VCE Blog

2019: Norwich Year of the Bird

2019: Norwich Year of the Bird

Norwich 2019 Year of the Bird is underway. This is an informal (but serious) challenge to birders to explore the avian diversity of Norwich, get outdoors, share the thrill of discovery, and learn. The collective goal is to document 175 species within the town’s borders during 2019. A special web page will allow everyone to keep track and share their sightings through Vermont eBird. Grab your binoculars and join the quest!

The 2018 Vermont eBird County Quest Awards

The 2018 Vermont eBird County Quest Awards

From a tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl in Ripton on January 1st to a Snowy Owl on the Burlington Waterfront on New Year’s Eve, Vermont birders scoured fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to discover as many bird species as possible during the 8th annual Vermont eBird County Quest.

Move over Monarchs: VCE and Colleagues Reveal Astonishing Dragonfly Migration

Move over Monarchs: VCE and Colleagues Reveal Astonishing Dragonfly Migration

A recent study examines the chemistry locked in dragonfly wings to uncover the surprising annual migration of the Common Green Darner.

Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Builds Biodiversity Big Data in 2018

Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Builds Biodiversity Big Data in 2018

In 2018 almost 2,400 naturalists contributed nearly 72,000 observations representing more than 3,100 species verified. Over 1,940 naturalists helped to identify and verify data.

December 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

December 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the December 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a Barred Owl with a rodent in its bill was the most popular photo-observation.

Field Guide to January 2019

Field Guide to January 2019

Although the days are slowly growing longer, life in the Northeast now finds itself in the coldest depths of winter. Here’s a few tidbits of natural history happening outdoors this month around you.

Outdoor Radio: Pine Grosbeak Irruption

Outdoor Radio: Pine Grosbeak Irruption

In this episode of Outdoor Radio, join us as we chase after Pine Grosbeaks and learn about winter finch irruptions.

VCE Presents the 2018 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award

VCE Presents the 2018 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award

For her many contributions to advancing wildlife conservation as a volunteer citizen scientist, the staff and board of VCE are proud to present Elinor with the 2018 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award.

VCE Staff Picks 2018: Books for Nature Nerds

VCE Staff Picks 2018: Books for Nature Nerds

Still unsure what to get your nerdy loved ones this holiday season? Looking for a good book yourself and don’t…

Study Reveals Striking Decline of Vermont’s Bumble Bees

Study Reveals Striking Decline of Vermont’s Bumble Bees

A new study examining 100 years of bumble bee records reveals that almost half of Vermont’s species, which are vital pollinators, have either vanished or are in serious decline.

The Secret to Better Berries? Wild Bees

The Secret to Better Berries? Wild Bees

Want bigger, faster-growing blueberries? New research shows wild bees are an essential secret ingredient in larger and better blueberry yields – producing plumper, faster-ripening berries.

Where are the Whip-poor-wills? 2018 Field Season Update

Where are the Whip-poor-wills? 2018 Field Season Update

For more than a decade, VCE has led a project that takes place while most folks are fast asleep. Learn about our 2018 Whip-poor-will Project survey results, and find out how you can get involved!

November 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

November 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to vtjohn for winning the November 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker was the most popular photo-observation.

Vernal Pools Through the Year

Vernal Pools Through the Year

Picture a vernal pool in your mind’s eye and you’re instantly swept away to springtime. But here at VCE, our vernal pool research spans all seasons. Alex Wells, our VPMon Coordinator, provides this latest update on off-season vernal pool monitoring activities.

A Field Guide to December 2018

A Field Guide to December 2018

Fear not, during these short days and long nights of December, there’s still plenty of life in the fading light. So here’s some wintry natural history to keep you going.

Join the 119th Annual Christmas Bird Count in Vermont

Join the 119th Annual Christmas Bird Count in Vermont

The 119th Christmas Bird Count will take place from December 14  through January 5. This is perhaps the longest running citizen science project in Vermont. Find a count near you this season!

In Haiti, Mass Extinction Underway as Deforestation Nearly Complete

In Haiti, Mass Extinction Underway as Deforestation Nearly Complete

A recent study reveals an unprecedented biodiversity crisis in Haiti. At current rates of deforestation in this overpopulated country, all of its original primary forests—and the majority of species that inhabit them—will vanish within 20 years.

October 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

October 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Joanne Russo for winning the October 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month, a beautiful Eastern Milksnake.

Field Guide to November 2018

Field Guide to November 2018

As leaves continue to fall and the first flakes begin to fly, the oncoming cold weather seems to bring nature to a standstill. On the contrary, there remains a lot to be discovered in Vermont during this transitional period.

Outdoor Radio: Taking Pictures of Roadkill Can Help Protect Wildlife

Outdoor Radio: Taking Pictures of Roadkill Can Help Protect Wildlife

There’s a story behind roadkill and people like you can help tell it. Thousands of accidents every year are caused…

Give Your 2018 Philanthropy the Vermont Habitat Stamp of Approval

Give Your 2018 Philanthropy the Vermont Habitat Stamp of Approval

Have you purchased your 2018 Vermont Habitat Stamp yet? The Stamp is a great way to support wildlife and public land conservation (and it’s a cool bumper sticker, too!).

Loon Chicks on Caspian Lake: Flying, Feeding, and Finding A Friend

Loon Chicks on Caspian Lake: Flying, Feeding, and Finding A Friend

As the coordinator of the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, VCE’s Eric Hanson receives a good number and variety of stories from volunteer loon watchers. This month he shares VLCP volunteer Nina Sharp’s observations of loon chicks on Caspian Lake. It’s a good read!

Fox Sparrows: A Boreal Bird on the Move

Fox Sparrows: A Boreal Bird on the Move

Fox Sparrows are well known as an early spring and late fall migrant through New England. Recently, though, they have been present in relatively large numbers during the summer in western Maine and northern New Hampshire. An analysis of historical data suggests that the breeding range of Fox Sparrows has expanded southward by several hundred miles over the past 3 decades, and that they are now a regular breeding species in parts of New England.

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.