VCE Wraps 32 Years on Mansfield with a Flourish
It’s impossible to keep VCE biologists away from Mt. Mansfield’s ridgeline, even after 32 years. Following a summer of record wet weather, VCE’s annual fall pilgrimage to the mountain yielded 183 mist net captures, including a fat-encased female Blackpoll Warbler about to undertake her 5th nonstop transoceanic fall migration to northern South America.
Mansfield’s Ridgeline Lures VCE Back for Season #32
One could argue that after 31 years of studying Mt. Mansfield’s ridgeline breeding birds, the time has come to seek new horizons. Well, sorry, that’s just not the VCE way. We launched season #32 on May 31, taking advantage of unseasonably summerlike weather to capture a total of 58 birds.
Further Adventures in the D.R.: On the Trailless Trail of the Bicknell’s Thrush
Part two of our DR trip brought us north to Reserva Privada Zorzal. This one-of-its-kind preserve hosts an entirely different assemblage of species and provided our crew with opportunities to attach a few more GPS tags.
A Soggy Wrap to VCE’s 2022 Mansfield Season
VCE’s final Mt. Mansfield banding session of 2022 may have been a wash-out, but we captured a fat-encased Blackpoll Warbler ready for its astounding transoceanic southward flight, and we reflected on a highly successful season overall, with 17 GPS tags recovered from Bicknell’s Thrush.
VCE Mansfield Summer Season Wraps Up Quietly
VCE’s final Mt. Mansfield field session of summer 2022 featured a paucity of mist net captures, several heavily molting adult birds, and a welcome chance to mentor the next generation of bird banders.
Non-Locals Surprise Banders on Mansfield as VCE Winds Down Season #31
The Mansfield ridgeline may be a far quieter place than it was a month ago, but there is never a shortage of avian surprises to be found. As VCE wraps up its 31st consecutive field season on the mountain, our mist nets produced more than one unexpected capture.
VCE’s Bicknell’s Thrush Work Recognized with Prestigious Award
VCE’s 30+ years of Bicknell’s Thrush work was recently recognized by the Wilson Ornithological Society, which awarded us the prestigious Margaret Morse Nice Medal at its annual meeting in Santa Fe, NM. Nice’s pioneering studies of Song Sparrows in her Ohio backyard during the 1930s set the benchmark for “longitudinal” avian population research, an approach VCE has embodied through our hemispheric work on Bicknell’s Thrush.
Biologists and Bicknell’s Both Tote Backpacks on Mansfield
The VCE banding crew donned backpacks on July 6 for its ascent up Mt. Mansfield, following the toll road’s closure from a heavy rain wash-out. We gained a new appreciation for backpack-toting Bicknell’s Thrushes, and we recaptured a third GPS-tagged female, our 17th tag recovery overall. Two mist-netted Northern Saw-whet Owls were crowd pleasers.
Tags Keep Coming on Mansfield, and from Quebec
VCE’s ground-breaking study of GPS-tagged Bicknell’s Thrush yielded more exciting results on 14-15 June, with the recovery of an additional 5 backpacks from Mt. Mansfield, and the addition of 3 tags retrieved in Quebec.
Backpacking Thrushes Return to Mansfield
VCE’s first Mansfield banding session of 2022 exceeded all expectations, as we recovered 5 of 36 GPS tags that we affixed to adult Bicknell’s Thrush last summer. Preliminary data from these birds–all males–show that 4 individuals overwintered in the Dominican Republic, 1 on Cuba, and that 3 birds undertook early spring movements of 25-185 km prior to northward migration.