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A Giant Leap Northward for a Butterfly

March 3, 2021

It’s hard to miss a giant. In 2010 when the largest butterfly in North America fluttered among Ardys Fisher’s flowers at the end of July, she knew it was something neat. Now, our study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution this week shows an unusually rapid northward range shift by the Eastern Giant Swallowtail over the last two decades.

2020 eButterfly Year in Review

January 28, 2021

From the first observation of 2020, a Gulf Fritillary nectaring on the Gulf coast of Florida submitted by Gary Leavens, to a Long-tailed Skipper nectaring at the end of December shared by mbspang, butterfly watchers added over 38,500 butterfly records to the ever growing eButterfly database of checklists. The reports fluttered in all summer long. We had more than 8,300 checklists with over 22,000 photographs comprising 523 species of butterflies reported during the year.

Crested Caracara in Vermont

Vermont Birders Rally During 10th Annual eBird County Quest

January 27, 2021

From the first day of 2020 when eBirders reported an incredible 81 bird species, to the discovery of a Crested Caracara in Woodstock, Vermont birders scoured fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to find as many bird species as possible during the 10th annual Vermont eBird County Quest. In the process, they also collected invaluable data for science and conservation.

Naturalists Help the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Build Biodiversity Big Data in 2020

January 27, 2021

From the first observation of 2020, a Gray Fox still celebrating the New Year at 4:30 AM submitted by ckhunt, to Great Mullein leaves poking out of the snow shared by Pete Kerby-Miller at twilight on the last day of the year, naturalists added nearly 175,000 biodiversity records to our rapidly growing database of life in Vermont.

Craig Provost: A Vermont Birding Quest for the Ages

January 4, 2021

This past June, he achieved a birding milestone that precious few Vermont birders will ever realize, as he became just the second person in history to document 150 species in all of Vermont’s 14 counties, each within a single calendar year!

New look at movements and distribution patterns of 807 bird species across the globe

December 16, 2020

The mesmerizing visualizations brought to you by the eBird Science team with the help of more than 9,000 Vermont eBirders and over 300,000 eBirders around the world offer a bird’s-eye view of avian movements. One could easily get lost in watching warblers and flycatchers migrate across continents—it’s an experience like no other. 

Big Biodiversity Data Now at Your Fingertips

December 14, 2020

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies launched an ambitious online project that allows anyone at a computer to explore vast amounts of data on biodiversity across the Green Mountain State. Now released as a beta version, the Vermont Atlas of Life Data Explorer is the newest implementation of the Living Atlas platform, powerful software first developed in Australia and now being implemented by countries around the globe.

New Ant-Mimic Spider Sneaks Into Vermont

December 5, 2020

A small, metallic-black arthropod with a head, thorax, abdomen, and two waving antennae – your classic picnic-robbing ant right? Take a closer look at Michael Sundue’s photos at the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and you’ll see that in fact this is the first record of the ant-mimicking spider Myrmarachne formicaria in Vermont.

Tall Beech Fern (Phegopteris excelsior): Newly discovered fern species in Vermont

November 25, 2020

Tall Beech Fern (Phegopteris excelsior) was recently described as a new species. Tall Beech Fern was originally thought to be a hybrid of Long Beech Fern (P. connectilis) and Broad Beech Fern (P. hexagonoptera). Further analysis proved that Tall Beech Fern is of hybrid descent, but not from a hybridization event between Long and Broad Beech Ferns. Given the number of differences between Tall Beech Fern and the species it is most closely related to—Long Beech Fern—Tall Beech Fern was described as a new species.

American Redstart Photo Credit: Julia Pupko

Lunchtime Learning

October 16, 2020

Join Community Science Outreach Naturalist Julia Pupko every Wednesday at noon for an hour of iNaturalist, Vermont eBird, and eButterfly help, with some Vermont natural history topics on the side!

Pruinose Squash Bee Mission Update

September 30, 2020

Earlier this year, we called on our Citizen Scientists to find as many Pruinose Squash Bees as possible. Find out the results of this mini-mission!

Mission: Find and Share Observations of Squash Bees from Your Garden

August 6, 2020

The Eastern Squash Bee is an important pollinator of cultivated crops of squash, pumpkins, and related plants. Only reported in five counties so far, we need your help in recording the range of this species in Vermont. Just watch some squash flowers in your garden with camera in hand!