Nature Blog

Citizen Science at Old Pepper Place

Old Pepper Place is a unique homestead located in Chelsea Vermont near the end of a class four road. Its remote location makes it a great place for VINS camp in the summer and more importantly a perfect home for wildlife. With that in mind I ventured out on a citizen science mission. My goal…

Project FeederWatch Summary: Winter 2019-2020

As we spring into a new season, most people are not sorry to seeing the slush and ice give way to new things – wildflowers, warm weather, and most of all, singing birds. But it is also time to say farewell, for another year at least, to one of my favorite citizen science projects: Project FeederWatch.

2019 at the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation

It has certainly been a busy year! Many may remember that our intake total was a record-breaking 652 patients in 2018. But move over, 2018 – the VINS Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation received 705 total patients in 2019.

Songbird Diseases & Bird Feeders: What To Look For

Bird feeding is a popular and enjoyable winter pastime for many people, bringing birds in close for easy viewing. While it is widely practiced and can even help biologists monitor populations through programs such as Project FeederWatch, there are some potential negative side effects of feeding birds.

2019 Monarch Tagging Season Wrap-Up!

You may have noticed that this year was a big year for monarchs. At VINS, we were right in the middle of what is being called a “banner year” for these butterflies. Now that fall is in full swing, many of them are on their way south for the winter.

NestWatch Season Wrap-Up 2019

I am often floored by how quickly the seasons go by, from our brief spring in Vermont, to the flurry of autumn colors. But what I find even more impressive is the speed of the full nesting cycle of our native songbirds.

Lichen or Not: The Fascinating World of a Symbiotic Organism

Carl Linnaeus. The Linnaeus. The guy who documented and classified a sizable chunk of Earth’s known species, the father of taxonomy, the guy you learned about in high school biology and immediately forgot, insulted one of my favorite taxonomic groups.

A Summer of Mothing

Once the sun is set, a whole new world awakens. While owls are hooting, thousands of insects start buzzing. Needing only a light and a sheet, “mothing” is the amazing experience of observing the hundreds of moths and other insects you can attract right in your backyard.

Ogden’s Egg

It’s been a hectic spring at VINS. The Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation’s ongoing renovations meant we have had to move some of our education birds from their accustomed aviaries to other enclosures temporarily. Change can be stressful, so we were closely monitoring the behavior of our oldest, most “entrenched” resident, a 38-year-old Turkey Vulture named Ogden.