Mountain Bird Watch: A Real White Mountain Adventure!
After four weeks (for me) and 11 survey routes later, the Mountain Bird watch (MBW) season has come to an end, but of course not without a few great stories and moments up in the mountains!
Vermont Breeding Loon Population Rises Again
Just when we anticipate that the Common Loon population breeding in Vermont will remain steady, the loons find even more places to nest. Six new nesting pairs and the first nest for Chittenden County have been documented this year.
June 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Susan Elliott for winning the June 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of a White-tailed Deer fawn was the most…
A Field Guide to July
The spring birding seasons is winding down. But as the dawn bird chorus now fades from our northern woodlands, fields and wetlands erupt in the sparkle and drama of summer insects. Here’s a short guide to some of the other glitter on the wing this month.
A Flower Trap
With its foot stuck in a milkweed flower like a Chinese finger trap, the European Skipper was struggling to free…
A Water Lily’s World
At the height of summer many ponds are covered in lily pads. Moose munch on them. Beaver and muskrat devour them. Deer consider them delicious. But peer a little closer and you’ll find an amazing miniature world inhabiting each floating leaf.
iNaturalist Vermont Flies Past 100,000 Observations
With a tap on his smartphone and a click to submit to iNaturalist Vermont, Charlie Hohn added the 100,000th record on Friday, a beautiful Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid.
We found 22 fern species during an iNaturalist Vermont walk with interns and citizen naturalists on a two-hour tour of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Led by VCE’s Kent McFarland and Park ecologist, Kyle Jones, the group was able to document 17 of those with photos in iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life.
A Ghost in the Making Released Online
A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, an enchanting short film about the disappearance of the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee and one man’s journey to find out what’s happened to it, is now available to watch online.
Vermont iNaturalist Discovers a New Population of a Rare Dragonfly
As a novice photographer, James Welch enjoys documenting the biodiversity he sees around his home turf. With his camera in hand while walking his dog last week, Welch stumbled upon a rare find.
Mansfield Update: Hardy Survivors and a Site-faithful Sharpie
After forced cancellation of a planned field trip to Mt. Mansfield in early June, when wind chills on the ridgeline plummeted to 14 degrees F, VCE returned on June 15-16. The avian chorus was subdued, but the hardiness of resident birds was evident. A male Sharp-shinned Hawk banded in 2013 was a surprise returnee in our nets.
A loon and eagle having a showdown
I was literally in the middle of a stand-off between two showy birds.
Reports of color-banded birds are rolling in!
Reports of color-banded Gray Catbirds and Song Sparrows are now showing up regularly on eBird checklists from the Buzzell Bridge Road and Mystery Trail areas of Union Village Dam thanks to keen observers like Mary Waugh, Jenn Megyesi, and Kathy Thompson.
Looking for WHIPs in all the Wrong Places
Monday, May 30th marked the close of stage 1 of VCE’s 2016 Eastern Whip-poor-will (WHIP) surveys for team Sara/h (Sara Zahendra and Sarah Carline). This session was a far cry from West Haven.
Across the Kingdom, VCE Birdathon a Boreal Success
The Green Mountain Goatsuckers mixed it up this spring, opting for a new approach and venue. We migrated to Vermont’s fabled birding mecca – the Northeast Kingdom, and we made a key strategic move by enlisting the Kingdom’s foremost birding guru, Tom Berriman, as our local guide.
A Field Guide to June 2016
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, and here are some of its natural history wonders.
Male Loons Can Make Poor Choices
Last week, the loon pair on Metcalf Pond nested on summer cottage beach. Bad move. After 3 or 4 days of incubation, the eggs disappeared and the loons gave up even before the landowners came for Memorial Day weekend. Learn why this might have happened and an update on nesting loons this year.
Help Find Colorful Bird Bracelets
Identifying individual birds and tracking their fate over time offers insight into important details of a bird’s life: how long it lives, where it moves during the year, and how many offspring it rears. VCE’s newest citizen-science project is testing whether birders can help carry out this kind of important – but difficult – field work.
The ‘Price is Right’ Bird Delivers
For VCE biologist Jason Hill, unveiling the secrets this bird holds is more exciting than a new car or a vacation in Hawaii. This summer Jason and his crews are logging many miles on foot at six Department of Defense installations across the country to recapture Grasshopper Sparrows with valuable data on their backs.
Counting Birds: When Zeros Equal One or More
We’ve all been there. A friend visits from out of town, and you take them birding at a reliable spot for your locally uncommon bird—say, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. After hours of listening and walking around the woods, your search turns up empty. “I don’t get it,” you apologetically exclaim to your friend, “they are usually here—I just saw one yesterday.”
May 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the May 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. The image of a Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris) was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
Outdoor Radio: The Future Of Vermont’s Lake Sturgeon
In this edition of Outdoor Radio, VCE biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join Chet MacKenzie from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to learn how biologists are trying help Lake Sturgeon thrive once again.
Color-banded birds at Union Village Dam
Our newest citizen-science initiative has officially started! This summer, VCE is asking citizen scientists to observe (and report upon) color-banded populations of Song Sparrows and Gray Catbirds at two locations in Central Vermont. This week at Thetford’s Union Village Dam Recreation Area, we marked and released several Song Sparrows, and we are eagerly awaiting the first re-sightings of these birds.
Vermont Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrine Falcons
Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a spring day, but you should check to see if the area you’re planning to hike or climb is open. Several cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons.
Keep an Eye Out for Turtles
It’s springtime and Vermont’s turtles on are on the move. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe and report your sightings.
A New Opportunity for Citizen Scientists: Resighting Color-banded Birds
Want to be a field ornithologist? Here’s your chance. We invite all citizen scientists, regardless of their ability or birding experience, to participate in this collaborative endeavor.
April 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Erika Mitchell for winning the April 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest.
A Field Guide to May 2016
The month of May is a show-off. Woodland wildflowers jump out of the ground and demand attention. Trees flower and leaves burst from long-dormant buds. Birds arrive on southern night winds and liven the dawn with a chorus of song. May shouts of life and rejuvenation.
Pacific Loon Spotted on Lake Dunmore
Pacific Loon sighted on Lake Dunmore this week by Mike Korkuc, our 2015 awardee of the Julie Nicholson Citizen Science Award.
Lifting the Curtain on Grassland Bird Migration
Grassland bird migration is a mystery that VCE is helping to unlock, thanks to the use of cutting edge technology….