18 de junio de 2022

Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz Kickoff

Our third annual Vermont Lady Beetle Bioblitz is certainly off to a dreary start. “When it is raining and below 55, it is usually rather difficult to rustle up lady beetles,” said Julia Pupko, Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Project Coordinator. “Even though today's conditions were not optimal (or even average) for lady beetle searches, we still had 7 observations of 6 different species! I would say that the first day of the BioBlitz went very well.”

Today, naturalists across the state found non-native Seven-spotted, Fourteen-spotted, and Asian Lady Beetle species, along with the native Polished, Spotted, and Parenthesis Lady Beetle species. Check out the observations on the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz 2022 page. While you are there, don’t forget to join the project!


Polished Lady Beetle © redeft23 on iNaturalist

Ingresado el 18 de junio de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de junio de 2022

2022 Lady Beetle BioBlitz Events

Breaking news - our 2022 Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz starts in just under 5 days! From June 18 to June 26, we will be scouring Vermont for lady beetles. We hope you will join us in our search, whether you look in your backyard or at the peaks of the mountains. Join the 2022 Lady Beetle BioBlitz project by following this link.

Want to join VCE biologists and ECO AmeriCorps members for lady beetle walks/ bioblitzes? Register for one or both of these events here:

Don't know where or how to start searching for and documenting lady beetles? Check out this post for some more information.

Want to learn more about Vermont's lady beetle species so you know what to look for? Check out:

Email Julia Pupko at jpupko@vtecostudies.org with any questions!

Ingresado el 13 de junio de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de junio de 2022

New lady beetle species discovered in VT, lady beetle bioblitz 2022, and upcoming events

On May 13, I wandered through a neighbor’s yard, looking for lady beetles, known to most people as ladybugs. I had not found a single beetle in over an hour, which usually means that I will not find any if I continue surveying. I was about to dump the contents of my net when I noticed a tiny black speck with pale yellow spots. “Aha! An Octavia Lady Beetle,” I thought to myself. After scooping the tiny beetle into a vial and photographing her, I realized that this was a new species to me. As it turns out, this was also a new species to the state of Vermont—Hyperaspis troglodytes—which only has a total of three observations in iNaturalist across its range, which stretches from New England to the midwestern U.S..


Hyperaspis troglodytes © Julia Pupko

My neighbor may not be the only person to have a rare lady beetle in their yard, you may have one in your own backyard as well! From June 18 to 26, 2022 the Vermont Atlas of Life team is holding their annual Lady Beetle BioBlitz. Participation is simple—whenever you find a lady beetle, simply photograph it and upload your observations to iNaturalist. Your observations will be automatically pulled into the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas and the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz 2022. You can search anywhere from your favorite natural area to your own backyard! Be sure to join the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz project to stay up to date with bioblitz events.

Follow this link to learn more about how to search for and photograph lady beetles. For more information on our search for missing lady beetles, check out this blog post. The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas website can be found here.

Upcoming Events:
June 24: Lady Beetle walk at Round Pond, South Hero VT (check back for details soon!)
June 25: BioBlitz at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge - event details here

Ingresado el 06 de junio de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

03 de junio de 2022

Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Suprasses Half a Million Research-Grade Records

This spring Tom Scavo snapped a photo of a Trout Lily and shared it to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and Tom Norton soon agreed with the identification. It was something the both of them have done thousands of times, but this one was special. It was the 500,000th research-grade record for our project, making this the largest biodiversity database likely every collected for the state.

This is something we’ve all made together, but it’s larger than any one of us. Together, we've created a unique window into life in Vermont and thousands of species with whom we share the this amazing place. Thank you!

We are now approaching 1 million observations overall. Let's keep it going. You can help by sifting through all the observations of others and help to verify any that you can so we can keep growing our research-grade data. Add more observations of your own, no matter how common or rare the species is, every observation is important. And you can help annotate observations with life stages, phenology of flowering, associated species, and many more annotations that help make the data even more rich for research and conservation.

Let's make it a million, and learn about life in Vermont together!

Ingresado el 03 de junio de 2022 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de junio de 2022

May 2022 Photo-observation of the Month


A handsome portrait of an American Black Bear. ©
@ckhunt

Congratulations for the second month in a row to Craig Hunt for winning the April 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His stunning portrait of an American Black Bear received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

While it’s been said many times before, it bears repeating (apologies, I couldn’t help myself) that American Black Bears should not be approached, bothered, or habituated to humans. Craig’s full-frame portrait of this bear moving through the forests of Townshend, VT was made possible by a 600mm camera lens which allowed him to make these gorgeous images from a safe distance. While there are ways to discourage bears from visiting or damaging your yard, outlined here, these highly mobile mammals often wander through wooded properties throughout the spring and summer, providing an opportunity to admire one of Vermont’s largest mammals. If you’ve had a recent black bear encounter, feel free to tell us more in the comments below! To hear about a visit to an American Black Bear’s winter den, check out this episode of outdoor radio on VPR.


With 27,517 observations submitted by 1,941 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!

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

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

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