• VCE Blog

    Birds, Bees, and Trees: A Summer Working for VCE

    Birds, Bees, and Trees: A Summer Working for VCE

    From long days spent in wooded hillsides to early mornings on top of Mt. Mansfield, it was a busy—but exciting—summer for VCE’s 2021 Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern.

    A Record Year for Loon Nesting in Vermont

    A Record Year for Loon Nesting in Vermont

    This year proved a highly successful one for Vermont’s breeding loons—a record, in fact! However, every loon breeding season is more than just numbers. It’s also about the stories of difficult moments and the experiences of our hardworking volunteers who make everything we accomplish possible.

    Field Guide to September 2021

    Field Guide to September 2021

    September is a month of transition—birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and more are beginning their southward migration while some bees and other species are emerging for the first time all summer. To the curious eye this month offers a lot of excitement and the happenings featured in this field guide are just the tip of the iceberg!

    August 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    August 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to iNaturalist user @myco_mama_vt for winning the August 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life…

    Non-locals Light Up VCE Nets on Mansfield

    Non-locals Light Up VCE Nets on Mansfield

    VCE’s final summer banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured a striking–and puzzling–absence of locally-breeding birds but a strong showing by non-local warblers and our first-ever Northern Flicker.

    Field Guide to August 2021

    Field Guide to August 2021

    The dog days of August are here. Insects are buzzing and summer’s bounty is plentiful. But migration is underway alerting us to the coming changes. Read all about them in this Field Guide to August.

    July 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    July 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Michael Sargent for winning the July 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on…

    Mount Mansfield Week 9 – Quality Over Quantity

    Mount Mansfield Week 9 – Quality Over Quantity

    With Chris Rimmer on vacation celebrating the marriage of his daughter, the VCE banding team carried on in his absence,…

    (At Least It’s Not) All Quiet on the Western Front: Eluded by Whip-poor-wills in Windham County

    (At Least It’s Not) All Quiet on the Western Front: Eluded by Whip-poor-wills in Windham County

    Despite numerous survey locations and some new robotic helpers, this year’s Windham County whip-poor-will survey team had a quiet season. However, historic hotspots in other regions of Vermont reported their usual noisy numbers of this nocturnal species.

    A Deluge of Juncos and a Surprise Boreal Visitor on Mansfield

    A Deluge of Juncos and a Surprise Boreal Visitor on Mansfield

    Week 7 of VCE’s 2021 banding season on Mt. Mansfield featured a plethora of juvenile juncos and an unexpected, dapper male Bay-breasted Warbler.

    Seasonal Changes Emerging on Mt. Mansfield

    Seasonal Changes Emerging on Mt. Mansfield

    Free-flying juveniles. Molting adults. Regressing brood patches. Subdued, sporadic song. Seasonal changes that signal summer’s inevitable transition were in evidence during VCE’s Week 6 banding session on Mt. Mansfield.

    June 2021 Photo-observations of the Month

    June 2021 Photo-observations of the Month

    Congratulations to Tom Norton and Sarina for winning the June 2021 Photo-observations of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of…

    July Updates from the Loon Conservation Team

    July Updates from the Loon Conservation Team

    July is here and Vermont’s lakes and ponds are bustling with loon-related activity, keeping VCE biologists and volunteers quite busy. This month’s loon update shares news of new nesting pairs and opportunities for getting involved.

    Field Guide to July 2021

    Field Guide to July 2021

    The dawn bird chorus now fades from northern woodlands as the hills erupt in the sparkle and drama of summer insects. Here are some July happenings to kick off your month.

    A Bicknell's Thrush Storm on Mansfield

    A Bicknell’s Thrush Storm on Mansfield

    Mansfield’s breeding birds proved far hardier than the ornithologists studying them during VCE’s Week 4 banding session on Mt. Mansfield. Despite challenging weather, mist captures were solid, and Bicknell’s Thrushes dominated, with a single-visit record of 17 individuals.

