• VCE Blog

    Mansfield One-month Update—Where Are All the Birds??

    Mansfield One-month Update—Where Are All the Birds??

    One month in to VCE’s 28th field season on Mt. Mansfield, bird populations are as low as they’ve ever been. We’ve netted only 43% of the numbers we had at this date a year ago. What is going on??

    VCE and Colleagues Quantify Effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico's Forest Birds

    VCE and Colleagues Quantify Effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico’s Forest Birds

    In September of 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria delivered a devastating one-two punch to Puerto Rico, causing massive defoliation of the island’s forests. While the detrimental effects of these storms on human populations were well-documented, little was known about how the island’s bird populations were affected—until now.

    A Field Guide to July 2019

    A Field Guide to July 2019

    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 some of July’s lesser known natural history.

    Avian Surprises on the Mt. Mansfield Ridgeline

    Avian Surprises on the Mt. Mansfield Ridgeline

    VCE’s third visit of 2019 to the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline brought fine weather and some unusual avian encounters, including our first-ever mist net capture of a Mourning Warbler. Overall, activity continues to be low, with numbers of captures <50% of what they were a year ago, but it's far too early to push the proverbial panic button and declare "silent spring"!

    Outdoor Radio: Following Wood Turtles

    Outdoor Radio: Following Wood Turtles

    In this episode of Outdoor Radio, Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join Kiley Briggs and Melanie Lohrer from the Orianne Society, as they try to follow female Wood Turtles to their nesting sites so they can monitor their success.

    300,000 Observations and Counting!

    300,000 Observations and Counting!

    When Sean Beckett swung his net at a dragonfly yesterday in Peacham Bog, he made history. His observation was the 300,000th for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.

    VCE's 28th Mansfield Season Begins on a Quiet, Chilly Note

    VCE’s 28th Mansfield Season Begins on a Quiet, Chilly Note

    VCE’s 28th field season studying the breeding birds on Mt. Mansfield ridgeline is off to a quiet and chilly start. Vocal activity has been subdued and mist net captures low, but inevitable avian surprises have kept banders’ spirits high.

    VCE Paper Confirms Scarcity of Bicknell's Thrush on Puerto Rico

    VCE Paper Confirms Scarcity of Bicknell’s Thrush on Puerto Rico

    A recent peer-reviewed paper by VCE confirms that Bicknell’s Thrush is a rare and local but regular winter resident in mid-high elevation forest of Puerto Rico. VCE’s findings also highlight the strategic importance of continuing to focus habitat conservation efforts on Hispaniola, which supports the lion’s share of this globally vulnerable species in winter.

    VCE’s First-ever Biothon Collects Big Data for Biodiversity

    VCE’s First-ever Biothon Collects Big Data for Biodiversity

    Here’s your team-by-team recap of VCE’s first-ever Biothon event! Read on to find out where we went and what we saw…

    May 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    May 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Charlotte Bill for winning the May 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. Charlotte wrote that “…it had…

    Field Guide to June 2019

    Field Guide to June 2019

    Here in Vermont, we dream of June during the darkest winter days. It’s days last forever. Here’s just a few of the natural history wonders for the month.

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors - Part III

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors – Part III

    VCE biologist Rosalind Renfrew spent three weeks in Colombia with conservation partners Asociación Calidris for migratory grassland bird research and outreach. Read this final post of a three-part series about this incredible shared learning experience.

    Outdoor Radio: The Buzz in Your Backyard

    Outdoor Radio: The Buzz in Your Backyard

    We all recognize bumble bees buzzing about or honey bees foraging among flowers, but did you know there are more…

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors - Part II

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors – Part II

    VCE biologist Rosalind Renfrew spent three weeks in Colombia with conservation partners Asociación Calidris for migratory grassland bird research and outreach. Read part two of a three-part series about this incredible shared learning experience.

    Live Updates: Tracking Upland Sandpiper Trans-hemispheric Migration

    Live Updates: Tracking Upland Sandpiper Trans-hemispheric Migration

    Follow Konza the Upland Sandpiper on her migration journey! We will post updated maps every few days to show where Konza travels, stops, and overwinters. Where will she go next?

