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An Emerald Discovered in Victory

An Emerald Discovered in Victory

Mike Blust and Josh Lincoln had a plan hatched by a fellow naturalist. Hike deep into the forest to a bog in northeast Vermont and find a rare emerald dragonfly that had never been seen in Vermont. Read about their trials and tribulations that led to elation at discovering this beautiful insect for the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas.

Help Us Record Painted Lady Butterflies on the Move

Help Us Record Painted Lady Butterflies on the Move

Painted Lady butterflies are flitting about fields, gardens, roadsides and meadows throughout eastern North America and beyond. Like Monarch butterflies,…

VCE Paper Sheds Light on Little-known Hispaniolan Endemic

VCE Paper Sheds Light on Little-known Hispaniolan Endemic

VCE’s recent peer-reviewed paper on Western Chat-Tanagers from cloud forests of Hispaniola highlights non-breeding home range ecology and nocturnal roosting patterns of this rare, globally vulnerable endemic.

Down Year for Piping Plovers in New Hampshire

Down Year for Piping Plovers in New Hampshire

t was a difficult summer for the state-endangered and federally threatened Piping Plovers on Hampton and Seabrook beaches this year. This summer, three pairs nested on Hampton Beach, while on Seabrook Beach four pairs of plovers nested. 

August 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month

August 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month

Congratulations to Susan Elliott for winning the August 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. Her image of a Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis) was the…

A Field Guide to September 2017

A Field Guide to September 2017

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 on the move in September.

A Record Year for Vermont's Loons in 2017

A Record Year for Vermont’s Loons in 2017

This year was another great breeding season for Common Loons in Vermont. The Vermont Loon Conservation Project and it’s volunteers observed a record 97 loon nest attempts with at least 72 successful nests. Learn more…

Vermont Initiates Study of Threatened Eastern Ratsnake

Vermont Initiates Study of Threatened Eastern Ratsnake

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is cooperating in a three-year study of an isolated population of Eastern Ratsnakes, a species that is listed as ‘Threatened’ under the State’s endangered species law. Read more…

New Study Reveals Population Estimate and Abundance Map for Rare Bicknell’s Thrush in the U.S.

New Study Reveals Population Estimate and Abundance Map for Rare Bicknell’s Thrush in the U.S.

New research by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) has revealed that Bicknell’s Thrush likely have one of the smallest population sizes – about 71,000 adult birds – of any migratory songbird within the contiguous U.S.

Memories of a Summer Bird Banding on Mt. Mansfield

Memories of a Summer Bird Banding on Mt. Mansfield

Nate Launer, VCE’s 2017 Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern, shares his reflections on banding birds at our long-term study site on Mt. Mansfield. After five overnight field trips in July and early August, Nate gained proficiency in handling and banding small songbirds like Bicknell’s Thrush and Blackpoll Warbler.

VCE Director of Science Named Elective Member of American Ornithological Society

VCE Director of Science Named Elective Member of American Ornithological Society

John Lloyd, VCE’s Director of Science, was named as an Elective Member of the American Ornithological Society during the Society’s 135th annual meeting in August. Elective Members are selected by their peers for their significant contributions to ornithology or service to the society.

Habitat Selection with a Twist: A Story of Two Opportunistic Loons

Habitat Selection with a Twist: A Story of Two Opportunistic Loons

VCE summer intern Kirsti Carr recounts her unexpected discovery of a long-abandoned swimming raft that a Common Loon pair used for nesting on Chandler Pond in 2017. She and her Vermont Loon Recovery Project team rehabilitated the raft – easily Vermont’s largest – in late July and hope that the loo pair will approve of its new, improved home for continued successful nesting in 2018.

An orbweaver spider (Araneus spp.), taken with a $15 clip-on macro lens attached to Jason Hill's smartphone.

Take Your iNaturalist Photos to the Next Level

Smartphone cameras are a critical citizen science tool for documenting phenology and species presence, and the primary multimedia format submitted to iNaturalist Vermont. But smartphone cameras are notoriously poor at taking close up photos, and most of us don’t walk around with a digital SLR camera complete with a macro lens. What’s an iNaturalist to do?

July 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month

July 2017 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month

Congratulations to Bryan Pfeiffer ln for winning the July 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.

A Tiger Found in Vermont

A Tiger Found in Vermont

Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a new dragonfly — Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea). Dale Ferland, an angler who likes to poke around rivers, snapped that photo above on Monday from the Black River in Springfield and it was posted and confirmed on iNaturalist Vermont.

SOS! Search Our Shorelines for Shells

SOS! Search Our Shorelines for Shells

Do you like to wander the shorelines of rivers, streams and lakes? Maybe you are a beachcomber and enjoy collecting shells. We need your help with the Vermont Freshwater Mussel Survey. It is easy and fun. Anyone can help!

Whip-poor-will Fever

Whip-poor-will Fever

I remember naively thinking it would be easy to detect a Whip-poor-will singing, with its distinctive sound. It turns out it’s not easy at all! Despite the formidable odds, I joined my colleague Sarah Carline to cross the state in search of the elusive Whip-poor-will. Read about our great adventure.

VCE begins migratory-bird conservation project in the Dominican Republic

VCE begins migratory-bird conservation project in the Dominican Republic

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies announced today that it has received funding from a Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grant to complete a strategic conservation plan for Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, one of the largest and most biodiverse areas in the West Indies and a critical wintering site for Bicknell’s Thrush.

Humans and Songbirds Meet Up on Mt. Mansfield

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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…