2019 Norwich Bird Quest Racks up 177 Species
Birders rose to the challenge in 2019, as the inaugural Norwich Bird Quest eclipsed its goal of 175 species found within town borders in a single year. Over 1,300 eBird checklists by 17 birders generated an impressive total of 177 species, with numerous surprises. The 2020 Quest is now underway, with even more ambitious goals!
Of Birds and Buckets: Nocturnal Flight Call Recordings Shine A Light on Migration Timing
Most of our knowledge regarding the migration timing of songbirds comes from birding observations made during the day, even though much of the actual migration occurs at night. Is this a problem? As it turns out, it might be.
Volunteers Help the Vermont Atlas of Life Build Biodiversity Big Data in 2019
From the first observation of 2019, a Barred Owl sitting on a deck, to a Christmas Fern laying on snow on the last day of the year, naturalists added over 100,000 biodiversity records to our rapidly growing database of life in Vermont.
Field Guide to January 2020
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 in order to make it to spring. Here’s a few tidbits of natural history happening outdoors this month around you.
December 2019 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the December 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month.
Outdoor Radio: Wingless Winter Moths
In this episode of Outdoor Radio, Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are hiking back and forth on a hillside, waiting for the morning sun to warm the forest so they can spot the last moth of the year.
A Lifetime of Birding Passion and Service: Sue Wetmore Receives VCE’s 2019 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award
For her more than four decades as a citizen scientist, naturalist-teacher, and conservation advocate, the staff and board of VCE are proud to present Sue with the 2019 Julie Nicholson Citizen Scientist Award.
Vermont Wild Bee Survey Records Over 9,000 Bees in 2019
The Vermont Wild Bee Survey reached a milestone when it processed the 7,680th and final bee specimen from our 2019 survey. In just one year, this citizen science effort has amassed the largest collection of bees ever assembled in Vermont.
Gifts for the Conservation-minded Person Who Has Everything
“Honestly, I really don’t need anything.”
We all have them. People in our lives who are impossible to shop for, because they have everything they need. The holidays are stressful enough without the added burden of having to think outside the box (and quickly) to make sure you have something for everyone. We at VCE would like to help you out this season by providing some creative, conservation-themed solutions to your gift-giving dilemmas!
Shining A Light on VCE’s Citizen Scientists
Last spring, VCE surveyed our army of citizen scientists to learn more about them and how participation in our programs has impacted their lives. Read on to find out what insights we gained!
Fir Mast and Winter Weather Drives Survival in a Montane Forest Bird Species
Recently published VCE paper describes unexpected findings in the quest to understand how environmental processes shape the population dynamics of Bicknell’s Thrush throughout their annual cycle.
Field Guide to December 2019
Even 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 11:19 PM on December 21st, more light will begin to creep back. Until then, here’s some wintry natural history to keep you going.
November 2019 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the November 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a ‘eastern or red’ Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca iliaca) in Waterbury, Vermont garnered the most votes.
A Lifetime of Beetles
A lifetime of work on the ground beetles of Vermont and New Hampshire, Carabidae of Vermont and New Hampshire by Ross T. Bell, Professor Emeritus of the University of Vermont with species maps produced by the Vermont Atlas of Life at VCE, is now available as a PDF.
Team Pipit’s Extraordinary Birding Feat: 150 species in all 14 Vermont Counties
Fred (Pat) Pratt of Team Pipit completed an extraordinary birding feat on November 25, notching his 150th species of 2019 in Bennington County, with a pair of Northern Shovelers. This discovery earned Pat the 14th Star Award, as the first birder ever to record 150 species in all 14 Vermont counties during a single calendar year. Congratulations to Team Pipit for a truly inspiring accomplishment!
Celebrating Birder Broker’s Successful First Year
Birder Broker helps landowners develop a deeper understanding of their property and gives birders the chance to explore a new patch of land. It’s a win-win! As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the program’s successful pilot year and look ahead to the future.
Chocolate: It’s for the Birds
Help us spread the word about an exciting initiative to conserve Bicknell’s Thrush wintering habitat. And eat more cacao. It’s good for you and the birds!
New VCE Study Reveals Surprising Upland Sandpiper Migration Patterns
VCE’s recent paper describes surprising new information about migratory patterns of Upland Sandpipers.
October 2019 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the October 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of Barred Owl feeding on a snake along the Burlington bike path garnered the most votes.
Outdoor Radio: Hunting for Tiny But Ferocious Tiger Beetles
In this episode of Outdoor Radio, we join Mark Ferguson of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department along the Winooski River searching for tiger beetles and their larva holes.
Field Guide to November 2019
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.
Asian Tiger Mosquito Found in Vermont
State Agriculture and Health officials announced that the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been identified for the first time in Vermont. This normally tropical/subtropical species is a known disease vector for Zika, chikungunya and dengue viruses, infecting humans in countries where these diseases are present. The mosquitoes found in Vermont do not currently carry these viruses.
iNaturalists Discover More New Moths for Vermont
Over 1,475 biologists and naturalists have contributed more than 51,000 moth photo-observations to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Together, we’ve discovered over 100 new species for Vermont, and iNaturalists have done it again. two species new to Vermont were discovered and one species that was only known from a historical record was rediscovered.
Mercury in the Mountains: VCE Research Yields More Questions than Answers
VCE’s recently published paper from our long-term research on mercury accumulation in montane forest birds describes unexpected results.
Fly Species New for Vermont Discovered by iNaturalist
You don’t have to go far to help the Vermont Atlas of Life discover species new to Vermont. You just have to be observant. A random fly entering a car window turns out to be the first record for the species in Vermont.
Field Guide to October 2019
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.
VCE’s Wrap-up Mansfield Visit Fuels Optimism
VCE’s wrap-up Mansfield banding session rekindled spirits and refueled optimism amidst recent sobering news about avian population declines. After a summer of relative scarcity on our ridgeline study site, we captured 82 birds. We now wish safe passage for the many migrants we all share and cherish.
September 2019 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the September 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of jousting Great Egrets in flight garnered the most votes.
Tallying Vermont Moths One Image at a Time
There’s a new collection project that automatically gathers and presents all of Vermont moth data from iNaturalist in one easy place – Vermont Moths on iNaturalist. If you put a moth record in the Vermont Atlas of Life project on iNaturalist, or anywhere in iNaturalist – Vermont Moths will tally it.
Introduced Jumping Spider Spotted in Vermont for First Time
On June 10th Jasper Barnes, a wildlife biology student at the University of Vermont, snapped a photo of a tiny…