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors

    From New England to Colombia, Migratory Species Rely on Grassland Ambassadors

    VCE biologist Rosalind Renfrew spent three weeks in Colombia with conservation partners Asociación Calidris for migratory grassland bird research and outreach. Read part one of a three-part series about this incredible shared learning experience.

    Field Guide to May 2019

    Field Guide to May 2019

    The month of May is a show-off. Woodland wildflowers break out of the ground. Trees flower and leaves burst. Birds arrive on southern winds with song. May shouts of life and rejuvenation. Here’s a few bits of natural history for your May days.

    April 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    April 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Ashley Bray for winning the April 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of Wood Frog riding…

    Outdoor Radio: Visiting Stark's Winter Den

    Outdoor Radio: Visiting Stark’s Winter Den

    In this month’s episode of Outdoor Radio, Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join the team of biologists from Vermont Fish and Wildlife and the Green Mountain National Forest to visit the winter den of one male bear, nicknamed Stark, so that they can replace the GPS collar that tracks his movements.

    VCE Biologist Eric Hanson Wins GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award

    VCE Biologist Eric Hanson Wins GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award

    We are proud to announce that Eric Hanson, VCE’s loon biologist since 1998 and the guiding force behind recovery of Vermont’s formerly endangered common loon, was presented the 2019 Green Mountain Power (GMP) Zetterstrom Environmental Award on April 23rd!

    Get the Buzz on the New Vermont Wild Bee Survey

    Get the Buzz on the New Vermont Wild Bee Survey

    The Vermont Wild Bee Survey represents the first steps towards understanding the status and biogeography of these key elements of Vermont’s natural heritage. Learn more and consider joining in the effort!

    Outdoor Radio: Searching for the Elusive American Marten

    Outdoor Radio: Searching for the Elusive American Marten

    In this month’s episode of Outdoor Radio, we join three biologists that work with American Marten conservation and recovery as we travel by car, snowmobile, and snowshoes deep into the southern Green Mountains in search of this rare predator.

    My Fair Lady Beetle

    My Fair Lady Beetle

    Since at least the 1980s, native Lady Beetles that were once very common across the Northeast have become rare or have even gone missing. Learn more about Vermont lady beetles and help us find them.

    March 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    March 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the March 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a male Northern Cardinal attacking his own reflection garnered the most votes.

    A Field Guide to April 2019

    A Field Guide to April 2019

    In April the northern forest is laid bare with cold desire. Sight, sounds, and smell – April leaves none of our senses void. Here’s our guide to some of the joys of April.

    Red-winged Blackbirds Signal the Arrival of Spring

    Red-winged Blackbirds Signal the Arrival of Spring

    Perhaps the best sign of spring here in Vermont is the return of Red-winged Blackbirds. They may also be a harbinger of long term change too.

    A Field Guide to March 2019

    A Field Guide to March 2019

    On Wednesday, March 20th at 5:58 PM EST, spring arrives in the north. While the sun may be predictable, March weather is not. March is a month of battles between warm and cold, between winter’s refusal to leave and spring’s insistence on coming. So here’s some signs of spring in this Field Guide to March.

    February 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    February 2019 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to for winning the February 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The images of Sharp-shinned Hawk preening in a mulberry tree and then staring into the camera lens garnered the most accolades.

    Just Released: VCE and Colleagues Publish a Groundbreaking Study of Avian Nesting Success on Hispaniola

    Just Released: VCE and Colleagues Publish a Groundbreaking Study of Avian Nesting Success on Hispaniola

    VCE and colleagues recently published the first-ever assessment of nesting ecology and reproductive success of resident birds across Sierra de Bahoruco in the Dominican Republic – including two rare endemic species whose nests had never before been described to science.

    VCE Breaks New Ground (Literally) in Cuba

    VCE Breaks New Ground (Literally) in Cuba

    VCE’s 2019 field expedition to Cuba’s remote Bayamesa mountain range pioneered new ground, endured a few hardships, uncovered small numbers of overwintering Bicknell’s Thrush, and yielded comparisons with legendary Swedish botanical explorer Erik Ekman a century earlier.