Nighthawks Light up Late Summer Evening Skies: an October Reminiscence
The annual southward passage of Common Nighthawks is a spectacle not be missed. Despite the species’ declining numbers across North America, impressive late summer concentrations still occur—Westminster Station on the Connecticut River is far and away Vermont’s most noteworthy site. The 2021 flight proved to be the best on record.
A New Tool for Exploring Vermont Birding Hotspots
A few years ago on a long family drive, I remember stopping at a small rest area off an Ohio highway and submitting a quick eBird checklist of the House Sparrows and European Starlings around the parking lot and the Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures soaring above the Interstate.
Kinglets Rain on Mansfield Ridgeline as VCE Wraps Season #30
Tiny feathered gems–Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets–filled VCE’s mist nets and ushered in the autumnal equinox on Mt. Mansfield to conclude our 30th field season on the ridgeline. Among 222 birds captured and banded over 3 days, kinglets accounted for 101, but they weren’t the only notable migrants we encountered.
A Record Year for Loon Nesting in Vermont
This year proved a highly successful one for Vermont’s breeding loons—a record, in fact! However, every loon breeding season is more than just numbers. It’s also about the stories of difficult moments and the experiences of our hardworking volunteers who make everything we accomplish possible.
Non-locals Light Up VCE Nets on Mansfield
VCE’s final summer banding session on Mt. Mansfield featured a striking–and puzzling–absence of locally-breeding birds but a strong showing by non-local warblers and our first-ever Northern Flicker.
(At Least It’s Not) All Quiet on the Western Front: Eluded by Whip-poor-wills in Windham County
Despite numerous survey locations and some new robotic helpers, this year’s Windham County whip-poor-will survey team had a quiet season. However, historic hotspots in other regions of Vermont reported their usual noisy numbers of this nocturnal species.
A Deluge of Juncos and a Surprise Boreal Visitor on Mansfield
Week 7 of VCE’s 2021 banding season on Mt. Mansfield featured a plethora of juvenile juncos and an unexpected, dapper male Bay-breasted Warbler.
Seasonal Changes Emerging on Mt. Mansfield
Free-flying juveniles. Molting adults. Regressing brood patches. Subdued, sporadic song. Seasonal changes that signal summer’s inevitable transition were in evidence during VCE’s Week 6 banding session on Mt. Mansfield.
A Bicknell’s Thrush Storm on Mansfield
Mansfield’s breeding birds proved far hardier than the ornithologists studying them during VCE’s Week 4 banding session on Mt. Mansfield. Despite challenging weather, mist captures were solid, and Bicknell’s Thrushes dominated, with a single-visit record of 17 individuals.
Mansfield Ridgeline Quiet During VCE Week 3 Visit
VCE’s third banding session of 2021 on Mt. Mansfield was quieter than normal for mid-June, but featured a veteran female Bicknell’s Thrush (possibly the oldest on record) and a feisty Sharp-shinned Hawk.