Outdoor Radio

Outdoor Radio

From VPR

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies and VPR unite the sounds and science of nature in this monthly feature. The program is hosted by biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, who share their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for wildlife education and conservation.More from Outdoor Radio »

Most Recent Episodes

Outdoor Radio: Inside A Beaver Lodge

Beavers are often thought to be a nuisance, but they also make positive contributions to the environment.

Outdoor Radio: Amazing Migration

Putney Mountain is one of the high points in Vermont where bird watchers gather in early fall to see the migration of raptors and butterflies. Biologist Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra explain how raptors travel for hundreds of miles using as little energy as possible. HawkCount offers this chart of the most recent raptor counts; the UVM EcoBlog provides more information about raptor migration in Vermont. Outdoor Radio is a monthly feature produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center for EcoStudies in Norwich Vermont with support from the Byrne Foundation. The program is produced and edited by VPR's Chief Production Engineer, Chris Albertine. This program originally aired September 14, 2014.

Outdoor Radio: Tracking The Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies are hard to miss with their brilliant orange color and a wingspan that can reach four inches across. But recently they've been difficult to find because their numbers are in decline. In this edition of Outdoor Radio, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland track Monarchs in the flower-filled fields of the Burlington Intervale. We'll learn how Monarchs migrate to Mexico and the challenges to their survival.

Outdoor Radio: A Pollinator Paradise At The Birds Of Vermont Museum

The Birds Of Vermont Museum in Huntington has created pollinator gardens to attract and support bees, butterflies, flies and other insects. Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, ecologists at the Vermont Center For Ecostudies, visited the museum to talk about pollinators and plants with Executive Director Erin Talmadge and Museum Educator Allison Gergely. The museum selected native and ornamental flowers that are attractive to both pollinators and gardeners. In this edition of Outdoor Radio, McFarland and Zahendra talk about the wide variety of insects that benefit from these special gardens and how to create a pollinator paradise in your own garden. To learn more about pollinators and how to attract them, we recommend these resources: Birds of Vermont MuseumXerces Society Pollinator GardensJoin the Million Pollinator Garden ChallengeAttracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants from the US Forest Service​The Pollinator PartnershipWild Pollinators and VT's Food SystemVermont

Outdoor Radio: The Future Of Vermont's Lake Sturgeon

The lake sturgeon is an ancient, long-lived and peculiar fish that lives in Lake Champlain. Lake sturgeon can live as long as 150 years and weigh 300 pounds. They are basically a prehistoric relic — a fishasaurus!

Outdoor Radio: Amphibian Crossings

This month, Outdoor Radio takes you to Salisbury, Vermont where salamanders, newts and frogs are crossing Morgan Road to a swamp where they reproduce. Dozens of volunteers are keeping a tally, and when a car comes along, the volunteers scoop them up so they don't get squashed. Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are joined by Herpetologist Jim Andrews as the volunteers work with clipboards and flashlights to participate in this rite of Spring. Over the course of two and a half hours, 44 volunteers counted 512 amphibians. For more information about amphibian migrations in Vermont, check out these sites: View the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian AtlasReport your sightings of amphibians to the Vermont Atlas of LifeLearn about vernal pools and see a map of Vermont sitesOutdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center For Ecostudies with support from the Windham Foundation. The program is recorded and produced by VPR's Chief Production Engineer Chris Albertine.

Outdoor Radio: Restoring The American Elm

Scientists are working diligently to help the majestic American Elm reign once again, after the tree was decimated by Dutch Elm Disease. In this episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies are in Plainfield at the foot of a disease-resistant elm. Scientists are taking branch clippings from 60 feet up to pair the buds with other resistant trees. When these buds open in a few weeks, the pollen will be harvested and matched to other disease resistant trees. Look for disease-resistant American Elm varieties at nurseries near you. Resources to learn more about the American Elm: American Elm factsReport your sightings of American Elm to iNaturalist VermontSee the iNaturalist map of all reported sightingsMore about Dutch Elm DiseaseMore about Elm bark beetlesThe Nature Conservancy VermontOutdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with The Vermont Center For Ecostudies with support from Heritage Engineering in Weathersfield,

Outdoor Radio: Chickadees At Your Feeder

This is the time of year when Black-capped Chickadees congregate at bird feeders, making their distinctive sound. These affable little birds are stashing away thousands of seeds for the winter.

Outdoor Radio: Snow Geese

The Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area is a destination spot for bird watchers who come to see the thousands of snow geese that flock there. Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland explain why snow geese are on the decline and why that's a good thing. You'll hear the incredible din of the birds as they rise up from Dead Creek in a cloud of winged snow. Here are some additional resources to learn about Dead Creek and Snow Geese. Vermont e-Bird's live map of snow geese sightingsNatrualist Brian Pfeiffer's 2015 Snow Goose ScoopAll About Bird's Field Guide To Snow GeeseOrnithologist Brian Sibley's guide on How To Identify White GeeseOutdoor Radio is produced by VPR Chief Audio Engineer Chris Albertine. The program is produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center For Ecostudies in Norwich, Vermont.

Outdoor Radio: The Phenology Of Fall

We all learned the basics of how and why leaves change color in the fall. But on this edition of Outdoor Radio, we take a deeper look at the chemistry of foliage.

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