There is SO MUCH going on this time of year! Everything is greening up, migration is in full swing, and garden preparation is underway. I couldn’t wait until May to share these spring resources with you. They’ll help you figure out what’s croaking and chirping on the lakeshore, how to consider native bees and pollinators as you build your garden, and share opportunities to help scientists gather data. Read on!
Spotted salamander embryos in their gelatinous protective layer. Image: A. Rooney, VT Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.
Wildlife Identification Assistance and Migration Tracking:
- Garden Guide for Native Bees (VT Center for Ecosystem Studies): information about how to plant and manage your garden with native bees in mind.
- Go Botany (Native Plant Trust): great keys to help you figure out the wild plants growing on your lakeshore. Start with a simple key or dive into advanced options.
- All About Birds (Cornell Lab for Ornithology): this site is really all about birds! Live cams, bird id and songs – everything you want to know!
- VT Reptile and Amphibian Atlas: Learn about these harder to see critters, hear their spring songs, and send in your observations to help the organization keep track of local populations.
- Bats can be spring migrants too: According to VT Fish and Wildlife (Got Bats?), there are 3 species of migratory bats in Vermont (silver-haired, hoary, and eastern red bats). Endangered species like the little brown bat might be living in your house or barn. Check out their species guide to learn more. I saw my first bat on April 23!
- Migration Tracking:
Volunteer To Gather Data About VT Critters:
- Vermont Butterfly Atlas (VT Center for Ecosystem Studies): VCE needs volunteers like you to adopt atlas blocks to thoroughly survey butterflies during the atlas. Volunteers are asked to visit potential butterfly habitats in their adopted priority block(s) at least once per month during the growing season. Observers will obtain photographic and sight records of all butterflies they encounter and submit them to our e-Butterfly site for final verification.
- Northeast Darner Flight Watch (VT Center for Ecosystem Studies): VCE research has found that Common Green Darner migration closely follows a thermocline of 48 degrees F (9.17 C) in spring. We are curious if climate change will shift Common Green Darner migration and their arrival dates here in the Northeast. Join our Northeast Darner Flight Watch and help us beat our model predictions!
- Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas: share your reptile and amphibian sightings to help this organization fill in knowledge gaps around the state. Spotted salamanders, frogs, newts and more are on the move now. Grab your headlamp and get out after dark to see who is there!
Wood frogs are croaking away right now in some areas of Vermont. You might mix them up with ducks – listen here! Image: John Jose.