Nature Blog

Small & Sweet

Sometimes the patients that come to VINS are small. And sometimes, they are unbelievably small! Black-capped chickadees, ruby-crowned kinglets and American goldfinches are in the “small” range. But ruby-throated hummingbirds blow all other birds out of the water with their tiny, tiny, tiny size. Watch a video of this hummingbird having her wing wrap removed.…

Read More

Local Oil Spill

A local ring-billed gull can likely empathize with the oil-drenched birds rescued from the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of BP’s huge spill. But this gull was rescued from a much smaller slick. Watch a video of this gull receiving a bath. A restaurant’s cooking oil was left out behind the establishment and attracted…

Read More

A Bird’s Best Friend

VINS’ volunteer carpenter, Peter Mitchell, has done it again. He’s volunteered his hard work and time to build us brand new enclosures for our wild bird patients. His dedication to making Wildlife Services, our rehabilitation department, the best it can be has made him a bird’s best friend (and ours, too!) This spring, Peter constructed…

Read More

As the borers approach, should we cut the ash?

By Chuck Wooster for “The Outside Story“Illustration by Adelaide Tyrol Early May is a gut-wrenching time for those of us who love ash. The trees take their time leafing out, appearing stone-cold dead for weeks after the maples have flowered and put on their fine show. Even the recalcitrant oak comes to life before the…

Read More

Three’s Company

Well looky here! Three gangly baby ravens that squawk like wild monkeys have made their way to VINS for care. Watch a video of these giant babies in action! A few days ago, loggers in Danville, VT cut down a tree, not knowing a raven’s nest full of three babies rested upon the high branches.…

Read More

A Low Heart & A Common Loon

Recently I hosted a party at my home, and the conversation and laughter that had been going full-bore came to a dead halt when we heard something we hadn’t heard in quite a long time. A common loon called from the lake across the street from my home. We silenced ourselves to be sure we…

Read More

Stinky… but important!

Turkey vultures are stinky birds. Not only do they eat old, rotting carcasses (by choice!), they throw up as a defense mechanism. And if you’ve never smelled turkey vulture vomit, let me tell you it will curl your hair and send you running for the hills. They even defecate on their own legs to keep…

Read More

Nature’s Own Carpenter

There are few birds in Vermont with an appearance as striking as that of the pileated woodpecker. A crow-sized woodpecker, this bird is crowned with a shock of red feathers so bright they seem to glow. When a pileated raises that crest of red feathers, it’s a spectacular sight. In nature, pileateds peck out huge,…

Read More

The Language of Snow

By Rick LaDue, Manager, VINS Manchester Growing up upon on the eastern end of Lake Ontario I became very aware of the significance of snow to everyday life, for plants, animals and humans. Although I could walk through the woods behind my parents’ house and see, touch and sometimes taste the different forms of snow…

Read More

Oh, how they grow!

Would you believe that this bird is the same little guy that came in as a feather-less, pink baby just one month ago? Baby birds grow quickly… very quickly! Look here to see how this bird appeared when he was first brought to VINS in October. For the past month, VINS’ wildlife services team have…

Read More