Nature Blog

Rough-legged Hawk Movement Update 4.18.22

Spring may finally be upon us, despite forecasts calling for snow in the coming week, and our Rough-legged Hawks are back in Canada continuing to move north for breeding in the arctic.

Rough-legged Hawk Spring 2022 Movement Updates

Spring migration is just beginning across the state and birds are on the move!

Winter Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Season 2 Wrap Up

As fast as winter began, our winter raptor surveys have finished! We had a great few months looking for birds of prey in Addison County, with lots of snow cover and consistent cold temperatures. 

Winter Raptor Research Updates From the Field – Season 2 Week 1

The week started off icy, with an Arctic north wind blowing drifts into the remaining snow cover. The frigid weather was fitting for our “target” species. These birds are in the same family as Red-tails, Red-shoulders and Broad-winged Hawks, however their breeding grounds are restricted to the arctic tundra throughout the world, and they are well-adapted for extreme cold. In North America, they breed in Northern Canada and Alaska, and migrate south into the “lower 48” states for the winter.

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.

NestWatch Season Wrap-Up 2021

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.

Tick Research Updates From the Field – Season Wrap Up

August marked the last round of mammal trapping as part of our collaborative research project with Dartmouth PhD student Kaitlin McDonald.

American Kestrel Monitoring

Our latest American Kestrel Monitoring Project is an aspect of fulfilling the VINS’ mission that utilizes our expertise in working with raptors and leverages our network of dedicated followers.

Tick Research Updates From the Field – Week 1

We had a very successful first sampling session at VINS! We sampled at three different sites, two of which are on the VINS campus. When we talk about sampling, we mean that we are observing the local fauna through a couple of different ways.

Tick Research at VINS

With the number of tick-borne disease cases increasing in the Northeast, it’s never been more important to understand the ecology of ticks and the diseases that they carry. One way to investigate this is to study the animal communities that serve as hosts to ticks. A better understanding of the animal residents in and around Vermont, their predators, and the number of ticks they have, will provide insights into the local community ecology and may help us to better understand why ticks and their diseases seem to be on the rise. A collaboration between researchers at Dartmouth College and the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences aims to study the impact of local predators on small rodent communities and their tick burdens. This study will use a variety of field ecology methods to study small rodent communities, meso-predators, and ticks.