07 de mayo de 2022

The Search for Missing Lady Beetles

She moves through your garden with great stealth, hunting. She knows her next meal is here somewhere, she can smell it. She creeps closer, closer. Suddenly, her prey is within striking distance, she just has to make sure that it doesn’t sense her before she’s close enough to pounce. With a final rush of movement—success!

If you had looked out your back window towards your garden at this exact moment, you likely would not have seen this drama unfolding: a female lady beetle stalking an aphid through your peas. Most lady beetles (also called ladybugs) feed on small, soft-bodied insects, including aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. And many of these insects can cause a lot of damage to garden plants and native flora if their populations grow too large.

Read the full article and learn how to help us search for 4 native focal species that are still missing on the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas project journal ->.
While you're there, be sure to join the project!

Ingresado el 07 de mayo de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de mayo de 2022

April 2022 Photo-observation of the Month


A male Red-bellied Woodpecker attempts to evict a European Starling from his nest in a tree cavity. ©
@ckhunt

Congratulations to Craig Hunt for winning the April 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers attempting to remove a European Starling from their nest cavity received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

European Starlings are one of the more notorious non-native bird species in North America. Long thought to have been introduced by an eccentric Shakespeare-enthusiast, at least part of that story has recently been debunked. Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, Black-capped Chickadees, and many other cavity-nesting birds are quite familiar with the European Starlings penchant for moving in to nest cavities when they’re less than welcome. Starlings’ aggressive nest takeovers have contributed in part to the decline of some bird species, though in some instances the avian homeowners are able to kick out the unwelcome guest. Craig’s photos of a Red-bellied Woodpecker pair attempting to yank a European Starling out of their cavity show one such example of a pair fighting back against an avian interloper.


With 15,258 observations submitted by 1,143 observers in April, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 02 de mayo de 2022 por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de abril de 2022

iNaturalist Crash Course: Through the Lens of a Mushroom

With: Meg Madden and Julia Pupko

As the spring rains fill Vermont valleys, life that was absent or dormant during the winter months returns—including an incredible array of fantastic fungi. Fungi can be tricky to ID, and it can be helpful to have a second set of eyes. That is where iNaturalist comes in! You can photograph any fungi you encounter (along with other wild organisms), upload your photos to iNaturalist, and receive identification verifications or suggestions from other members of the iNaturalist community.

If you are interested in learning more about fungi, iNaturalist use, and ways that you, as a community scientist, can contribute to Vermont’s fungi database, we have just the workshop for you! Whether honing your iNaturalist skills or learning to use iNaturalist for the first time, join VCE Community Science Outreach Naturalist Julia Pupko and Fungi Expert Meg Madden on April 27 and 28 from 7–8:30 PM for a two-day iNaturalist workshop. The workshop will include a mix of presentation slides and live demonstrations in iNaturalist, connecting information on fungal identification and atlasing with iNaturalist use. Here is the full schedule:

April 27: Getting Started in iNaturalist

  • What is iNaturalist and why does it matter, for community naturalists and researchers alike?
  • Importance of community science to fungal atlasing and research
  • Basic overview of use:
  • Taking high quality observations – how to take ID-worthy fungal photos
  • Uploading observations
  • How to use Identify
  • Tips for identifying mushrooms
  • Overview of Taxon pages, Explore tab, Personal Dashboard
  • Register for Day 1 here

April 28: Identify and Project Creation

  • iNaturalist app and Seek
  • Project Creation
  • Projects - What are they?
  • How to set up a project
  • Case Study: Middlebury Area Land Trust Wright Park BioBlitz
  • Troubleshooting in iNaturalist: Additional Resources
  • Register for Day 2 here

Registration: There are separate registration links for each day. You may register for one or both days:

Ingresado el 19 de abril de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de abril de 2022

Join an Upcoming Vermont Atlas of Life Mission!

From butterflies to dragonflies and everything in between, join one of our biodiversity missions this spring. Naturalists of all ages and abilities are helping us monitor Vermont's flora and fauna. The Vermont Atlas of Life missions are projects that are short and easy for just about anyone to join, and they contribute invaluable observations for science and conservation. Pick one or several, and join the community! Coming up in April are two missions that need your help.

Dragonfly migration has been observed on every continent except Antarctica, with some species performing spectacular long-distance mass movements. Like birds, millions of Common Green Darners migrate north in the spring and south in the fall. We discovered that Common Green Darner spring migration closely follows the average daily temperature of 48°F northward. Will climate change shift the species' migration and arrival dates? Help beat our predictions and detect changes by joining the Northeast Darner Flight Watch. Visit the mission and view a live map of arrival predictions and darner observations.

