On Wednesday, March 9, 2022 VINS hosted Douglas Tallamy via Zoom for a lecture about “Nature’s Best Hope” – spoiler alert, it’s you! Douglas Tallamy is the T.A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has taught for 41 years. His main focus…
This summer was once again full of baby birds! As the leaves begin to change again there are still baby birds in the care of rehab but all of our monitored nests have moved on to bigger and better bird things. Boxes were at capacity this spring and summer with several seeing multiple broods.
VINS Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation has experienced its busiest year yet, receiving a total of 1,025 patients.
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.
This fall marked the first season of an official hawk watch site on the top of Mt. Ascutney. Prior to that Vermont had three official sites throughout the state. With the help of VINS staff and volunteers we were able to staff the site for a total of about 46 hours. A total of 108 birds were observed in that period.
Each week starts off with walking the trails and checking on the camera traps around campus. There are currently four game cameras at VINS positioned strategically along wildlife trails in the hopes of inventorying the diverse species on the property. They are off the main hiking trails in areas of quality animal habitat. There are also two cameras at Old Pepper Place that are checked monthly. So far the cameras have revealed several interesting species including some that are not routinely seen on campus. So far the highlights have included, three deer fawns, bobcat, fisher, bear, coyotes, gray foxes, mink, raccoons, skunk, and a flying squirrel.
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 was to start an index of wildlife and document as many species as I could. Armed with binoculars, a couple of wildlife cameras, and iNaturalist on my phone I set off.
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.
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.
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.