• VCE Blog

    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.

    Nathaniel Sharp, VCE Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist

    Nathaniel Sharp, VCE Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist

    Get to know VCE’s new Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist, ECO Americorps member Nathaniel Sharp!

    Field Update: Loon Wins and Losses

    Field Update: Loon Wins and Losses

    Every year, some of our returning loons get themselves into “hot water,” so to speak. Eric Hanson, VCE’s loon biologist, gives us his mid-season good news/bad news update here.

    Three VCE Biologists Appointed as Adjunct Faculty at UVM

    Three VCE Biologists Appointed as Adjunct Faculty at UVM

    We are pleased to announce that three VCE biologists have been appointed as adjunct faculty in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

    Field Guide to September 2018

    Field Guide to September 2018

    It’s autumn and life all around us is on the move. Here is your field guide to some amazing migrations happening right around us, and a few other natural history tidbits for September.

    August 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

    August 2018 Photo-observation of the Month

    Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the August 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The images of a Pileated Woodpecker feeding recently fledged young was the most popular photo-observation.