November 2018
Late autumn fades into winter in the Green Mountains, Vermont. / © K.P. McFarland

A Field Guide to November
As leaves continue to fall and the first snow flakes fly, it may seem that oncoming cold weather brings nature to a standstill. On the contrary, there remains much to be discovered in Vermont during this transitional season. Careful observers can witness the tail end of migration as waterfowl and hawks continue their journey south, while a few hardy species of butterflies and moths remain to further brighten sunny days, and avian visitors from the north begin to raid feeders across New England. Learn more in our Field Guide to November.
Mountain Anole ( Anolis monticola),  an endemic lizard from Massif La Hotte, Haiti.  / © Eladio Fernandez

In Haiti, Mass Extinction Underway as Deforestation Nearly Complete
Haiti's deforestation crisis has hit a perilous milestone: if the current rate of deforestation continues, all of the country's original primary forests - and the majority of species that inhabit them - will vanish within 20 years.
A recent study published in  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paints a stark picture of this continuing biodiversity disaster. For the past 15 years, VCE biologists have worked closely with conservation counterparts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to stem the devastating rate of deforestation on the shared island of Hispaniola. Learn about the situation and what you can do to help on VCE's blog.
Suds & Science is Back on Tap in November!
Jason Hill Suds & Science Po'ouli November 2018
What better way to spend a chilly November evening than discussing a fascinating natural history topic with a scientist in your favorite cozy tavern? 

November 6, 2018: 7-8 PM
An eyewitness account to extinction:  the last flight of the Po'ouli
Come early (6:30 pm) and meet other fans of science in Jasper Murdock's Alehouse at the Norwich Inn.
"It was never going to be easy, but I always thought it was possible - finding and capturing the last three Po'ouli in the middle of an inaccessible rainforest on the side of a volcano," remembered biologist Jason Hill. The Po'ouli was a hard bird to find; small, darkly-colored, and largely silent, this Hawaiian honeycreeper spent most of its time in the dense understory of one of the wettest places in the world. Since it first became known to western science in 1973, the Po'ouli's population rapidly declined due to predation by rats and a lack of resistance to avian malaria. The species retreated to higher elevations, where it was too cold for year-round mosquitoes and the malaria parasite... but it was too late. By 2003, only three birds remained; in 2004, the Po'ouli was gone. This is the short story of the Po'ouli and one young biologist who was there at the end. Come enjoy a frothy beverage and hear the rest of the story.
VCE's Suds & Science is a free event for all ages. All talks are recorded by Community Access Television (CATV), and you can find past talks on VCE's Suds & Science webpage! The next event will be held on January 8, 2019. Stay tuned for details!
This month, learn how to take captivating bird photos, like this one of a Great Gray Owl. 
/ © Bryan Pfeiffer

Year of the Bird November Action: Capture the Beauty of Birds on Camera
Go on an assignment with National Geographic Your Shot, a storytelling community where photographers can take part in photo assignments, get expert feedback, be published, and more. Another great resource - w hether you're new to bird photography or a seasoned photographer ready to up your game - is  Audubon's Tips and How-Tos.
After you've taken that great shot, don't forget to submit your photo (and checklists, and sound recordings) to Vermont eBird - or go to eBird.org to submit observations taken outside of Vermont. Your information will be available for use by scientists, educators, and fellow bird enthusiasts around the world to advance avian research and conservation. Every bird counts!
In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most far-reaching and important bird protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, we're joining forces with people from around the globe to celebrate and recommit to protecting birds now and into the future.  Year of the Bird  features twelve months of storytelling, science, and conservation aimed at highlighting the importance of birds and their conservation - we hope you'll join us.
Bicknell's Thrush on a nest on Stratton Mountain, Vermont. / © K.P. McFarland
A Wild Idea: Your Lasting Gift to Wildlife
Make a gift to VCE in your will to support a cause that has been important in your life.
A "planned" gift, whether modest or grand, is a powerful expression of your commitment to conserving wildlife into the future. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to include VCE in your estate plans. Here are a few options:
  • Gift in your will - Include VCE in your will or living trust by designating either a specific amount or a percentage of your estate. 
  • Gift from a life insurance policy or retirement plan - Naming VCE as a beneficiary is easy and can provide tax savings for your estate. 
  • Gift that pays you income - Make a gift to VCE and, in return, receive a tax deduction and income for life. 
VCE honors donors who have made planned gifts with membership in  Bicknell's Legacy Society, named for one of our signature wildlife research subjects, Bicknell's Thrush. Members received a unique, ready-to-hang photograph of a nesting Bicknell's Thrush (pictured above), priority registration for VCE's nature tours, and our sincere gratitude for being part of the VCE family. Make your legacy a secure future for wildlife! We'd be happy to help - please contact Associate Director Susan Hindinger for more information.
Bridget and Sara examine an Eastern Garter Snake in Belvidere,Vermont, that didn't make it to the other side of the road. This is actually the first town record for this species according to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas! / © K.P. McFarland
Outdoor Radio: Taking Pictures of Roadkill Can Help Protect Wildlife
There's a story behind roadkill and people like you can help tell it. Thousands of accidents are caused by collisions with wildlife every year. How can we manage roadways so that they are safer for everyone - vehicles and animals?
This month, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra look for roadkill in the Cold Hollow Mountains in Belvidere, Vermont, with Bridget Butler, Program Director of Cold Hollow to Canada. Listen to the show and get more in-depth information (including photos from the field) on VCE's  Outdoor Radio webpage .
VCE and  Vermont Public Radio  unite the sounds and science of nature in our monthly feature aired on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:20 PM, and again on Thursday at 7:50 AM. Frogs and ferns, finches and fish - anything is fair game for co-hosts Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra. Join us to explore and uncover some of the mysteries of our natural world.
Giving Tuesday
November 27, 2018
Here's a little inside scoop: VCE is planning a fun Giving Tuesday live Facebook event to support Outdoor Radio. Tune in on November 27th to have your burning nature questions answered by VCE's biologists, and maybe even win a prize!  We'll post details about the event on our social media channels as the day draws nearer. See you in three Tuesdays!
Photo-observation of the Month
Eastern Milksnake by Joanne Russo
An Eastern Milksnake photographed and submitted by Joanne Russo. Click here to see the observation at the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.

It was a hotly contested race this month, with the winner narrowly squeaking by other amazing photo-observations. Congratulations to  Joanne Russo  for winning the  October 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month . Her image of a beautiful Eastern Milksnake was the most popular photo-observation.

Eastern Milksnakes ( Lampropeltis triangulum ) generally grow between two to three feet long (but the  longest documented in Vermont  is 43.5 inches). It is also known colloquially as the "Spotted" or "Checkered Adder," but it isn't really an adder. Learn more about what they eat and where they live on VCE's blog 

Visit iNaturalist Vermont, and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking 'fav' 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!
The Vermont Center for Ecostudies promotes wildlife conservation across the Americas using the combined strength of scientific research and citizen engagement. Find us online at: www.vtecostudies.org