VCE Blog

Field Guide to October 2018

Field Guide to October 2018

October is a month of change. The forested hills fade from green to a kaleidoscope of red and gold that dazzles the eyes. Here’s your field guide to some moments that you might not otherwise notice during these few precious weeks.

Big data for biodiversity: Vermont Atlas of Life helps GBIF.org surpass 1 billion species occurrences

Big data for biodiversity: Vermont Atlas of Life helps GBIF.org surpass 1 billion species occurrences

In July the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) surpassed 1 billion species occurrence records with at least one record for over a million species. The milestone symbolizes a major collective achievement, one made possible through the work of the GBIF network, including the Vermont Atlas of Life (VAL) at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies which has contributed over 4 million records and counting!

September 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

September 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the September 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The images of a Peregrine Falcon carrying…

Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Surpasses Quarter Million Observations

Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Surpasses Quarter Million Observations

Micki Colbeck snapped a photograph of a beautiful patch of Delicate Fern Moss and submitted it to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist, becoming the 250,000 observation for the project.

Squirrel Numbers Mount, by Land and Water

Squirrel Numbers Mount, by Land and Water

The Northeastern U.S. is experiencing a mass movement of squirrels, unlike any most of us have ever witnessed. Dispersing animals are choosing some unusual travel modes, including swimming, and many have ended up as hapless victims of collisions with vehicles. Despite its grisly consequences along our roadways, this food-driven phenomenon is one more example of the ever-fascinating, dynamic ecological links that characterize our natural world.

Holding the Line with Hayfield Invasives

Holding the Line with Hayfield Invasives

Read about how one of our Grassland Ambassadors controls a villainous invasive species in his hayfields, while at the same time providing habitat for grassland birds.

Outdoor Radio: Dragonflies on the Move

Outdoor Radio: Dragonflies on the Move

Did you know that some dragonflies migrate? Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are joined by dragonfly expert Bryan Pfeiffer in an effort to find and maybe catch a migrant dragonfly.

Nathaniel Sharp, VCE Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist

Nathaniel Sharp, VCE Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist

Get to know VCE’s new Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist, ECO Americorps member Nathaniel Sharp!

Field Update: Loon Wins and Losses

Field Update: Loon Wins and Losses

Every year, some of our returning loons get themselves into “hot water,” so to speak. Eric Hanson, VCE’s loon biologist, gives us his mid-season good news/bad news update here.

Three VCE Biologists Appointed as Adjunct Faculty at UVM

Three VCE Biologists Appointed as Adjunct Faculty at UVM

We are pleased to announce that three VCE biologists have been appointed as adjunct faculty in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

Field Guide to September 2018

Field Guide to September 2018

It’s autumn and life all around us is on the move. Here is your field guide to some amazing migrations happening right around us, and a few other natural history tidbits for September.

August 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

August 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the August 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The images of a Pileated Woodpecker feeding recently fledged young was the most popular photo-observation.

Outdoor Radio: Endangered Freshwater Mussels

Outdoor Radio: Endangered Freshwater Mussels

In this month’s episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join Mark Ferguson from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department along the river in downtown Winooski to search for freshwater mussels and learn about their natural history and conservation plight.

Mansfield Reflection: A Bird in the Hand Instills a Conservation Ethic

Mansfield Reflection: A Bird in the Hand Instills a Conservation Ethic

Alex Kulungian’s summerlong VCE internship gained him a wealth of experience and insight, including how vital it is that we expose and inspire our youth to take action on behalf of the natural world. An encounter as simple as releasing a banded bird on Mt. Mansfield can be the trigger for a lifetime commitment to conservation.

Mission Monarch Nearly Nixed by Missing Milkweed

Mission Monarch Nearly Nixed by Missing Milkweed

What had been promised as an easy venture turned into something of a quest.

When a Bluet Isn't Blue: Vermont's "Newest" Damselfly

When a Bluet Isn’t Blue: Vermont’s “Newest” Damselfly

Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a  new damselfly. Here’s a tale about a bluet that’s defies the “blue” in its name. It becomes Vermont’s 45th known damselfly species.

Mansfield Wrap: Molt, Migration, and a Crowd-Pleasing Owl

Mansfield Wrap: Molt, Migration, and a Crowd-Pleasing Owl

VCE’s final 2018 summer banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured a much-anticipated tiny owl, songbirds in heavy flight feather molt, and thoughts about the impending fall migration that will take Bicknell’s Thrush (and VCE biologists) back to Cuba.

Vermont Naturalists Find Over 370 Species During National Moth Week

Vermont Naturalists Find Over 370 Species During National Moth Week

Volunteer naturalists from across Vermont uploaded over 1,200 images of moths comprising more than 370 species during National Moth Week. Moth watchers here in Vermont have added nearly 100 new species to the Vermont checklist via the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and have documented 1,248 species across the state so far.

July 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

July 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Shirley Zundell for winning the July 2018 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month. The image of an adult Peregrine Falcon in its eyrie with two chicks was the most popular photo-observation.

Field Guide to August 2018

Field Guide to August 2018

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 audacious summer insects. But we’ll also alert you to animals on the move.

Mansfield Update: Hatch-years Predominate

Mansfield Update: Hatch-years Predominate

VCE’s penultimate summer banding session featured relatively few birds, some very warm and humid weather, a preponderance of youthful banders, and several family members.

Outdoor Radio: Grassland Ambassadors Help Globetrotting Bobolinks Successfully Nest

Outdoor Radio: Grassland Ambassadors Help Globetrotting Bobolinks Successfully Nest

In this month’s episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join VCE ornithologist Dr. Roz Renfrew on a visit to a farm in South Woodstock where Bobolinks and other grassland birds successfully breed each summer.

2018 Peregrine Falcon Nesting Season Complete

2018 Peregrine Falcon Nesting Season Complete

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recently announced that Peregrine Falcon nesting season has ended, so hikers and rock climbers can return to Vermont cliffs starting August 1, 2018.

Mansfield Update: the Ridgeline Quiets, Planets Shine

Mansfield Update: the Ridgeline Quiets, Planets Shine

VCE’s mid-July banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured diminished bird song, but a surprise Tennessee Warbler and spectacular planetary viewing.

Join Us During National Moth Week – July 21-29

Join Us During National Moth Week – July 21-29

National Moth Week celebrates the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths. “Moth-ers” of all ages and abilities are encouraged to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods.

Weathering Whitcomb for Mountain Birdwatch

Weathering Whitcomb for Mountain Birdwatch

Tara Rodkey, VCE’s 2018 Alexander Dickey Conservation Intern, shares her reflections on a particular Mountain Birdwatch site on a mid-summer’s day (and night).

Mansfield Update: Kids (Avian and Human) Steal the Show

Mansfield Update: Kids (Avian and Human) Steal the Show

VCE’s sixth banding session of 2018 on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline featured several free-flying juvenile birds in our nets and some enthusiastically engaged youth in our work .

June 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

June 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to shawneevt for winning the June 2018 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month. The image of a Northern Saw-whet Owl in a nest cavity was the most popular photo-observation.

A Field Guide to July 2018

A Field Guide to July 2018

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.

Field Update: Mountain Birdwatch

Field Update: Mountain Birdwatch

Jason Hill sheds light on the status of Mountain Birdwatch 2018.
Prepare to be impressed.