Field Guide to December 2020
December is off to a gentle start this year; the annual blanket of snow and ice has yet to drape across the land. Cozy up with our Field Guide and a warm cup of tea to learn how species from birds to bats and mice to moose face the coming cold-weather challenges.
November 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the November 2020 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on…
October 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulation to Pete Kerby-Miller for winning the October 2020 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on…
Outdoor Radio: Hunting for Invasive Jumping Worms
Jumping worms, AKA crazy worms, jumpers or snake worms, are invasive earthworms recently found in Vermont and threaten forest health. Join Outdoor Radio as they search the forest floor looking for invasive species of worms.
Field Guide to November 2020
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. Learn more in our Field Guide to November.
A Misplaced Avian Visitor from the West
Most birders (present company definitely included) are shameless thrill-seekers; nothing electrifies us like the unexpected appearance of a rarity. To…
Field Guide to October 2020
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.
September 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Tom Norton for winning the September 2020 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.
A New Endeavor for the Vermont Loon Conservation Project: Necropsies
In the past, the Vermont Loon Conservation Project collected all reported dead loons to send to Tufts University to determine the causes of death. Now, we’re going to learn how to perform necropsies ourselves!
Mansfield Wrap-up: Bountiful Migrants and a Venerable Thrush
VCE’s 2020 wrap-up banding session on Mt. Mansfield may have been our most memorable. It yielded an impressive diversity of birds, including our first-ever Western Palm Warbler and a truly venerable 10 year-old Bicknell’s Thrush.
Loon Departure Times
Those lucky enough to still be spending time on their favorite Vermont lakes may have noticed the disappearance of their resident adult loons, even with chicks still around. When do loons take to the skies? Read on to find out.
Field Guide to September 2020
One morning, you wake to a nip in the air, and notice subtle changes in the quality of the light. Suddenly, it’s September. There’s a lot going on this time of year, if you know where to look. Here is your field guide to life on the move, and some natural history tidbits to discover this fall.
August 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the August 2020 Photo-observation of the Month! His image of a perched Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi) garnered the most votes.
A Mountain Birdwatch and Looning Adventure
VCE loon biologist, Eric Hanson, shares his annual Mountain Birdwatch / loon reconnaissance adventure along the Canadian border with Vermont and New Hampshire.
Mentoring an Eagle Scout for the Loon Project
This past year, Caleb Nye of Hinesburg conducted numerous activities to assist the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, and the loons on Lake Iroquois, in pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout.
In the Field with VCE’s Bird-friendly Maple Efficacy Study–Part II
Sam Blair, a UVM senior and seasonal field biologist working with Steve Faccio on VCE’s Bird-friendly Maple Efficacy Study, offers his reflections from the field in this second update.
July 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulation to Jo Ann Russo for winning the July 2020 Photo-observation of the Month. Perhaps the American Toad was looking for a moth meal, but instead it was a moth resting pad.
Mansfield Update: YBFLs, NSWOs, and FOYs
VCE’s penultimate 2020 summer banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured another diminutive owl, several first-of-year captures, and 2 new Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, bringing our seasonal total to 14 for this species, a station record.
Field Guide to August 2020
In this edition of VCE’s monthly field guide, we’ll celebrate a few audacious summer insects and 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.
Mansfield Update: Owls, Cones and Crossbills
VCE’s capture of two juvenile Northern Saw-whet Owls was the undisputed highlight of our week 7 banding session on Mt. Mansfield. This species’ occurrence in montane forests reflects a complex and fascinating ecological phenomenon related to cyclical production of balsam fir cones.
Mansfield Update: Returning Sharpies and Thrushes
With only three weeks before VCE’s 2020 banding season on Mt. Mansfield wraps up, free-flying juveniles, molting adults and wandering post-breeders were highlights, along with a 4+ year-old returning Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Mid-July Loon Update
It’s mid-July, height of “loon season,” and just a few days away from Vermont’s 38th annual LoonWatch Day on Saturday, July 18. VCE’s loon biologist, Eric Hanson, gives us an update from Vermont’s lakes and ponds (with photos you won’t want to miss).
Join the Vermont Moth Blitz During National Moth Week July 18-26
National Moth Week offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a citizen scientist and contribute information about moths. You can help map moth species distribution. Just find a moth, snap a photo, and add it to the Vermont Moth Blitz project on iNaturalist!
The Masked Banders of Mansfield
VCE’s 29th year of banding birds on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline now finds staff and visitors sporting masks, a concession to safety in the COVID era. Our enthusiasm remains undiminished.
Field Guide to July 2020
As the dawn bird chorus now fades from northern forests, summer erupts in the sparkle and drama of insects. Here’s a short guide to July’s natural history.
In the Field with VCE’s Bird-friendly Maple Efficacy Study
Here’s an update from the field (with amazing photos) from Sam Blair, a UVM senior and seasonal field biologist working with Steve Faccio on VCE’s Bird-friendly Maple Efficacy Study.
June 2020 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulation to Charlotte Bill for winning the June 2020 Photo-observation of the Month. Charlotte discovered the cocoon on April 28 and was fortunate enough to see the Cecropia Moth emerged on June 5th.
Sharpies, PUFI and Blackpolls: Week 3 on Mt. Mansfield
VCE’s third weekly banding session of 2020 on Mt. Mansfield featured a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a ‘PUFIgeddon’ of Purple Finches, several non-locally breeding warblers, and a resurgence in Blackpoll Warbler numbers. And, transport via ATVs appears to have been relegated to a memory.
Vermont Loon Conservation Project Off to A Successful Start
16 territories visited, 30 loons observed, eight nests confirmed – all in one day. It helps to know where the loon nests are located when visiting so many ponds. I even spotted two birds sitting on nests from my truck window.
VCE’s Action Plan for Diversity and Equality
We at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies value diversity, equity, and inclusion; we are committed to action and creating change, both within our organization and our broader sphere of influence.