19 de julio de 2024

Vote for the July 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

We're already over halfway through the month of July, which means it's time to start casting your votes for the best Vermont Atlas of Life Photo-observation of the Month! You can "fave" any and all observations that you like—located to the right of the photographs and just below the location map is a star symbol. Click on this star and you've fave'd an observation. At the end of each month, we'll see which Photo-observation has the most votes and crown them the monthly winner! Check out this month's awesome observations and click the star for those that shine for you.

Check out who is in the lead and see a list of all of this month's Photo-observations so far!

Publicado el 19 de julio de 2024 a las 03:37 AM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de julio de 2024

June 2024 Photo-observation of the Month


A mother merganser cruises on calm waters with two ducklings riding on her back. @vtbirder

Congratulations to iNaturalist user @vtbirder for winning the June 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photograph of a mother Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) with two ducklings riding on her back received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

This past weekend, some of my Californian family members visited me in Vermont for the first time. On rainy Saturday, I assured them that it does not, in fact, rain ALL the time in Vermont and that it is actually quite nice when the sun is out (though I’m not sure I was convincing). We took a drizzly stroll around Church Street in Burlington which culminated in a visit to the waterfront on Lake Champlain. Right in front of us, we saw a female merganser and over a dozen ducklings trailing behind her in the water. The mother duck would stick her head in the water, then shoot forward like a speedboat with her legs driving her forward. All of the little ducklings copied her, becoming a flock of tiny, downy water rockets. I explained to my family that this is how Common Mergansers catch fish for food and that they also dive fully beneath the water to catch fish. The ducklings feed on small fish fry and freshwater invertebrates, and fledge when they’re 60-70 days old. Seeing ducklings certainly brightens up the most drizzly of rainy summer days.


With 30,843 observations submitted by 2,226 observers in May, 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!

Publicado el 05 de julio de 2024 a las 02:58 PM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de junio de 2024

Vote for the June 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

We're already halfway through the month of June, which means it's time to start casting your votes for the best Vermont Atlas of Life Photo-observation of the Month! You can "fave" any and all observations that you like—located to the right of the photographs and just below the location map is a star symbol. Click on this star and you've fave'd an observation. At the end of each month, we'll see which Photo-observation has the most votes and crown them the monthly winner! Check out this month's awesome observations and click the star for those that shine for you.

Check out who is in the lead and see a list of all of this month's Photo-observations so far!

Publicado el 17 de junio de 2024 a las 02:02 PM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de junio de 2024

May 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

A barred owl chick peers out of a log cavity. @susanelliott

Congratulations to Susan Elliot (@susanelliott) for winning the May 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Her photograph of a baby Barred Owl nestled inside a log received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Though nocturnal, Barred Owls can sometimes be seen hunting and calling during the day and are more tolerant of human presence than many other owls, which may be why their populations and ranges are growing. These owls breed in late winter, during the cold days of February and March. Life-bonded pairs make their nests in forests inside tree cavities, which they may reuse year after year and furnish with feathers, lichen, and conifer sprigs. Between March and April, a female lays a clutch of 2-3 pure white, textured eggs. For the following month, the female incubates the eggs while the male brings food to her. Owlets hatch with white, downy feathers and begin to grow adult feathers at around 6 weeks old. At that point, the fledglings start exploring around the nest tree, often falling to the ground and having to climb back up using their feet and beaks. The parents continue to help feed the fledglings as they practice hunting throughout the summer months. By mid-autumn, when the young owls are flying and hunting well by themselves, they fly away from the nest and gain independence.


With 29,095 observations submitted by 2,226 observers in May, 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!

Publicado el 12 de junio de 2024 a las 04:40 PM por vce14 vce14 | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

30 de mayo de 2024

Time to Check Your iNaturalist Settings to Help Science and Conservation

If you would like scientists and conservation biologists at the Vermont Atlas of Life and beyond use your valuable observations, there's a few iNaturalist settings that are important to check and set.

