ASNV on July 13th submitted comments to the National Park Service regarding plans for repair and reconstruction of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. This construction could have negative effects on bald eagles nesting near the parkway.
There’s one important item missing from this month’s President’s Message—when Carl Kikuchi thanked our retiring board members for their service he forgot to mention that he also is leaving us. That oversight is no surprise for a guy who never sings his own praises and who, sadly for us, is migrating permanently to join his flock in Arizona.
Plastics are an increasing threat to our environment. Birds are jeopardized too: an estimated 1 million sea birds die each year from ingesting plastic. In our throw-away culture, millions of plastic bottles and bags are simply tossed away yearly, without any thought to their environmental impacts.
Funded in part by contributions from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV), 35 volunteers assembled at the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on May 9 and June 9 to plant some 2,000 native trees and plants on a 0.65-acre site previously overwhelmed by non-native or invasive plants such as English ivy, mile-a-minute and stiltgrass.
At about 3 p.m. Friday we arrived at Cape Henlopen State Park, where we walked the beach along the bay. Officials had roped off part of the beach, excluding people for the protection of endangered Least Terns and Piping Plovers nesting there along with threatened Oyster Catchers. Using scopes, we saw Piping Plovers, Oyster Catchers, many Laughing Gulls, and various shorebird species.
Have you heard the one about Franklin opposing the Bald Eagle as national symbol? Well, it may not be true. The Bald Eagle has ranged widely across U.S. coins, paper currency, and government stationary for more than 200 years.
Many thanks to Northwest Federal Credit Union for its very generous gift of 100 Backyard Birds of the Mid-Atlantic folding guides. In addition to use in support of ASNV’s Youth Education Programs, the guides will be used in conjunction with Celebrating Birds, a summer-long, family-focused program investigating the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics of birds.
ASNV recognized Bob Shipman for his eleven years as compiler of the Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count, from 2007 through 2017. Over the eleven years, 1,071 observers participated, spending 1,811 hours looking for birds in their assigned areas, 32 hours owling, and 15 hours at feeder watches. They counted 241,735 individual birds.
The Northern Virginia Bird Survey is held annually in June. Carolyn Williams leads the effort. Many thanks to all who participated in the 2017 survey! 42 volunteers, including 6 new to the NVBS, covered 523 survey points and counted 7,394 birds representing 95 species. Survey results are available here.
ASNV is pleased to announce that our Audubon at Home (AAH) Program has awarded funds from the Plants for Birds Burke Grant program, which has been established with generous support from the Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants, to six faith communities.
Over a third of the 99 Audubon at Home Ambassadors gathered on February 17 for the third annual Ambassador Brunch at National Wildlife Federation headquarters, where ASNV also has its office. Sporting color-coded tags identifying their county, AAH Ambassadors from Arlington/City of Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties mingled to share experiences and a delicious potluck meal.
As properties are certified as Wildlife Sanctuaries we register the sanctuary and capture associated information including location, acreage, property type and jurisdiction to display the results with our GIS Mapping Application.
Join Marc Ribaudo for an evening class and accompanying field trip that will cover Identifying Shorebirds. The class is recommended for birders who would like to tackle shorebird identification on their own.
Monarchs and their amazing migration to Mexico are in peril for many reasons. Learn about the monarch life cycle, migration, cycle, how you can attract them to your home garden or favorite public space, and how to raise them to send them on their fall journey. Resources for milkweed and garden design also included.
ASNV could really use your help with its Membership Committee—generating welcome letters to new members, publicizing volunteer opportunities, helping to engage new members, organizing volunteer rosters.
Members of ASNV met last April with representatives of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter the Fairfax County Animal Shelter Advisory Board to discuss concerns about the impact of free-roaming cats on birds and other wildlife and about the shelter’s Trap, Neuter and Return program. At the conclusion of the meeting, animal shelter officials invited ASNV to comment and offer suggestions on how the subject is covered on the shelter’s new website.
Regulation of recreational drone-flying is lax at best, an administrative and legal shortcoming that jeopardizes wildlife because drones can disturb birds and other animals, particularly nesting birds and their young.
The George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP), a unit of the National Park System, is undertaking an environmental assessment to rehabilitate the north section of the parkway. This project will involve road and bridge work from Spout Run to Interstate 495.
On November 6, Virginians will elect 11 members to the U.S. House of Representatives and one to the U.S. Senate. Campaigns provide advocates with opportunities to learn candidate views and proposals and with chances to influence candidate perspectives on important issues. To vote on November 6, you must register by October 15. For more information, visit https://www.elections.virginia.gov/voter-outreach/upcoming-elections.html.
Virginia conservation leaders will gather on September 7 and 8 in Williamsburg at the College of William and Mary for the annual Environmental Assembly, an opportunity to learn about key issues and strategize with allies on how to address environmental threats.
ASNV has awarded three $500 Youth Education mini-grants to help applicants connect youth to birds. Blue Ridge Middle School in western Loudoun County will use the funds to expand the native plant garden in its outdoor classroom and to conduct citizen science to determine whether more native birds are attracted as a result.
Thanks to a very successful Annual Appeal Fundraising campaign this year, ASNV was able to award two scholarships to Audubon's "Educators Week" at Hog Island in Maine this summer. Arlington Public Schools autism specialist Deborah Hammer and Prince William County Public Schools science teacher Amanda Hoeschler will deepen their knowledge of environmental education and citizen science
Imagine a beautiful and near-deserted island, offering stunning views, invigorating hikes, abundant birds and wildlife, puffin sightings, and scrumptious meals all week long. (Yes, ample desserts too.) This island was my home during a magical week of camp!
The next Audubon Afternoon will be held on September 30 from 3 to 5 PM, with informal gathering starting at 2:30. It will be held in the auditorium/cafeteria at the National Wildlife Federation. Our program will be provided by Secret Garden Birds and Bees, which will present “A Year in the Life of an Owl.”
Come look for the birds that use the woods, fields, and ponds of the gardens for summer residence or for a refueling point on early fall migration. Meet leader Colt Gregory in the Visitor Center. Usual Garden fees apply. Sponsored by ASNV and Meadowlark.