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In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • The 20th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
  • Which Bird Migrates Furthest?
  • Sign Up for 2017 Salamander Escorts
  • Evening Grosbeaks: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?
  • VT Photo Big Year
  • OCAS Calendar of Events
  • Addison County Christmas Bird Counts
  • Black Vultures Moving In

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.

– Ron Payne

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This year 42 field birders and 13 observers at feeders located and identified 24,073 birds of 72 species in during our Middlebury Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 18th.  

Water bodies within our count circle had remained open through the Thursday before the count when temperatures dropped and most still water froze over.  Access to water allows ducks, geese, eagles, herons, kingfishers, and other water-related birds to continue to find food in the Lake Champlain basin.  Despite the freeze, field teams found 13 of the 44 water-related species that we have located over the 28 years of the count.  Ducks and geese were identified while sitting in fields, flying overhead, and occasionally sitting on the ice.  In addition, two Great Blue herons were found near small patches of remaining open water.  The team of Ian Worley, Ethan Fenn, and Richard Harlow identified a flock of 16 Black scoters flying south over the icy lake.  This is the first time this species has been identified during our count, though it is irregularly seen during X-mas counts held further north of us in the open waters of Lake Champlain.  A new record of 15 Bald eagles were counted in our circle as well.  Some of these may have been our own local eagles that are now returning to nest in Addison County for the first time in decades. Read the rest of this entry »

The 57th Ferrisburgh Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday December 17th. Our field teams fought through a snowy morning, but the afternoon was clear. Temperatures sat in the high teens and twenties through the day. The lake was mostly open, but inland waters and Otter Creek were mostly frozen. Thirty-seven people in 12 field teams spent 132 hours searching for birds. Their efforts were supplemented by three feeder watchers.  All together the teams came up with 16,927 birds of 74 species with three additional count week species. Over the last ten years we have averaged 78 species and just over 22,000 birds. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you live in or near one of the circles in the map above? If so, you should consider participating in the Christmas Bird Count. One of the oldest, continuously running, citizen science projects, the CBC has accumulated over a century’s worth of data on the occurrence of wintering birds. This data was played a key role in National Audubon Society’s recent Climate Report. There are two ways to participate, as a field observer spending an entire day scouring a territory for birds, or if you Read the rest of this entry »

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Hermit Thrush

With the holiday season nearly upon us, we are happy to announce that Gary Starr is again graciously offering proceeds from the sale of his bird ornaments to support Otter Creek Audubon Society environmental and educational programs. These beautiful hand-crafted pieces are perfect as gifts, for a Christmas tree, or for use to beautify your home year-round. Please see the order form for a list of all the ornaments available, pricing and instructions on making a purchase.

When ordering by telephone at 802-388-6552 or through the www.starrdecoys.com website, please clearly indicate that your purchase is for this OCAS fundraiser.

– Ron Payne

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In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • Natural Rights, an editorial
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial
  • 2016 VT Photo Big Year
  • Hog Island Educators’ Week
  • Calling All Addison County Educators
  • Animal Architecture, a review
  • New Take on Lichens
  • Status of the Rare Birds of Vermont
  • Solitary Sandpipers Live Up to their Name

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.

– Ron Payne

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I’ve been on a bit of a photography binge for the last few months. Some of you already know, but I’d like to make an announcement to OCAS Members about a year long fundraiser I’m doing to raise money for an Otter Creek Audubon grant to send a student or teacher to the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine where they will gain an education in bird conservation and identification. I’m in the midst of a photographic big year of Read the rest of this entry »

In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • Long-eared Owls Exposed
  • Plant to Plant
  • America’s Snake: A Review
  • Marbled Murrelets’ Woes
  • The Buzz on Audubon Vermont’s Geolocator Work
  • Spotlight on Outdoor Learning
  • New Take on Lichens
  • 15th Annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day
  • Calendar of Events

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.

– Ron Payne

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In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • 2016 Environmental Education Grant Recipients
  • Neonics and the EPA — An Editorial
  • Salamander Crossing 2016
  • The Messengers: Birds and Climate Change
  • Let’s Go Birding!
  • Cuba-U.S Environmental Agreement
  • Overwintering Sandhill Cranes Move Northwest
  • Calendar of Event
  • Devastating Salamander Fungus

Read the rest of this entry »

In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • The Great Backyard Bird Count
  • Vagrant Plastic
  • Wisdom Returns
  • Odd Ducks and Others
  • Fish Crow on Middlebury Christmas Count
  • Dealing with Phenological Mismatch
  • Songbirds At Night
  • 2016 Salamander Escorts
  • We Can Make a Difference
  • Forest Birds Losing Ground

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.

– Ron Payne

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