Nature Blog

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.

Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Season Wrap Up

With spring in full swing we have officially wrapped up our winter raptor field season. Both Middlebury and Goodrich have been reliably checking in and sending location data for us to analyze. So far each bird has revealed drastically different movement patterns.

Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Week 3

The last few weeks have been excellent for winter bird watching. Since our transmitters are arriving later than expected, we’ve decided to change strategies and set up standardized survey routes. While we’re mostly focusing on raptors, we love all birds and can’t help but stop and watch some of the large flocks of winter birds we’ve been seeing too.

Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Week 2

We’re still waiting for all our materials to come in, but that hasn’t stopped us from getting in the field. We went out recently for another round of trapping with our partner from Cornell, Bryce Robinson, to find another abieticola (a subspecies of red-tailed hawks).

Similar to our prior outing, we didn’t catch a bird until late in the day. Just as the sun set over the fields, our research coordinator Jim made one more attempt before we called it a day and this beautiful bird came to the trap.

Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Week 1

For the past few weeks, our research team has been searching for red-tailed hawks throughout Addison County in preparation for trapping. While this gave us a good idea of where to look, we quickly learned that it is important to stay flexible, and most of all, patient.

Winter Raptor Research in Addison County

Addison County Vermont is the place to be for birders. Its mix of unique habitats draw hundreds of birds and bird watchers alike. In the winter it is known for being home to several migratory artic species including Rough-legged Hawks, Snowy Owls, and thousands of Snow Geese.

Meet Windham!

by Bren Lundborg Wildlife Rehabilitator Windham, a female Cooper’s hawk, was brought to the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation in early February of 2017. She was still in her juvenile plumage and having a rough first winter. Cooper’s hawks often injure themselves due to their aggressive hunting style (one study found over 20% had old…

2018 in Wild Bird Rehabilitation

By Lauren Adams Lead Wildlife Keeper 2018 was a big year at VINS for a lot of reasons.  Here in the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation, you may not have been able to tell from the outside, but we had a LOT going on inside our little building.  Around the middle of the summer, it…

The Fab Four: Meet Our New Birds!

by Anna Autilio Lead, Environmental Educator This summer, VINS was fortunate to welcome a whopping four new birds to the education team. We are excited to introduce you to them, and look forward to your meeting them eye-to-eye as raptor ambassadors! Miami, the Eastern Screech Owl When next you come to VINS, keep your eyes…

A Change of Feathers: The Molt

By Anna Autilio Lead Environmental Educator Feathers are one of the defining characteristics of birds. They produce the brilliant red of the Northern Cardinal, and the shocking blue of an Indigo Bunting. Though one purpose of feathers is to be flashy and attractive, especially to a potential mate, feathers have a host of other functions.…