Outdoor Radio

An adult loon keeps a watchful eye on Lake Fairlee in West Fairlee, Vermont.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

The Vermont Center For Ecostudies reported a record year for Vermont's loons in 2017, and part of the success story happened on Lake Fairlee, where a pair of loons nested for the second consecutive year. Biologists Kent McFarland, Sara Zahendra and Eric Hanson headed out in canoes to take a look at the nesting sites.

Alyssa Bennett, a small mammal biologist with the Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department, shows the difference in size between the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

A bat will eat about half its weight in insects on a summer night, and it can live more than 30 years. That's a lot of insects! But unfortunately, the disease called white-nose syndrome has taken a huge toll on Vermont's bat population.

Kent McFarland

Hard hats in hand, Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra head to the docks at Lake Champlain. They are taking a boat to Papasquash Island, owned by Audubon Vermont, to help count the new breeding population of common terns.

Roy Pilcher

The arrival of the American Woodcock is one of the exciting signs of spring in Vermont.

Kent McFarland / Vermont Center For Ecostudies.

Porcupines can have as many as 30,000 quills on their bodies, but contrary to the popular myth, they do not 'shoot' them at enemies.  They feast on hemlock branches and are preyed upon by fishers.

Chris Bernier / Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra traveled by snowmobile into the wilderness of the Northeast Kingdom in hopes of spotting a Canada lynx or lynx tracks.

Kent McFarland / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

Crows are the stuff of movies, mysteries and dark lore. They are also smart, gregarious birds with fascinating habits including a gathering called the winter roost when thousands of crows group together late in the day.

Kent McFarland / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

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

Kent McFarland / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

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.

Kent McFarland / Vermont Center for Ecostudies

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.

Ed Sharron

This month on Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies head out into the woods to track the Fisher. Sometimes called the Fisher Cat, it's not a cat at all. Biologist Steve Faccio, who specializes in Fishers, joins McFarland and Zahendra to dispel some myths about Fishers and offer tips on how to track them.

Kent McFarland / Vermont Cetner for Ecostudies

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. 

Chris Albertine/VPR

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.

Sarah Carline

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra head to central Vermont in search of the Timber Rattlesnake. 

ilbusca / istock

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra head out to West Haven, Vermont at dusk to brave a cloud of mosquitoes in search of the song of the threatened whip-poor-will.

Steve Faccio

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies recently took a trip to the Bolton Cliffs in search of a mighty bird.

Kent McFarland

On an early spring day, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra stand in front of a vernal pool in Strafford. It’s noisy.

“The wood frogs are going berserk behind us,” says McFarland. “The sunlight has come down out of the clouds and warmed them up – they are ready to go.”

Kent McFarland

On a balmy, 25-degree afternoon in winter, three Vermonters go to the tiny town of Victory in the Northeast Kingdom in search of the fearless Gray Jay.

Kent McFarland

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra glide out on to the ice covering Lake Morey in Fairlee.

“It’s February in Vermont and it’s pond hockey time,” says McFarland.

Kent McFarland

When you're on the ski lift or hiking up Vermont's mountains, take a look around to see the life zones of the trees on the mountainside. Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, rode the gondola at Stowe Mountain Resort for the view from Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield.

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