Nature Blog

American Kestrels Return

by Jim Armbruster, Lead, Center for Field Research Some exciting news in the American Kestrel world! The VINS Research team is certain that a female kestrel we banded last year (pictured on the left) has returned to a nest box in Vermont with her mate (this will be confirmed by making sure she has a green…

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The Remarkable Journey of Manu the Golden Eagle

By Grae O’Toole, Director, Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation and Ambassador Care On January 2, 2024, our team at the VINS Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation and Ambassador Care received a phone call from a concerned member of the public who had spotted what they believed to be an eagle on the ground in a…

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Helping Wildlife in Spring

Baby animals may – or may not – need your help this spring. Here’s what you should do.

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A Second Season of Winter Raptor Research in Addison County

As we slowly transition into winter, reports of migrant birds are trickling in throughout the state. Snowy Owls have been sighted in Colchester and Waterbury and researchers from Project SNOWstorm predict a “sizeable push” of immature birds this year. Snows experienced a robust breeding season in the eastern and central Canadian Arctic this summer which may lead to more sightings as winter progresses. These young birds sometimes wind up in trouble and end up at the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation. This season we have already seen a young female who was in distress and emaciated. Unfortunately, the bird did not survive but samples will be sent to Project SNOWstorm in an effort to better help the species as a whole. Blood work will also be collected from any others that end up in rehab and sent to researchers in the project.

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Changing Bird Names for Inclusivity

The diversity of human languages allows us to communicate with one another easily, across geographic regions and even across time, despite the fact that languages, and our names for things, change.

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Four Bird Books for Christmas

Written by Gene Walz, friend of VINS What to get a birdwatcher for a Christmas gift? Four new books top the list, three by women. They all show how much birdwatching, birders, and serious bird study have changed over the years.    Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir By Julia Zarankin   Divorced and at loose…

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Cozy as a Chickadee: How a Half-Ounce Bird Thrives in Winter

As the northern hemisphere dips into its winter angle, we wave many of our small songbird neighbors bon voyage on their migratory journeys. But there is one tiny passerine that stays here waving with us, and chooses not to migrate away from our frigid temperatures: the black-capped chickadee. Chickadees, in fact, hardly shrink from view as the winter encroaches; instead they are bold, brazen, and positively belligerent.

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Passenger Pigeon Apocalypse

Three billion is the number of birds lost to North American populations in the last 50 years. It’s also a low-end estimate of the number of Passenger Pigeons that once lived on the North American continent. These birds were said to number so many that flights of them overhead could darken the sky. The fact that humans alone as a species were responsible for this devastating extinction is terrifying but, viewed from a certain angle, hopeful.

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It’s Raining Birds

Summers in the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation (CWBR) can best be described as chaotically busy.
CWBR staff receive upwards of 30 phone calls a day regarding injured wildlife across New England, all while caring for countless critical care patients in the ICU, receiving and examining between 5-15 new patients a day, and feeding baby birds every half hour from 6am to 8pm. Summer 2020 could also be described as such, but on a much greater scale.

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Bennington Barred Owl

On August 5th, 2020 the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation (CWBR) received a Barred Owl from Bennington, VT. The finder of the owl noticed the bird hopping around their front yard, unable to fly away when approached. VINS staff advised the finder on how to safely pick up the bird and contain it in a box.

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