August 2013
In This Issue
Audubon Afternoon
Whooping Crane Presentation
Field Trips - Bird Walks
Advocacy Update
Other News

Conservation Counts
Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys alternate 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. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Occoquan Bay NWR
  • August 28  
  • September 25         
Meadowood on Mason Neck 
  • August 14    
  • September 11      

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys
Join Jim Waggener each Friday (April-October) in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William County.

Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space. (Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.)
  • August 16 - Occoquan Bay NWR
  • August 23 - Metz Wetlands
  • August 30 - Occoquan Regional Park
  • September 6 - Occoquan Bay NWR 

Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.

Help make a difference!
E-Activist Network.  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.

Climate Change.
We also 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.

Research Plant Value to Wildlife. ASNV is looking 
for a Virgina master naturalist, or other interested volunteer, willing to research the wildlife value of specific native plants. 

More information about these and other opportunities can be found here.

Audubon at Home. 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
Save the Date
Audubon Afternoon:  Bird Song
and Background Noise Levels
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Join us for a fascinating glimpse into some current bird song research.  


Birds sing to communicate with potential mates and territorial rivals. Background noise, from natural and human caused sources, is ubiquitous in all environments and can present challenges for effective acoustic communication. Dr. David Luther, an ornithologist at George Mason University, will talk to us about his research examining how bird songs have evolved to stand out in the presence of loud background noise, such as the cacophony of birds singing in the dawn chorus in the Amazon rainforest, or the "noise pollution" of urban rush hour traffic.   He will discuss current studies at field sites from here inside the Beltway, to San Francisco, to the Amazon basin.  


Dr. Luther coordinates and teaches introductory biology for non-majors at GMU. He also maintains an active research program in the fields of animal behavior, ecology, and conservation biology. His current research focuses on the ecology and evolution of acoustic communication in birds as well as the ecology, evolution, and conservation of terrestrial vertebrates that are endemic to mangrove forests.

Whooping Cranes
Ken Lavish
September 11, 2013 - 7:30 PM
Whooping Cranes - Ken Lavish from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center will discuss the Patuxent Refuge's Whooping Crane project to re-establish migrating flocks of whooping cranes, North America's tallest bird and a species that was nearly wiped out when, in 1941, there were only around 22. Ken helps raise chicks at Patuxent. The cranes are bred and hatched at Patuxent and then transferred to Wisconsin. Cosponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the Northern Virginia Bird Club. Wenesday Sept 11 at 7:30 PM. Huntley Meadows Visitor Center


Field Trips - Bird Walks

Stratton Woods Park, Reston, VA

Sunday, August 18, 7:30-10:30 AM

Last year when we did this walk, we had an amazing fallout of warblers. Will it happen again? Join Bill Brown and find out.

Getting there: From Fairfax Co. Pkwy, go west on Fox Mill Rd. Turn into the first drive on your right and park by the ball fields.


Family Birdwalk at Walker Nature Center, Reston, VA

Saturday, August 24, 8:00-10:00 AM

The family birdwalk returns to Walker Nature Center. We may see some newly fledged birds as we explore the surrounding woods and stream valley. The walk is geared to families with children aged 10 and over. It is co-sponsored by Reston Association and ASNV and will be led by ASNV's Bill Brown. Bring binoculars and curiosity.

Getting there: Meet at the Nature House at 11450 Glade Drive, Reston.


Riverbend Park Meadow, Great Falls, VA

Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 7:30 AM

Skip the crowds at the beach and come for a walk in the meadow, looking for early migrants, (especially those pesky fall warblers!) with Carol & Jay Hadlock. If things are slow there, we'll take a walk along the river.

Getting there: From Rt.193 east of the village of Great Falls, take Riverbend Rd. to Jeffery Rd. and follow the sign to the Nature Center. Meet in the parking lot.


Swift Night Out, Place to be Determined

Saturday, September 7, 7:30 PM Raindate Sunday, Sept. 8

This is the time of year when Chimney Swifts gather in great numbers to roost communally before heading off on their southward migration. We will be checking several possible sites before this date, so please call or email Carol Hadlock 703-437-7451, and give your contact information. We will let you know where to meet.


Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, VA

Wednesday, September 11, 7:30-10:30 AM

A good mix of habitats along the Potomac River make this park a great place to look for migrants. Bill Brown will lead this walk, co-sponsored with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. Meet at the boat ramp.

Getting there: The park address is 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling. From Rt. 7., heading west, turn on Cascades Parkway, north, and continue into the park. Follow the signs for the boat ramp.


Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna, VA

Saturday, September 14, 7:30-10:30 AM

ASNV has been surveying the birds in the park for 3 months and we've found spring migrants, nesting summer visitors, year round residents, and now we'll be looking for fall migrants in this beautiful mix of habitats. Bill Brown, who leads one of the survey teams, will lead this walk. Meet Bill at the maintenance facility.

Getting there: From Rt. 7, take Towlston Rd. to the park. Turn right at the first entrance to the lower parking lot and go all the way to the end. From Vienna, cross the Toll Rd., go past the main entrance to the Filene Center, and turn left into the lower parking lot.