Spring is changing. The snow is melting earlier, wildflowers are blooming sooner, and trees are leafing out faster. We want to learn how an unusual butterfly that flies only in forests in early spring, the West Virginia White, is faring—and you can help us find out! Your mission: from now until early June, locate a patch of rich, hardwood forest, walk a transect (daily, weekly, whatever works for you), count all the butterflies you find, and report them to our mission. Even if you don’t find any butterflies, zeros are essential to report too. Can you break the early or late record for a West Virginia White sighting? Who will have the highest count? Can we find them in places they’ve never been recorded? Join the West Virginia White Watch and help us find out! Visit the mission data collection site at eButterfly and view results from other watchers.

Ingresado el 12 de abril de 2022 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de marzo de 2022

March 2022 Photo-observation of the Month


A neat row of Eastern Bluebirds huddled together on a chilly March day. © @Chelsea Carroll

Congratulations to Chelsea Carroll for winning the March 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Her photo of almost a dozen Eastern Bluebirds perched shoulder-to-shoulder on a chilly March day received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Eastern Bluebirds, while often associated with sunny fields and meadows in summer, can remain in Vermont all winter long, when they will sometimes gather together in large flocks. These flocks are often composed of one or several family groups, and as such can tend to get quite cozy with each other! On especially cold winter nights, Eastern Bluebirds will even huddle together in tree cavities or nest boxes in groups as large as 20 individuals in order to conserve warmth. On the next cold early-spring day (if there’s any left on the horizon), keep in mind there may be a tree cavity filled with snuggling bluebirds somewhere nearby!


With 4,694 observations submitted by 475 observers in March, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 31 de marzo de 2022 por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de marzo de 2022

Don't Forget to Vote for the March Photo-observation Winner!

Cast your votes and be counted! You can 'fave' any observation that you like to vote for the Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. Located to the right of the photographs and just below the location map is a star symbol. Click on this star and you've faved an observation. At the end of each month, we'll see which photo-observation has the most favs and crown them the monthly winner. Check out awesome observations and click the star for those that shine for you. Vote early and often!

Check out who is in the lead and see a list of all of this month's photo-observations.

Ingresado el 23 de marzo de 2022 por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de marzo de 2022

Join Darner Flight Watch!

Our research has found that Common Green Darner spring migration closely follows the average daily temperature of 48° F northward. We are curious if climate change will shift their migration and arrival dates. Join our Darner Flight Watch and help us beat our predictions! It's easy and fun! WIth warm air arriving Thursday and Friday, help us beat our predictions! Visit https://val.vtecostudies.org/missions/darner-flight-watch to learn more.

Predictions and Observations
prediction map for darner migration

Ingresado el 16 de marzo de 2022 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de marzo de 2022

Darner Flight Watch

Did you know that Monarch Butterflies are not the only migratory insect? The Common Green Darner (Anax junius) is a large, migratory dragonfly found across much of the United States. The strong correlation between temperature and Green Darner development and migration have us wondering—how will climate change impact Green Darners?

Join VCE’s Mike Hallworth and Julia Pupko on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 PM for a discussion on Green Darner phenology, migration, and the Darner Flight Watch Mission—an attempt to better understand how climate change may be affecting this dazzling dragonfly. Register here.

While you are here, check out our Darner Flight Watch website (link here) and join our project on iNaturalist (link here)!

Ingresado el 04 de marzo de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de marzo de 2022

February 2022 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to vtmonarch for winning the February 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photo of an American Ermine with a Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda) received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Like the Long- tailed Weasel and its other relatives, Ermine (aka Short-tailed Weasel) is a predator. Ermine hunt voles, shrews, cottontail rabbits, rats, chipmunks and nesting birds. They will also store, or cache, extra food for later use. In summer, they also eat fruit and berries.

The changing day length initiates the color shift from brown to white fur in winter. The waning hours of daylight trigger a response in the hypothalamus, commonly referred to as the “master gland”, and cause animals to undergo many changes that help them survive the winter, including changes in coat color and thickness.


With 2,000 observations submitted by 411 observers in February, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.[/caption]

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 01 de marzo de 2022 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de febrero de 2022

Last Week of Mission Identify!

We are entering the final week of February, which means the last week of Mission Identify is upon us! On average, the number of identifications in January 2022 fell slightly below those of 2021 (see a graph here). Let's see if we can beat 2021's counts in February!

If you haven’t already, please consider joining the mission—you don’t need to be an expert identifier to participate. All you need is a curiosity for Vermont’s biodiversity and an eagerness to learn! For a refresher on this challenge and how to use the identify tab, please visit our Mission Identify homepage.

Ingresado el 21 de febrero de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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