusual and perhaps unexpected places.
May 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Charlotte Bill for winning the May 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. Her images of a Moose were the most popular photo-observation as measured…
A Field Guide to June 2017
Here in Vermont, we dream of June during the darkest days of winter. Verdant wooded hillsides, a robin egg sky, chorus of bird song, butterflies and bees on flowers. We often forget about the clouds of black flies. June is a dream here. Here’s some natural history wonders for the month from this neck of the woods.
VCE Birdathon Team Takes on the Maine Seacoast
Ten years after the Green Mountain Goatsuckers’ first birdathon visit to the seacoast of southern Maine, we returned for a repeat performance in 2017. Drawn by the region’s infamous rugged shoreline, hidden sandy beaches, extensive salt marshes, and varied upland habitats—not to mention great seafood and a stellar place to stay—we were all excited to encounter some sea- and shorebirds that we rarely get to see in Vermont.
The Trials and Tribulations of the Lake Fairlee Loons
For the second consecutive year, Common Loons are nesting on Lake Fairlee. Unfortunately, this year the loons built their nest on Treasure Island, part of Thetford’s town beach and picnic area, just in time for the season opening. Learn how management was ready to save the day.
The Balancing Act: a Workshop for Landowners and Land Managers
See Bobolinks up close and learn about managing grasslands to benefit these declining birds 8-10:30 am on Saturday June 3…
The Trials of Finding a Loon Nest Site
If all goes well, we’ll see over 80 pairs attempt to nest again this year despite the challenges of geese and mink and people.
Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Falcons
Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a spring day, but the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Audubon Vermont recommend you 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.
VCE Awarded 2017 TechGrant
From birds to bumble bees, salamanders to swallowtails, VCE biologists harness the power of technology to help solve complex wildlife conservation issues. A 2017 TechGrant award from the TechFoundation will now enable us to accomplish even more.
VCE Birdathon 2017: Every Bird Counts
On May 25, 2017, the VCE’s birding team, the Green Mountain Goatsuckers, will migrate to the southern Maine coast for our 24-hour birdathon blitz. Your support helps create a better future for biodiversity.
April 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month
Congratulations to Zac Cota for winning the April 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His images of a North American River Otter frollocking and feeding on fish was the most popular photo-observation.
A Field Guide to May 2017
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.