Nature Blog

A Week of Citizen Science

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.

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Monarch Health, A Citizen Science Project

As monarchs slowly return to Vermont, reports of observations are starting to come in throughout the state. With sightings all around it was only a matter of time before they returned to our campus meadow.

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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.

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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.

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What is a Flat Fly? Curiosity and Research at the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation

By Anna Morris Lead Environmental Educator A flat fly (Christian Hugues) The birds that arrive for care at VINS’s Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation have had a rough time out in the wild. Not only may they be injured from car accidents, window strikes, or cat bites, but they often have acquired parasites. Some of…

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Stellar Monarch Tagging Season at VINS

By Jim Armbruster Seasonal Environmental Educator     As the leaves begin to change color, the days grow shorter, and the temperatures get colder, monarchs are still on the move south.  During a short break from the rain, on a nice sunny day, we at VINS tagged our last seven butterflies bringing our season total to 74…

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Migrating Monarchs Tagged at VINS

by Jim ArmbrusterEnvironmental Educator A male Monarch butterfly on our datasheet. Have you ever watched a monarch butterfly struggling to fly on a breezy day and thought to yourself, “I wonder how they get where they want to go?” It might surprise you to know that in fact these butterflies can control their flights and…

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VINS and iNaturalist

by Anna AutilioLead Environmental Educator Have you gotten into iNaturalist yet? At VINS, this citizen science project has become a favorite downtime activity for our staff. When someone spots a new wildflower blooming in the meadow, you can see at least a few of us up there with our phones out, taking pictures to document the sighting…

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Take a Child to Nature This July

By Anna Autilio Lead Environmental Educator In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate 2018 as the “Year of the Bird.” July’s call to action is to introduce…

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The Beauty of Native Wildflowers

By Anna Autilio Lead Environmental Educator In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate 2018 as the “Year of the Bird.” March’s call to action is to cultivate…

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