Chris Albertine

Chief Production Engineer

Chris has more than 20 years experience as an audio engineer. In addition to his work for Vermont Public Radio, he has supervised the sound for television documentaries for the Discovery Channel, Turner Broadcast, and the Arts and Entertainment Network.

Ways to Connect

Kent McFarland

Even in the winter time, beaver ponds are active habitats. The harvested trees and brush attract other wildlife like deer and turkey to feed. The lodges themselves provide warmth for the beavers and other rodents, such as mice and muskrats. The North American beaver has seen a resurgence in the last 100 years after being trapped to near-extinction by European settlers.

 A female Pine Grosbeak is pictured atop a crabapple tree, visiting Vermont during this occasional irruption migration.
Nathaniel Sharp

In Spring, Vermont is awash with migrant birds; sadly, we don't see many species in the Winter. However, there are occasional irruption migrations as birds come from the north in search of shriveled fruit and seeds. Many of these winter arrivals are various species of finches including the Pine Grosbeak.

Kent McFarland

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.

Kent McFarland

There is a story behind roadkill. Millions of accidents every year are caused by collisions with wildlife. How can we manage roadways so that they are safer for everyone, vehicles and animals?

Weis: Deforestation

Oct 17, 2018
Jonathan and Alexis Kleinman

I heard the name Julia Butterfly Hill on the radio the other day and it gave me pause.

Bryan Pfeiffer

Many people don't think about insects, like dragonflies, as migratory. Most of Vermont's 101 dragonfly species stay through the winter but the Wandering Glider leaves with the changing of the season. This species can be found on every continent, except Antartica. In England they are called "Wandering Globetrotters."

Kent McFarland

You can call them clams or mussels, the names are interchangable, but they should also be called endangered. Here in Vermont there are eighteen separate species of freshwater mussels and of those, ten are listed as threatened or endangered while several others are considered rare.

A bobolink perches on strands of high grasses in South Woodstock at Top Acres Farm.
Kent McFarland

Which bird's song is a burst of tweets and twitters that sound like R2D2 from "Star Wars" movie fame? It is the bobolink and after wintering in Argentina, these small, songful birds have returned to nest in Vermont's high grasses.

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.

A turkey vulture soars over the National Life building in Montpelier.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

Outdoor Radio usually takes us to a mountain top,  pond or forest to get close to wildlife. But this month, biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland are on top of an office building in Montpelier. For the past several years, National Life employees have been able to watch turkey vultures out their windows. The birds are drawn to the rooftop for warmth and show off their huge wingspan soaring around the building. We learn how to identify turkey vultures from other big birds and how it is that they can eat roadkill and not get sick.

Bald eagle nests can be six to ten feet across and weight several hundred pounds.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

We are awed by the size, beauty and power of the bald eagle but Ben Franklin described it as a bird of "bad moral character. He doesn't get his living honestly and besides, he is a rank coward."

Kent McFarland captured this photo of a snowy owl in Killington.
Kent McFarland / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

As cold as it might get in Vermont, it's warm here to the snowy owl. They spend their summers in the Arctic Tundra. These are large owls, with a wingspan of five feet and striking yellow eyes. Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, of the Vermont Center For Ecostudies, went in search of a snowy owl at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison. We learn why it's a good year for spotting them in Vermont and what to do if you see one.

Find more info, video and photos at the links below:

A Great Black-Backed Gull calling among Herring Gulls at Grow Compost in Waterbury.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

Gulls are found on every continent on the planet. They're smart, resourceful, and graceful - but don't call them sea gulls! There are inland species, even some that live in the desert. Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra of the Vermont Center For Ecostudies, are joined by birder, Bryan Pfeiffer at Grow Compost in Waterbury. Hundreds of gulls (and other birds) hang out amid this huge expanse of compost enjoying an endless feast.

See more photos and learn about gulls in Vermont at the links below:

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.

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.

The White-winged Crossbill eats thousands of conifer seeds each day.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

In this episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are way up in the Northeast Kingdom at Moose Bog in Ferdinand.

An Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle hatchling is ready to be released into the water.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

With a pointed snout, knobby protrusions, and a flat, leathery shell, the Spiny Softshell Turtle is certainly one of Vermont's odder-looking reptiles. It is also listed as threatened in our state. Steve Parren of the Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department joins Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland to talk about the Spiny Softshell's biology, habitat and some of the threats faced by Vermont's only aquatic turtle.

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.

VPR

This month on Outdoor Radio, we’ll venture out into a meadow of wild flowers that is literally singing with bumble bees. Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra talk about the species we find in Vermont, the different ways they pollinate our flowers and crops, and the environmental factors that are threatening their population.

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.

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