In May, around the peak of spring migration, birdwatchers and naturalists across Vermont will set out with more determination (and coffee) than usual. It's Biothon time! In a one-day blitz, these folks will raise funds to support VCE's wildlife and habitat conservation projects.
We hope you’ll be one of them.
Please join us for Biothon on May 18, 2019.
As with past Birdathon fundraisers, during this year’s Biothon we’ll scour the landscape for species, enter our findings into Vermont eBird and the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist, and report back with species tallies found during our forays. But this year, instead of one VCE staff team birding together over 24 hours, our biologists will “divide and conquer” by leading teams of volunteers (like you!) on varying quests in different locations across the state.
Here’s how you can join in the fun (choose your own adventure)!
- Sponsor VCE’s Biothon teams with a contribution.
- Sign up for a VCE-led team and recruit donors! Simply fill in the registration form at the bottom of this page. Team leaders will be in touch with details about your outing after you register.
- Form your own Biothon team and recruit donors. We’ve got all the details here.
Collect at least $100 in pledges, and you’ll earn a VCE Biothon T-shirt!
In each case, you’ll be supporting VCE’s research and conservation work, which includes our groundbreaking Vermont Atlas of Life, monitoring of songbirds via Mountain Birdwatch, a study of mercury in vernal pool food webs, and pioneering full life-cycle studies of vulnerable grassland birds. Thank you!
VCE BIOLOGIST-LED TEAMS
All team outings will take place on May 18th. Please note that teams have participation limits due to logistics. We’ll send details about each outing and participant and sponsor forms after you’ve signed up.
Bird quest with Chris Rimmer [Limit: 12]
7-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. Chris will lead two birding forays in the Norwich area (we may stray outside town borders), concentrating at Connecticut River hotspots. Expect songbirds, waterfowl, migrant shorebirds, and an avian surprise or two. Anyone is welcome to bird all day or for either session.
Rupert (Merck Forest)/The Enumerating Eukaryotes:
Appreciate the under-appreciated with Jason Hill at Merck Forest & Farmland Center [Limit: 20]
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Merck Conservation Manager (birding guru, and former VCE Seasonal Biologist) Tim Duclos will accompany us. We’ll bird early morning and spend the rest of the day finding and photographing fungi, butterflies, flowers, beetles, and whatever else crawls, drifts, or swims by us. Come for part or all of the day, and meet up for casual dinner and drinks in Manchester around 5 p.m.
Chittenden County/The Bee Team:
Big Bee Blitz with Kent McFarland and Spencer Hardy [Limit: 8]
10 a.m.- mid-afternoon. Bee a field tech for a day! Help find and collect bees for the Vermont Wild Bee Survey. After a brief introduction and training, you’ll be ready to check bee traps and wield a bug net. We’ll meet at the Centennial Woods parking lot in Burlington. Bee sure to bring your lunch (and bee prepared for a lot of bee puns)!
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge/The Crepuscular Cuckoos:
Owl Prowl (and other crepuscular and nocturnal species) with Sarah Carline [Limit: 12]
4:45-6:45 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. Delight in a marsh dawn chorus! Or, listen to the evening chorus of songbirds wind down to nocturnal hoots and howls. We’ll count as many birds as we can find. As a bonus, enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Waitsfield (General Stark Mountain)/Stark Raving Mad Naturalists:
Bird along a mountain climb with Roz Renfrew [Limit: 15]
8 a.m.–mid-afternoon. Hike all the way to the exhilarating top of General Stark Mountain (that’s Mad River Glen—HIKE it if you can!), inventorying birds and other life, noting how natural communities change with elevation. The hike is long, steep, and challenging—bring plenty of water, food, sunscreen, sturdy hiking shoes, and bug spray/netting. Joining us will be MRG’S Naturalist Program Director, Sean Lawson. We’ll head for Lawson’s Finest Liquids brewery for a well-deserved beverage at the end!
Windham County/Windham Wings:
Wingin’ it with Nathaniel Sharp [Limit: 10]
6 a.m.-4 p.m. Join VCE’s Citizen Science Outreach Naturalist on a search for everything that flaps, buzzes, and glides in Windham County. Beginning with the dawn chorus at Herrick’s Cove IBA, spend the rest of the day exploring marshes, fields, and forests throughout Windham county searching for birds, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, bees, bugs, and anything else that flies!
Northeast Kingdom/The Loonies:
Boreal birds and Common Loons with Eric Hanson [Limit: 12]
9 a.m.- mid-afternoon. We’ll start by birding the Nulhegan Basin and Moose Bog, then after lunch we’ll visit a loon lake or two. We’ll bird from shore and/or paddle if we have enough boats. (Let Eric know if you’ll bring a canoe or kayak and have room for anyone without a boat). Meet at the parking lot behind Community National Bank in Island Pond. Don’t forget to bring your lunch!