    Mansfield Ridgeline Quiet During VCE Week 3 Visit

    Mansfield Ridgeline Quiet During VCE Week 3 Visit

    VCE’s third banding session of 2021 on Mt. Mansfield was quieter than normal for mid-June, but featured a veteran female Bicknell’s Thrush (possibly the oldest on record) and a feisty Sharp-shinned Hawk.

    Heavy Lifting for the Loons

    Heavy Lifting for the Loons

    The first loon update is here and with it come tales of great strength. From flipping rafts to hauling signs, the loon conservation team has been hard at work preparing for this year’s nesting pairs.

    A Veteran Bicknell's Thrush Helps Launch New VCE Study

    A Veteran Bicknell’s Thrush Helps Launch New VCE Study

    VCE’s second 2021 banding session on Mt. Mansfield netted a record-tying veteran 11 year-old Bicknell’s Thrush, who now wears a tiny GPS tag that will help elucidate late winter, pre-migratory movements on the species’ Caribbean wintering grounds.

    Blackpolls Abound as VCE Launches Year #30 on Mansfield

    Blackpolls Abound as VCE Launches Year #30 on Mansfield

    VCE’s first 2021 foray to Mt. Mansfield marks our 30th year of monitoring the ridgeline’s montane forest breeding birds. Banding highlights included a bounty of Blackpoll Warblers, 7 Bicknell’s Thrushes (5 from previous years), and our first-ever Veery capture.

    Field Guide to June 2021

    Field Guide to June 2021

    Most of our avian migrants have returned, and the flush of spring ephemeral wildflowers is beginning to fade. However, new life abounds in June! Find out more in this month’s Field Guide.

    May 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    May 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Susan Elliott for winning the May 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on…

    "Big Day" Birding

    “Big Day” Birding

    Read the captivating account of a life-changing “Big Day” experience by VCE staff biologist and accomplished birder, Nathaniel Sharp. You can experience a “Big Day” with VCE – join us for Backyard Bird Quest 2021 on May 22nd!

    Join Our West Virginia White Watch (April 1-June 6)

    Join Our West Virginia White Watch (April 1-June 6)

    Spring is changing. The snow is melting earlier, wildflowers are blooming sooner, and trees are leafing out faster. How are West Virginia White butterflies faring? Join the West Virginia White Watch!

    VCE Presentations from the 2021 Northeast Natural History Conference

    VCE Presentations from the 2021 Northeast Natural History Conference

    VCE staff members presented at the virtual 2021 Northeast Natural History Conference in April. Their presentations were pre-recorded and are now available to you to enjoy!

    Tribute to Steve Parren — a Conservation Champion and VCE Friend

    Tribute to Steve Parren — a Conservation Champion and VCE Friend

    Steve Parren, longtime cornerstone of non-game wildlife conservation efforts at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, will soon retire. VCE salutes this conservation champion and reflects on his remarkable legacy.

    V C E Biologist Spencer Hardy safely holds a stingless male Golden Northern Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus). © Spencer Hardy.

    Powerlines and pollinators: undervalued and underappreciated

    Just as hayfields are essential habitat for grassland birds like Bobolinks, consensus is building that the scrubby open habitat maintained under utility rights-of-way (ROW) plays an important role in the conservation of a diverse suite of wildlife. We’re looking to connect with landowners in north-central Vermont with ROWs on their property about conducting weekly surveys for pollinators this summer.

    April 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    April 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Erin Talmage for winning the April 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on…

    Field Guide to May 2021

    Field Guide to May 2021

    Bees buzzing, birds migrating, lady beetles emerging from hibernation, and so much more! Celebrate the spectacle of spring phenology in this Field Guide to May.

    Vermont Town Birding Challenge

    Vermont Town Birding Challenge

    Vermont’s 251 towns offer up a vast array of habitats and birdlife. Recently, Vermont birder Bob Heitzman accomplished his goal of birding in each of Vermont’s 251 towns, a monumental achievement! Learn how focusing your birding efforts at the town level can be rewarding in so many different ways.

    Field Guide to April 2021

    Field Guide to April 2021

    Migrating birds, blooming flowers, and (of course) mud season. April in Vermont is upon us, and spring is here! Find out what’s happening outside in your Field Guide to April.