Recent News

When a Bluet Isn’t Blue: Vermont’s “Newest” Damselfly

August 08, 2018

Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a new damselfly. Nick Block found one at a pond in southern Vermont. It becomes Vermont’s 45th known damselfly species (along with 101 known dragonfly species). Nick’s Scarlet Bluet record is now enshrined with the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Read more on the VCE Blog »

Rare 'Cuckoo' Bumblebee Spotted in Vermont

July 18, 2018

Researchers are surveying bumblebees at four northeast National Wildlife Refuges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and Vermont this summer. During the Vermont survey in the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Swanton, surveyors say they made an unusual find: a bumblebee that's only been seen twice before in Vermont. And now, several more observations have been found and added to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Learn more at VPR »

The 2017 Vermont eBird County Quest Awards

January 12, 2018

From an Eastern Screech Owl in Wilder on January 1st to a Snowy Owl in Bridport on December 31st, Vermont birders scoured fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to discover as many bird species as possible during the 7th annual Vermont eBird County Quest. With nearly 40,000 complete checklists submitted to Vermont eBird, comprising over 300,000 bird records, representing 281 bird species, and tallied by 1,732 birders in 2017, there is no doubt it was another banner year for birders and Vermont eBird. Franklin County, once an under-birded underdog, topped the field for the 4th year in a row and claimed the 2017 Quest Cup with a record score of 34.5 birds over par. Learn more about this fun contest and all the results on the VCE Blog. »

iNaturalist Vermont Builds Biodiversity Big Data in 2017

December 30, 2017

With a tap on his smartphone and a click to submit to iNaturalist Vermont, Noel Dodge added the 150,000th record this year on June 15th, a Black Ash tree growing near Otter Creek. And observations kept on coming to iNaturalist Vermont, with more than 183,000 observations representing more than 4,000 species contributed by 2,175 citizen scientists. 2017 was a big year for iNaturalist Vermont. We had 1,057 naturalists contribute over 56,250 observations representing more than 3,850 species. Over 1,325 naturalist helped to identify and verify data. And we joined the more than 73,000 iNaturalists worldwide that submitted over 3.5 million observations in 2017! Read more on the VCE Blog »

The Red Crossbill Enigma

December 20, 2017

Its finally happening. Red Crossbills are arriving. This year’s bumper cone crop of pine, spruce, larch, and hemlock is perhaps a once in couple-decades event. As a result, crossbills were predicted to flood into the region and birders have been waiting with anticipation. But they remain an enigma and birders like you can help solve some of the mysteries. There are 10 types of Red Crossbills and understanding how these different types wander about the continent, or not, is a puzzle that will require an army of observers - birders like you - armed with recording devices, as simple as a smart phone, and Vermont eBird. Learn about the other Types that have been found so far in Vermont and more the VCE Blog and help us document more. »

Vermont Dragonfly and Damselfly Atlas: 10,000 Odes and Counting

December 13, 2017

By most any measure, the 2017 field season of the Vermont Dragonfly and Damselfly Atlas (VDDA) was satisfying, surprising … and nearly heart-stopping. Our brigade of volunteers added 1,605 records to our growing dataset, which now stands at 10,544 records. That includes the addition of two new species to the Vermont fauna in 2017: Cordulegaster erronea (Tiger Spiketail) and Somatochlora incurvata (Incurvate Emerald). VDDA now covers 145 confirmed Odonata species in the state: 101 dragonflies (Anisoptera) and 44 damselflies (Zygoptera). But we’re not done. In our atlas, every dragonfly counts, even common species. So we continue to grow our dataset with contributions from skilled odonatologists and casual observers alike. Thanks to everyone who contributed this year, a total of 120 people, pushing us past the 10,000-record mark. It’s a tremendous achievement for a small state. Learn more on the VCE Blog »

Thirty-seventh Annual Report of the Vermont Bird Records Committee

December 08, 2017

held its annual meeting on 11 November 2017 at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. The 37th annual report of the VBRC covers the evaluation of 46 records involving 28 species and 3 subspecies or ‘identifiable subspecific forms’. Forty records were accepted (87%) with the majority decided unanimously. There were no first state records for any species during this period. The first fully documented subspecies record for Northern Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis abieticola) observed in Springfield, Vermont and two Eastern Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus semipalmatus) at the mouth of Charcoal Creek in Swanton, Vermont were accepted. The first breeding record of Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina) was accepted with a male well documented carrying food and then feeding a fledgling in Hinesburg, Vermont by several observers. Read more and download the report. »

An Emerald Found in Victory

September 20, 2017

Mike Blust and Josh LIncoln had a plan hatched by a fellow naturalist. Hike deep into the forest to a bog in northeast Vermont and find a rare emerald dragonfly that had never been seen in Vermont. Read about their trials and tribulations that led to elation at discovering this beautiful insect for the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas. Read the story on the VCE Blog »