February 2023 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the February 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His snowy Barred Owl portrait received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Field Guide to March 2023
On Wednesday, March 20th, at 5:24 PM EST, spring arrives in the north. The spring equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – an imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s equator – from south to north. It is also at spring equinox that people worldwide can see the sun rise exactly due east and set exactly due west. While the sun may be predictable, March weather is not. In fact, March is appropriately named for the Roman god of war, Mars. March is a month of battles between warm and cold, between winter’s refusal to leave and spring’s insistence on coming. So, here are some signs of spring to look out for in this Field Guide to March.
Further Adventures in the D.R.: On the Trailless Trail of the Bicknell’s Thrush
Part two of our DR trip brought us north to Reserva Privada Zorzal. This one-of-its-kind preserve hosts an entirely different assemblage of species and provided our crew with opportunities to attach a few more GPS tags.
Vermont Birders Rally During 12th Annual eBird County Quest
With another banner birding year in the books, it’s time to look back on all that Vermont birders have accomplished in 2022. From the Northeast Kingdom to the Massachusetts border, from the Connecticut River valley to the Champlain valley, Vermont’s vast birding community once again took part in the Vermont eBird County Quest. In its 12th year, this event continued to bolster Vermont’s enormous database of bird sightings all in the spirit of friendly competition.
Field Report: Playing “Tag” with Bicknell’s Thrush in the Dominican Republic
A VCE team recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to tag overwintering Bicknell’s Thrushes in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, with colleagues from Grupo Jaragua. Executive Director Susan Hindinger recounts the experience, which was her first trip to the Dominican Republic and Director-emeritus Chris Rimmer’s 50th+/-.
Field Guide to February 2023
This month, wildlife and the rest of us here in New England will cross an arbitrary, not insignificant threshold: 10 hours of daylight. Even though we’ve got lots more winter, at least the sound of spring is in the air. So here’s a Field Guide to February to help get your hopes up, no matter what that sleepy woodchuck predicted.
January 2023 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the January 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His image of a Ruffed Grouse taking advantage of a mid-winter food source received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Reflections From COP15
In December, VCE sent a small delegation of staff to COP15. As small fish in an enormous pond, our primary objectives were to make a few connections, watch some presentations, and perhaps be flies on the wall during party negotiations.
December 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Cynthia Crawford for winning the December 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Her photo of an American Stoat received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Field Guide to January 2023
Although the days are slowly growing longer, life in the Northeast now finds itself in the coldest depths of winter. January is about survival. Wildlife that doesn’t migrate adapts instead to make it to spring. Here are a few tidbits of natural history happening outdoors this month around you.
VAL Gets a ‘Boost’
Vermont Atlas of Life (VAL) director Kent McFarland was recently recognized on behalf of the VAL team’s work with a 2022 SciSTARter Boost Award. He is among ten individuals who received this inaugural award for their outstanding work with community science.
Field Guide to December 2022
Fear not; during these short days and long nights of December, there’s still plenty of life in the fading light. Once we pass the winter solstice, which strikes at precisely 4:47 PM on December 21st, more light will creep back. Until then, here’s some wintry natural history to keep you going.
November 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Sam Darmstadt for winning the November 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a wily weasel received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
2022 VCE Gift Guide for Nature Lovers
Need a gift for the naturalist in your life? Look no further than VCE’s Gift Guide! We have apparel, books, mugs, art, and more that will truly inspire you to get back outdoors.
Field Guide to November 2022
With November comes a stronger nip to the morning air and the rushed activity of wildlife either preparing for their winter stay or leaving Vermont for their winter location. There is a sense of fall finality as the last deciduous trees drop their leaves. November also hails some of Vermont’s winter migrants, coming just in time to catch the first flakes. Learn more in our Field Guide to November.
October 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the October 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a banded Peregrine Falcon received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Fire Management in the Green Mountains
True wildfire may be an uncommon feature of Vermont’s landscape. However, interest in using prescribed burns as a management tool—particularly in Vermont’s dry oak forests—is growing. A new collaborative project is examining the efficacy of using fire to manage oak forests.
September 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the September 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a North American Porcupine munching on fallen apples received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Field Guide to October 2022
October is a memorable month for many reasons. The leaves change from summer emerald to autumn auburn and gold. Creatures of all sizes flit and scurry as they prepare for winter. And people’s homes become adorned with carved pumpkins, cackling witches, and looming ghosts. This field guide highlights a handful of Vermont’s Halloween-themed biodiversity in honor of the season. But beware—some of nature’s marvels can be frightful.
A Soggy Wrap to VCE’s 2022 Mansfield Season
VCE’s final Mt. Mansfield banding session of 2022 may have been a wash-out, but we captured a fat-encased Blackpoll Warbler ready for its astounding transoceanic southward flight, and we reflected on a highly successful season overall, with 17 GPS tags recovered from Bicknell’s Thrush.
VCE Haitian Colleague Receives Prestigious Conservation Award
VCE offers sincere congratulations to our longtime Haitian friend and colleague Anderson Jean, who is the 2022 recipient of Stanford University’s prestigious Bright Award for conservation.
Field Guide to September 2022
It can happen almost anywhere. On a cool, foggy morning, for example, when fall warblers drop from their nocturnal migratory flights into your backyard. Or when the Monarchs gliding past you under a cool blue sky convince you that summer is indeed over. Here is your field guide to life slowing down and on the move in September.
August 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to JoAnne Russo for winning the August 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Her photo of a Bedstraw Hawkmoth visiting a daylily received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Summer Bee Update: Four Years in, the Flood of New Species is Becoming a Trickle
We began our Vermont Bee Survey project in 2019, and since then we have discovered over 50 new species in the state! This year has been the slowest year yet, but that hasn’t stopped us from swinging our nets. Read on to learn about the highlights of the 2022 bee season so far!
Banding Loons By Night
This summer, VCE’s loon conservation team spent two nights attempting (emphasis on attempting) to capture and band loons to learn more about their health and behavior. Despite a few misses, we caught loons on both Holland and Ewell Pond.
VCE Mansfield Summer Season Wraps Up Quietly
VCE’s final Mt. Mansfield field session of summer 2022 featured a paucity of mist net captures, several heavily molting adult birds, and a welcome chance to mentor the next generation of bird banders.
VCE Hosts First Community Science Teacher Workshop
Community Science has a place in just about everything VCE does: Providing members of the public opportunities to contribute to our research projects, adding observations to the Vermont Atlas of Life, even our motto “uniting people and science for conservation”. This past month, VCE host the it’s first Community Science Teacher Workshop.
July 2022 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to iNaturalist user hobiecat for winning the July 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photo of a playful band of American Mink received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
ECO Americorps Members Reflect on Their Time at VCE
ECO Americorps members Abbie Castriotta and Julia Pupko reflect on their term here at VCE. Abbie has been involved with multiple invertebrate studies, and has even created regional field guides for VCE. Julia has been working on the Lady Beetle Atlas project, surveying the entire state. She has even discovered several new species of Lady Beetle during her time here.
Field Guide to August 2022
FEAR NOT— we’ve still got plenty of summer here in Vermont and points north. So in this edition of VCE’s monthly field guide to nature, we’ll celebrate a few summer-breeding species. But we’ll also alert you to animals on the move. Yeah, the “M-word.” So if you’re not quite ready for fall migration, well, sorry…too late.