Hello Everybody!

I want to thank those who responded to my appeal in the last newsletter for volunteers for the Education Committee. This is an area of importance to us and while we want to continue to run classes and workshops for all members of the family, adults as well as kids, reaching out to the classroom in our local schools offers an opportunity to engage youth on the conservation issues of the day but we can't get it done without volunteers, so thank you! And, if you have an interest in our conservation work or our local advocacy work, I'm sure that Terry Liercke and Glenda Booth would like to hear from you and you can always reach us at info@audubonva.org. Finally, be sure to mark the date for our next Nature Night/Afternoon on Sunday September 26th from 3-5 o'clock at The National Wildlife Federation at 11100 Wildlife Center Drive in Reston. And, if there's enough interest, we'll do a bird/nature walk afterwards in the woods adjoining the building. We've got a wonderful speaker lined-up, Dr. Laurie Harmon from George Mason University, so mark the date and come on out and enjoy yourself.

Stay cool and stay in touch, Bruce

Strong Start for the Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program

Cliff Fairweather, ASNV Naturalist
The animals have decided! Over 100 acres of new and existing habitat have been certified under ASNV’s new Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary program. In just the last couple of months, we’ve awarded seven certifications to homes, schools, churches and homeowner association properties ranging from a quarter acre to over 50 acres. These properties can now proudly display the Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary sign.

To certify, wildlife sanctuaries must attract a minimum of ten out of thirty possible sanctuary species that use the sanctuary in some way. That’s why we say it’s the animals that decide if a property certifies. Sanctuary species include several birds, such as Cooper’s hawks and catbirds, but also small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and a variety of beneficial insects; all species that could benefit from additional habitat.

Candidates for certification are also asked to take the Audubon At Home Healty Yard Pledge and take actions such as planting native plants, reducing pesticide and fertilizer use, and conserving water. Our goal is to measurably expand the amount of healthy native wildlife habitat in Northern Virginia. Visit Audubon At Home on our website for a sanctuary species list, species fact sheets, application form and other information.

None of this success is possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteer Audubon At Home Ambassadors who advise and guide property owners in developing their wildlife sanctuaries and attracting sanctuary species. Our initial corps of six Ambassadors will soon be joined by reinforcements as over a dozen new Ambassadors complete their training, giving us the capacity to engage many more candidates for certification. Partners including the National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fairfax Master Naturalists, and the Virginia Native Plant Society also play a critical role.

For more information about creating your own sanctuary or to become a volunteer Ambassador, please contact me at cliff@audubonva.org or 703-256-6895.

Pausing to Consider Alternative Outcomes: An Entrepreneurial Look at Earth and its People

Monday, September 27, 7 p.m. at Arlington Central Library
Northern Virginia, we have some problems. The economy is hurting and human beings are changing our landscapes and Earth as never before . . . not all to our benefit. And, we're dependent on nasty, oily, fossil fuels to boot! What to do? Two Arlington leaders from seemingly different worlds have the same answer: think differently.

In his widely acclaimed new book, A Deliberate Pause: Entrepreneurship and its Moment in Human Progress, Larry Robertson argues that “At the starting point of all forward movement, at the nexus of change itself, at the wellspring of human progress, there are always . . . people thinking entrepreneurially.” It is those who pause to ask, “Why are things the way they are?” and “How could they be better?” that lead us to scale seemingly insurmountable barriers.

Enter Martin Ogle, Chief Naturalist of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. Ogle believes that to address our economic, environmental, and energy challenges simultaneously, we must set free a wave of human ingenuity and creativity based on understanding how Earth systems work. If you closed your eyes, substituted the word entrepreneurship for Earth, and listened to Ogle you could easily mistake his insights for Robertson’s descriptions of ecosystems, evolution, fundamental functions, and interdependencies.

This presentation features lessons from A Deliberate Pause, blending them with ideas from Earth system science as suggested Ogle’s work. Examples will also be given of companies, individuals, and organizations focusing the entrepreneurial lens to create sustainable, valuable, and progressive solutions around the world.

This program is co-sponsored by Arlington County Central Library, the Great Falls Group of The Sierra Club, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Arlington Central Library is located at 1015 N. Quincy Street in Arlington , near the Ballston and Virginia Sq. stops on Orange line. For more information, call Martin Ogle at 703-528-5406.

Advocacy Update: Conservation Depends on You

McDonnell Town Hall Meetings

The Governor is hositng several town hall meetings in the next two weeks, including one in Fairfax on Wednesday, August 25. Learn more online.

President Obama Wants to Hear from You

ASNV Advocacy Chair Glenda Booth attended a meeting with Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other federal officials on June 25, part of President Barack Obama’s White House Initiative on America’s Great Outdoors.