The first one is geoprivacy. Have you been wondering about that blue circle surrounding your observations on the map? Curious about how iNaturalist protects the privacy of species of conservation concern? Want to ensure that your observations are useful to conservationists and researchers in Vermont? Read our short primer on iNaturalist geoprivacy and learn how you can best set your geoprivacy settings for the Vermont Atlas of Life so that we can use your observations for science and conservation. Visit https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQUa6ZXvL9YNWeG5Yz5DOW4j2J8fOcDBrD5x3LvrEE1rQlANI3I_wql62eY1NM736Ctbj_ADFb851Uv/pub

The second important setting is your copyright selections. Check out our short primer on setting copyright for observations, photographs, and sound recordings so that we can use your data for science and conservation. Visit https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/84932-updated-choosing-licensing-that-allows-scientists-to-use-your-observations.

Thank you so much for all your observations and helping us conserve biodiversity!

Publicado el 30 de mayo de 2024 a las 06:12 PM por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de mayo de 2024

Vote for the May 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

We're already halfway through the month of May, which means it's time to start casting your votes for the best Vermont Atlas of Life Photo-observation of the Month! You can "fave" any and all observations that you like—located to the right of the photographs and just below the location map is a star symbol. Click on this star and you've fave'd an observation. At the end of each month, we'll see which Photo-observation has the most votes and crown them the monthly winner! Check out this month's awesome observations and click the star for those that shine for you.

Check out who is in the lead and see a list of all of this month's Photo-observations so far!

Publicado el 15 de mayo de 2024 a las 03:34 PM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 2024 Photo-observation of the Month


Big Brown Bat foraging a couple of hours after the solar eclipse on April 8. © iNat user @hobiecat

Congratulations to iNat user @hobiecat for winning the April 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photograph of a Big Brown Bat foraging the evening of the April 8 solar eclipse received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Big Brown Bats are year-round Vermont residents. hibernating inside winter shelters called hibernacula like caves, mines, hollow trees, and buildings. In springtime when insect populations return, these bats emerge to feast. In the late evening, they take wing to forage over fields, along forest edges, high in the canopy, and along bodies of water for beetles and other flying insects. This iNaturalist observation shows this particular Big Brown Bat foraging from around 5:15 to 5:50 PM, a couple of hours after eclipse totality. The dusk-like quality of light during the eclipse may have confused some wildlife, including this bat, into emerging to forage early!

With 18,816 observations submitted by 1,560 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!

Publicado el 15 de mayo de 2024 a las 03:15 PM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de abril de 2024

Welcome to the Second Vermont Butterfly Atlas (2023-2027) Field Season!

Spring is finally here, and already this year, atlas volunteers have found 10 species of butterflies, signaling the start of our second atlas field season. I hope you have seen some and shared them too.

Thank you to returning volunteers for adopting a survey block last year and big welcome to any new or interested volunteers. If you’d like to adopt a survey block(s), just visit our Block Mapper tool and sign up, but if you are continuing to survey the block(s) you adopted last year, there is no need to sign up again. They are still yours to continue to explore and survey!

Thank you for helping us make the first year of this atlas an incredible success! We had 104 survey blocks adopted by 75 participants (72/184 priority blocks and 32 non-priority blocks). We had 88 observers report 88 butterfly species in 1,840 complete checklists comprising 6,400 butterfly occurrence records to e-Butterfly.org, our official atlas data portal. Additionally, nearly 950 observers reported more than 5,500 butterfly photo-vouchers to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. What an incredible start to the atlas despite a very rainy summer.

Generally, our goal is to record >40 species on each priority block before the end of the 5-year survey. With 184 priority blocks scattered across Vermont, we have a lot of work to do!  We have made some big improvements to our Block Mapper tool this year. For example, you can now compare what you have found so far on your block to the first atlas, historical data, and more.

We have also improved our flight chart tool to help you see what might be flying each week. Give it a moment to load as it grabs over 100,000 butterfly records and builds the chart on the fly. It then orders them for the week by prevalence. We have improved our searchable species checklist and account pages too. As an example, check out one of my favorite species that is just starting to fly, West Virginia White, and learn all about its natural history and where it has been found in the state so far. And finally, the tool we have all been waiting for…a mobile app for e-Butterfly. We have worked hard all winter to prepare this app and it is in the final stages before release now. Soon, you will be able to record your butterfly checklists on your smartphone and upload them directly to e-Butterfly. It also has computer vision to help you put a first identification on images you take.

