VCE Releases a Major Report Today Documenting the Status of Vermont’s Forest Birds
A 25-year study of Vermont’s forest birds, including woodpeckers, warblers and other iconic species, has documented a 14.2 percent overall population decline during the period, raising concerns about birds and forests alike.
The Vermont Bird Records Committee (VBRC) is pleased to announce a new online form with media uploading for reporting observations of rare, out-of-season, and rare nesting bird species in the state. The tool was created for the committee by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Founded in 1980, the mission of the VBRC is to validate records of birds within the State of Vermont and maintain the state bird checklist. The committee is composed of expert birders and ornithologists from Vermont. This new online form has been prepared to encourage full and detailed documentation of rare or unseasonal birds observed in Vermont.
How often have you looked at a ubiquitous Red-tailed Hawk on a roadside pole, a nearby tree, or soaring overhead, and wondered aloud about how it just looks different … or wondered if it even was a Red-tail? We all know that Vermont’s most familiar hawk comes in different sizes, shades, and plumage patterns. But is it just different individuals, ages, and sexes, or could it be birds from different, recognizable subspecies?
From a Great Horned Owl on Snake Mountain on January 1st, to Long-tailed Ducks at the South Hero Causeway on December 31st, Vermont birders scoured fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to discover as many species as possible during the 6th annual Vermont eBird County Quest. The year-long contest pits county versus county, birder against birder — all engaged in a friendly rivalry for top birding honors. The main idea behind the year-long Quest is simply to get people out birding, promote camaraderie, and better document bird life across the state, using Vermont eBird.
2017 marks the 14 year anniversary of Vermont eBird, the first state portal for eBird. The bird checklists that you have shared have helped make Vermont eBird the largest citizen science biodiversity project in the state and around the world. Nearly 2,000 Vermont eBirders have submitted 218,869 complete checklists, representing all 385 species of birds ever reported from Vermont. We’ve added nearly 11,000 images and over 500 sound recordings to Vermont checklists. And we join the more than 1/3 million eBirders worldwide that have submitted 370 million bird sightings, representing 10,313 species from every country in the world! We are continually humbled by the amazing power and passion of the birding community, and have nothing but excitement as we look to the future of what we can do together. As we compile this list of eBird’s achievements in 2016, we are reminded that these are all truly your achievements. It is your contributions that power this knowledge engine. Every time you go out and keep a list of birds you see, you’re making a real contribution to our understanding of the world’s ever-changing avian biodiversity.
The 117th Christmas Bird Count will take place from December 14 through January 5. This is perhaps the longest running citizen science project in Vermont. Each count occurs in a designated circle, 15 miles in diameter, and is led by an experienced birder, or designated “compiler”. Read more to learn where Vermont CBCs are located, date of counts and compiler contact information.
The Christmas Count is the largest and longest-running ornithological citizen science project. Vermont eBird can be a great way to store your sector-level data and compare it from year to year. It is not a problem to enter data in Vermont eBird and then submit it for the CBC too, since the two projects are collecting data in similar ways, but at different scales. Learn more about how you can best add your CBC observations to Vermont eBird.
The Vermont Bird Records Committee (VBRC) held its annual meeting on November 12, 2016 at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. The 36th annual report of the VBRC covers the evaluation of 48 records involving 31 species and 2 subspecies. Forty records were accepted (83%) with the majority (n=35 records) decided unanimously. There were no first state records for any species during this period. The first fully documented subspecies record for Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata auduboni) observed in Windsor, Vermont was accepted.
Bald eagles produced 34 successful young in Vermont in 2016, smashing the most recent record of 26 in 2013 according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The birds remain on the list of species protected under Vermont’s state endangered species law, but this strong year has conservationists hopeful for their continued recovery.
You can discover the best places for birding in Vermont (or around the world) using the Vermont eBird hotspot explorer. The Hotspot Explorer provides a completely new way to plan birding trips, putting millions of records from over 100,000 eBirders around the world into your hands. And now, you can even print out a bird checklist from any hotspot to carry with you in the field or study at your leisure.