President Obama in April said that “we are losing touch with too many of the places and proud traditions that have helped to make America special.” He launched an effort to reconnect Americans to our natural resources and to create corridors and connectivity across of natural, historic and cultural resources. The initiative also seeks to “use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.”

He has invited suggestions and comments online, at America's Great Outdoors. Secretary Salazar will submit a report to the President by November 15, 2010.

How Did They Vote

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has scored the 2010 conservation votes of all members of the Virginia General Assembly. Visit their website to learn how your state senator and delegate voted. The General Assembly will convene again in January 2011 and all delegates will be up for election next year.

U. S. Representatives at Stake in November Election

Virginians will elect all members of the U. S. House of Representatives on November 2. For information on filed candidates and deadlines, click here. To volunteer to help the candidate of your choice, Google his or her name to find the campaign office. To learn about the 2009 environmental record of incumbents in the current U. S. Congress, view League of Conservation Voters' scorecard.

Upcoming Field Trips

Registration is not required unless noted. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org for more information. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming field trips.

Bombay Hook NWR, Delaware

Saturday, August 28, all day
Join Larry Meade to look for migrating shorebirds on the refuge and in surrounding areas. Meet Larry at the refuge visitor center at 9:00 AM. Return home by early evening. Bring lunch, water, insect repellent, sunhat, binoculars and scope if you have one. Limit 20. Registration required. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org to reserve your space. Questions? Contact Larry at 703-206-9030 (h), 571-275-2523 (c) or uberlarry@aol.com. For directions and additional information, click here.

Swifts and Nighthawks

Sunday, August 29, time and place TBA
This outing will be co-sponsored with Northern Virginia Bird Club. Leaders will be checking our various locations to be sure the Chimney Swifts and Common Nighthawks will actually be found. Therefore, signups are required and leaders will notify participants on Friday, Aug. 27, of the exact time and meeting place. Registration required. Contact Carol Hadlock at 703-437-7451 or carol_inawren@verizon.net, and leave your name, phone number and email address to reserve your space. For directions and additional information, click here.

Algonkian Regional Park

Thursday, September 9, 8:00 AM
Search for fall migrants in the varied habitats of this riverside park with Bill Brown. For directions and additional information, click here.

Riverbend Park

Saturday, September 11, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
Even if you don’t like to get up with the birds, you can still enjoy looking for them a little later in the morning. Meet Rob and Chrystal Young at the boat ramp for a walk along the river in search of fall migrants. For directions and additional information, click here.

Upper Glade Stream Valley, Reston

Sunday, September 12, 7:30-10:30 AM
Join Jay and Carol Hadlock for a stroll through this recently restored stream valley. We’ll be keeping our eyes open for fall warblers and lingering summer visitors. For directions and additional information, click here.

Sky Meadows State Park

Saturday, September 18, 8:30-11:30 AM
Ray Smith will lead this month’s walk. Migrating hawks are a good possibility and Red-headed Woodpeckers are very reliable. For directions and additional information, click here.

NatureFest at Runnymede Park in Herndon

Sunday, September 19, 1:00-5:00 PM
This family event takes place each September in the park, with nature activities for all ages. Stations will include tagging and releasing Monarch butterflies, stream monitoring, animals of the park, native plants, and birds, to name just a few. Stop by and visit with ASNV folks at the birding station. At 3:00 PM, Lois Auer will be showing some of her raptors and talking about their importance in the park. For directions and additional information, click here.

Burke Lake Park

Thursday, September 30, 8:00 AM
Beginners are welcome on this walk, led by Kathleen Britts and Jen Connors. We’ll check the woods and the lake for residents, lingering summer visitors and arriving fall migrants. Meet at the carousel parking lot, first left after entering the park. Limit 10. Registration required. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org to reserve your space. For directions and additional information, click here.

And more!!

Remember to check our website regularly for more walks, classes and other activities.

Take the LEAPP®!

The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection. To register or for more information, please visit our website, email us or call the ASNV office at 703-438-6008. Don’t miss out – register early! Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming LEAPP programs.

Raptors in the Sky

Saturday, October 2, 9 AM - 1 PM
Join local hawkwatcher Nolan Britt for a field-based workshop to increase your hawk identification skills. Nolan will review major migration routes of hawks and flight identification before taking position on the mountaintop at Waggoner's Gap near Carlisle, PA to view the migration. This is one of the best sites in the Eastern U.S. for hawk migration, with hundreds of Sharp-shinned Hawks expected to pass by on a daily basis in early October! For directions and additional information, click here.

Of All the Gall(s)!