If you have not, please join our Atlas discussion forum, a place for everyone to share ideas, ask us questions, learn from each other, and more. There are already some great questions and conversations taking place there about survey types, zero counts, and more.

If you need some help getting started or a refresher about using e-Butterfly, we have quick start guides, videos, and more. Every time butterfly watchers raise binoculars and cameras to record a butterfly sighting, they collect important data. Recording the number, date, and location of each and every butterfly, no matter how common or rare, may seem trivial, even repetitive— but this detailed information can be invaluable to science and conservation. Butterflies act as early warning signals for habitat degradation, climate change, and other ecological forces. Join Dr. Rodrigo Solis Sosa, our Human Network and Data Coordinator at e-Butterfly, as he explains how to use e-Butterfly in this recorded webinar.  Or check out our Help pages that will quickly get you started on using e-Butterfly. There’s a Quick Start Guide that takes you through each step when entering a butterfly checklist. Learn about our crowd-sourced data vetting system and our identification tool and how you can quickly get started in helping to verify eButterfly data too.

Finally, if you need any help with the atlas, I am always happy to answer questions and even jump on a zoom call for a mini-tutorial or answer questions. Please feel free to drop me an email anytime or share your question, ideas, knowledge and stories on the forum where we can all join together to learn and discuss. Thank you so much for being part of the Second Vermont Butterfly Atlas!

Publicado el 25 de abril de 2024 a las 01:00 PM por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

15 de abril de 2024

March 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

A red stalk of Bug-on-a-stick moss points skyward from a carpet of other green and brown mosses. © iNat user @origamilevi

Congratulations to Levi Smith (@origamilevi) for winning the March 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their photograph of Bug-on-a-stick received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Bug-on-a-stick is not actually a bug on a stick, but a unique-looking moss (Buxbaumia aphylla) found in temperate regions across the world. Named for its tiny fungus-like stalk and capsule that resembles a bug perched on the end of a stick, this moss is a pioneer species that likes disturbed soil with minimal competition from other plants. After the snow melts in the spring, green stalks and capsules begin to appear, turning coppery red as they mature. With any luck, you might find these elusive mosses in the forest growing from the decaying wood of old logs or along the edges of creeks.

Smith was also the recipient of the 2022 Youth Community Scientist of the Year Award and was the subject of an article in Fall 2022 Field Notes.


With 4,528 observations submitted by 541 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!

Publicado el 15 de abril de 2024 a las 03:50 PM por vce14 vce14 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de marzo de 2024

February 2024 Photo-observation of the Month


A Peregrine Falcon, with its narrow, pointed wings and torpedo-shaped body, is built for speed. © iNat user @winterglow

Congratulations to @winterglow for winning the February 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their mid-flight photograph of the fastest bird on earth, the Peregrine Falcon, received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

A peregrination is a long, often arduous journey or pilgrimage, a word well-suited for a long-distance migrant such as the Peregrine Falcon. This falcon, found across the globe on all continents but Antarctica, might be better known for a much shorter journey that begins high in the sky and ends with a duck, shorebird, or pigeon far below gripped in its talons. During these high-speed flights known as ‘stoops’, Peregrine Falcons can reach speeds in excess of 200mph, faster than any bird on earth. Just as comfortable on the rocky cliffs of Vermont as they are on the skyscrapers of New York City, the Peregrine Falcon is one of the greatest conservation success stories on the continent, having recovered from the disastrous effects of DDT with the help of captive rearing and release programs. Some may know the Peregrine Falcon as a vital character in My Side of the Mountain, a book that sparked a love of nature in myself and many other budding naturalists. In Vermont, Peregrine Falcons have recovered in recent decades to the point where most suitable cliff faces in the state now have a nesting pair in residence. This success is thanks in part to efforts to reduce disturbance of nesting falcons by closing off breeding sites to climbers and hikers. You can learn more about the status of Peregrine Falcons in Vermont here and view a map of nearby sightings of this iconic species on Vermont eBird.


With 2,844 observations submitted by 524 observers in February, 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!

Publicado el 11 de marzo de 2024 a las 01:48 PM por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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