Ask a Naturalist: Amphibians

Red eft (tiny orange salamander) climbing over a single brown pine needle on a forest floor.

Local naturalists answer your questions about amphibians in Vermont! 

The March 2022 session of Ask-a-Naturalist, from Audubon Vermont, Birds of Vermont Museum, and Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas brings naturalists from our organizations to talk directly to you about what is happening outside.

This episode we are excited to share all sort of observations and questions and even answers about some of our favorite animals: salamanders, frogs, and toads.

This is an online free event. Please register with Audubon Vermont (802 434-3068) or the Museum (802 434-2167) to get the info you need to sign in.

Bring us your questions and curiosity!

We love hosting free programs, and are able to do so because of generous donors. If you can, please donate to one our organizations:
Birds of Vermont Museum
Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas
Audubon Vermont

Thank you, and see you soon!

p.s. this event was originally scheduled for March 10th but has been moved to March 16th.

Through the Window: April 2013 explosion (of species seen)

“Spring has sprung, tra-la-la-la-la / Spring has sprung!” — the Swing Peepers

Look at these lists! Spring is amazing. All of these in the first list were seen April 1st (and generally also later in the month). Bold ones are those we didn’t see last month!

  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Common Grackle
  • Blue Jay
  • Fox Sparrow (four on 4/9, 4/20)
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • American Crow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-breasted Nuthatch

Then we saw…

  • Common Redpoll (4/6,  4/24)
  • American Robin
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Cooper’s Hawk (4/3, 4/15)
  • Song Sparrow
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (First of Year 4/9)
  • Northern Goshawk (4/13)
  • Evening Grosbeak (the female with the healed-but-dropping wing, and returnees)
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (4/18 and later)
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • American Goldfinch
  • Wild Turkey
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Northern Flicker (4/23)

In the Little Pond (we have this as bird bath/water source, among other reasons):

Mammals included the mink, a cottontail rabbit, red and gray squirrels, and the eastern chipmunk.

At the Big Pond (across the road and up through the meadow, then into the forest):

  • A pair of mallard ducks (4/15)
  • Wood ducks (~4/20)

If you want to get involved with NestWatch, let us know how we can help you!

The “Through the Window” series is an informal record of observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors. Anyone at the Museum may add to this list. Observations are usually through our viewing window: a large window with a film to make it more difficult for birds to see the watchers. We have chairs and binoculars to try there, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant pole. A small pond, flowers and water plants, shrubs and trees add cover and other food choices. You can sometimes see what we see via our webcam.

Through the Window: April birds and more

This was a seriously happenin’ month! Birds, mammals, amphibians. And yes, they were all seen through the windows of the museum. As always, these are roughly in the order we saw them.

Mourning Dove with nest, egg
Mourning Dove with nest, egg; carved by Robert N. Spear, Jr.
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Red-winged blackbird (female, April 3)
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruffed Grouse (April 1)
  • American Goldfinch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Evening Grosbeak (April 3)
  • Eastern Phoebe (FOY, April 3)
  • Sapsucker (April 3, FOY)
  • Song Sparrow (April 6, FOY)
  • Chipping Sparrow (FOY, April 7)
  • Kestrel (April 6)
  • Northern Flicker (April 6)
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (FOY, April 10)
  • White-throated Sparrow (FOY, April 13)
  • American Robin (April 29)

For amphibians, we noted a wood frog on April 1 and a spotted salamander April 11. Wood frog eggs were noted in our little pond (the one near the viewing window) on April 3 and April 6).

We observed chipmunk, red squirrel, gray squirrel, a woodchuck (a.k.a. groundhog, on April 3) and, in a lucky moment, a bobcat on April 16.

The birds were recorded in our eBird record as well.