Sunday, October 31, 9 AM - 1 PM
Scientists call them an abnormal growth on a plant for the benefit and under the control of another organism. Edwin Way Teale called them an edible home. By whatever definition, gall-making insects have fascinating and often bizarre life histories. Join ASNV naturalist Cliff Fairweather for an introduction to insect galls in a lecture and walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. While we’re sharpening our gall search image, we’ll also keep an eye out for fall migrants and other signs of the changing seasons. For directions and additional information, click here.

Check out Our Photo Album!


Have you visited our Flickr photo album recently? If not, you can stop by for a visit today to see the latest photos and comments. If you’re not a member yet, join today. It’s easy.

Two-Day Invasive Plant Workshop

September 16-17, Front Royal, Va
The Good Green, Bad Green conference and workshop will increase awareness among landowners, natural resource professionals, green industry workers and volunteers of the destructive potential of non-native invasive plant species, both from an economic and biodiversity standpoint. The Conference/field-tour will explore habitat restoration techniques in light of controlling invasive plants. Learn more online.

Conservation Counts

Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys are held every Wednesday, alternating between Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area on Mason Neck. Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for more details or to reserve your space.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Upcoming dates
  • August 25
  • September 1
  • September 15
  • September 29
Getting there
Take I-95 to Woodbridge exit 161. Go south on Rt. 1 to Dawson Beach Road, turn left, and go to the central parking area.

Meadowood on Mason Neck

Upcoming dates
  • September 8
  • September 22
Getting there
Take I-95 to Lorton exit 163. Turn left on Lorton Road, right on Rt. 1, and left on Gunston Road. About a mile past the elementary school you will see Meadowood’s horse pastures and signs on the right. Enter through the iron gateway, drive straight ahead and park by the stables.

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

Join Jim Waggener each Friday, from April through October, in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Limit: 4 individuals each week. Reservations required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for reservations and directions.

Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.

Upcoming dates:
  • August 27, Meadowood
  • September 3, Metz
  • September 10, Occoquan Regional Park
  • September 17, Occoquan Bay NWR
  • September 24, Meadowood

The Nature of Meadowood

  • Saturday, September 11 at 8:30 AM
  • Saturday, October 16 (our final trip of the year)
Join an experienced naturalist to discover the special diversity of wildlife and natural habitats within the Bureau of Land Management's Meadowood Recreation Area. Trips are limited to 10. Call BLM's Jinx Fox, 703-928-0186, for reservations.

Getting there:
Take I-95 to Lorton exit 163. Turn left on Lorton Road, right on Rt. 1, and left on Gunston Road. About a mile past the elementary school you will see Meadowood's horse pastures and signs on the right. Enter through the iron gateway, drive straight ahead, and park by the stables.

Tour of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and Late-summer Wildflower ID Clinic

Sunday, September 12, 1 – 2:30 PM
Join us for a free tour of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna and a late-summer wildflower ID Clinic. Please register by contacting Cliff Fairweather at cliff@audubonva.org or 703-438-6025.

Eakin Park Bird Walk

Every Monday morning, weather permitting

Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley.

We meet every Monday morning (weather permitting) at the parking lot on Prosperity Ave. about half way between Routes 50 and 236 (Little River Turnpike). We begin at 7:30 a.m. Dec. through Feb. and 7:00 a.m. the rest of the year. No need to sign up. The walk generally goes for a couple of hours but can vary depending on how "birdy" it is and the weather. If you have any questions please contact the leader Carolyn Williams at 703-273-1961.

Save the Date

Our annual Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 19. More details to come in later newsletters.

Are You Interested in Natural History?

The Education Committee of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia coordinates ASNV's workshops. If you have ideas for classes, would like to teach a workshop, know of good instructors, or would like to help in any way, we welcome your thoughts. We meet approximately 4 to 6 times a year. Please send your feedback to Kristy Liercke at kliercke@verizon.net or 703-255-3021. Thanks!

Audubon at Home needs you!

People-oriented volunteers are needed to help spread the word about the Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program at community and regional events. We schedule the dates, provide all the materials, and brief you on our message -- you supply the enthusiasm! To volunteer or for more information, contact Cliff Fairweather at cliff@audubonva.org or 703-256-6895.

You Can Help Make a Difference

The National Audubon Society invites all Auduboners to join their e-activist network. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you'll receive alerts about important Congressional actions and information about how you can affect legislation by contacting your Members of Congress. Visit www.audubonaction.org to learn more.

We need passionate volunteers across Virginia who can help us persuade our U. S. senators to support a strong climate change bill. If you would like to help us make a difference with climate change and other important issues, please contact Glenda Booth.






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