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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Get to know VCE’s new Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist, ECO Americorps member Nathaniel Sharp!
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
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
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
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.
Outdoor Radio: Endangered Freshwater Mussels
In this month’s episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra join Mark Ferguson from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department along the river in downtown Winooski to search for freshwater mussels and learn about their natural history and conservation plight.
Mansfield Reflection: A Bird in the Hand Instills a Conservation Ethic
Alex Kulungian’s summerlong VCE internship gained him a wealth of experience and insight, including how vital it is that we expose and inspire our youth to take action on behalf of the natural world. An encounter as simple as releasing a banded bird on Mt. Mansfield can be the trigger for a lifetime commitment to conservation.
Mission Monarch Nearly Nixed by Missing Milkweed
What had been promised as an easy venture turned into something of a quest.
When a Bluet Isn’t Blue: Vermont’s “Newest” Damselfly
Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a new damselfly. Here’s a tale about a bluet that’s defies the “blue” in its name. It becomes Vermont’s 45th known damselfly species.
Mansfield Wrap: Molt, Migration, and a Crowd-Pleasing Owl
VCE’s final 2018 summer banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured a much-anticipated tiny owl, songbirds in heavy flight feather molt, and thoughts about the impending fall migration that will take Bicknell’s Thrush (and VCE biologists) back to Cuba.
Vermont Naturalists Find Over 370 Species During National Moth Week
Volunteer naturalists from across Vermont uploaded over 1,200 images of moths comprising more than 370 species during National Moth Week. Moth watchers here in Vermont have added nearly 100 new species to the Vermont checklist via the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and have documented 1,248 species across the state so far.
July 2018 Photo-observation of the Month
Congratulations to Shirley Zundell for winning the July 2018 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month. The image of an adult Peregrine Falcon in its eyrie with two chicks was the most popular photo-observation.
Field Guide to August 2018
We’ve still got plenty of summer here in Vermont and points north. So in this edition of VCE’s monthly field guide to nature, we’ll celebrate a few audacious summer insects. But we’ll also alert you to animals on the move.