• VCE Blog

    New Report Uses Big Data to Establish Vermont Biodiversity Baseline

    New Report Uses Big Data to Establish Vermont Biodiversity Baseline

    By 2100, Vermont is estimated to experience a net loss of 386 species (or 6%), under the current carbon emission scenario. This comes among several key findings outlined in a new report from VCE. It marks the 10th Anniversary of the Vermont Atlas of Life, an ambitious project that harnesses the power of community science and professional biologists to discover, document, and map Vermont’s biodiversity.

    Field Guide to June 2023

    Field Guide to June 2023

    Here in Vermont, we dream of June during the darkest days of January. Verdant wooded hillsides glowing brightly under a robin egg sky. Warm afternoon breezes rolling through the valleys as we lounge by the clear waters of a cold river. The chorus of birds waking us each morning. June is a dream here. Its days last forever.

    Mansfield's Ridgeline Lures VCE Back for Season #32

    Mansfield’s Ridgeline Lures VCE Back for Season #32

    One could argue that after 31 years of studying Mt. Mansfield’s ridgeline breeding birds, the time has come to seek new horizons. Well, sorry, that’s just not the VCE way. We launched season #32 on May 31, taking advantage of unseasonably summerlike weather to capture a total of 58 birds.

    May 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    May 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Bernie Paquette (aka bugeyedbernie) for winning the May 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of an unusual insect pair received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

    After Two Decades of Searching, Biologist Discovers Rare Butterfly in Vermont

    After Two Decades of Searching, Biologist Discovers Rare Butterfly in Vermont

    A rare and elusive butterfly has been discovered for the first time in Vermont, flying this spring at one of the state’s protected natural areas. Bog elfin, patterned in brown and rust, and no bigger than a penny, had eluded detection in the state until one flew past a Vermont field biologist who had been searching for it for two decades.

    Global Launch of eButterfly

    Global Launch of eButterfly

    The Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Espace pour la vie in Montréal, and the University of Ottawa are proud to announce…

    Field Guide to May 2023

    Field Guide to May 2023

    The month of May is a show-off. Grass glows green under the deep blue sky. Woodland wildflowers jump out of the ground. Trees flower, and leaves burst from long-dormant buds. Birds arrive on southern night winds and liven the dawn with their chorus. May shouts of life and rejuvenation. Here’s your monthly guide to some of this month’s delights.

    April 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    April 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to iNaturalist user linxlookin for winning the April 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photo of a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, a Vermont rarity, received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

    Gardening for Bees

    Gardening for Bees

    A guide this spring, for the do’s and don’ts of backyard gardening if you want to attract native bees.

    Field Guide to April 2023

    Field Guide to April 2023

    In April, the northern forest is laid bare with cold desire, and our long-dormant senses awaken. Here’s our guide to some of the joys this month brings.

    March 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    March 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the March 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of copulating Red-shouldered Hawks received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

    Join the Second Vermont Butterfly Atlas

    Join the Second Vermont Butterfly Atlas

    Vermonters now have another excuse to get outside on sunny days: to join a statewide survey of the most angelic insects—butterflies. VCE is recruiting volunteers to help search fields and fens, mountains and meadows, and even their own backyards to help document the status of Vermont’s butterflies.

    February 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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'

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.