Lower Glade Stream Valley, Reston, VA

Sunday, September 22, 7:30-10:30 AM

Joanne & David Bauer will lead this walk, looking for fall migrants.

Getting there: From Reston Parkway, take Glade Drive east to Twin Branches. Park along Glade Drive and meet the leaders at the corner of Glade and Twin Branches.


Occoquan Bay NWR, Woodbridge, VA

Saturday, September 28, 7:30 AM

Welcome to Phil Silas and Dixie Sommers, new walk leaders for ASNV!   Fall is a great time to look for migrants in the fields, woods and on the river and bay of this excellent refuge.

Getting there: The refuge is located at the end of Dawson Beach Rd. in Woodbridge, VA.


LEAPP Classes:

Little Brown Jobs

Need a little help with those "little brown jobs"?   House Finch vs. Pine Siskin?  Song vs. Savannah sparrows?   This workshop will concentrate on identification skills for some of the finches, sparrows, and other similar birds in our region, including both residents and migrants, just in time for the arrival of our cold weather birds.

Limit: 25

Cost: $30 for members, $40 for non-members

Classroom:  Thursday, October 24, 2013, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.   

Location: Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030.  Room TBA.

Field Trip:  Saturday, October 26, 2013, 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Silver Lake, Haymarket; directions will be provided.

Instructor:  Larry Meade is President of the Northern Virginia Bird Club, and a former Board member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology.  He has served as a Sector Leader for a number of years for several of our local Christmas Bird Counts and is an avid nature photographer (


Sign up: Information about signing up for this class can be found on the ASNV Website.


The Lost Art of Birding by Ear
We often hear many more birds than we see.  Hidden in dense foliage or brush, their songs tease us.  If only we could identify their songs!  But, for most of us, learning bird songs is difficult.  Until now.

This workshop will concentrate on teaching you to identify some of our winter resident birds by their vocalizations. Dr. Larry Underwood, author of the iKnow Bird Songs app, will help you learn to tell the Northern Flicker from the Pileated Woodpecker, the House Finch from the Purple Finch, just by listening. We'll also explore specific techniques that make learning bird songs possible, easy, and downright fun. 
Members: $25.00   Non-Members: $35.00

Limit: 25  

Location: Fairfax High School, Room A139, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030     

Classroom: Thursday, November 7, 2013, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Field Trip: Saturday, November 9, 2013, 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Instructor:  Dr. Larry Underwood, is a PhD biologist

with experience as a professor, field biologist, author, and birder. His credentials include 30+ years as a professor of biology at the University of Alaska, George Mason University, and Northern Virginia Community College.  His research interests focused on arctic ecology and cold adaptation.  He is a life-long birder who has been trying to learn bird songs for more years than he cares to count.

Sign up: Information about signing up for this class can be found on the ASNV Website

Save the Date
Christmas Bird Count
December 15, 2013
ASNV's CBC will be on Sunday, December 15th."  I'll have some more material for you in each of the next four months.


Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

Virginia Will Elect Leaders  

Virginians this year will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general and all members of the House of Delegates.   Campaigns are opportunities for advocates to educate candidates on conservation issues and influence their positions and future actions, if elected.  Visit the Virginia Board of Elections to find out who is running in your area.

Virginia Environmental Advocates Unite

Learn the issues, hone your advocacy skills, network with others at the annual Virginia Environmental Assembly in Virginia Beach, September 20 and 21. Visit for more information.

McCarthy Confirmed

Gina McCarthy was confirmed by the Senate as the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Thank you, Auduboners, for urging our senators to support her. Senators Timothy Kaine and Mark Warner both voted for her.   When I personally thanked Senator Kaine, he said, "Oh, that was easy." You can read about her here


Alexandria, More Open Space?


According to the July 29 Old Town Patch,Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg is suggesting that the city set aside a new goal of adding 25 or 50 acres of more open space (no description of what kind of "open space"). Read more...


Fairfax County Stormwater Ordinance


The revised draft of the Stormwater Ordinance is now available on the Fairfax County Stormwater webpage. The new draft can be found at  



The proposed language for the Fairfax County Public Facilities Manual (PFM) to compliment the draft Stormwater Ordinance is now available on the Fairfax County Stormwater webpage. The PFM language changes can be found at

Other News

NOVA Watershed Workshop 

October 5, 2013 10 AM to 4 pm

Northern Virginia Community College
Ernst Community Center, Annandale Campus
8333 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA


The watersheds of Northern Virginia are home to a diverse community of flora and
fauna and over 2 million people! As a densely populated area,
cooperation between communities, businesses, and individuals is necessary to improve and preserve the health of our watersheds as well as promote sustainable practices. This Fall, NOVA will be hosting a workshop designed to bring together our diverse community of stakeholders to discuss watershed issues. The workshop will be open to the public.Read more... 



"Taking Flight Together," the National Audubon Society Convention,  

July 12 to 15

by Glenda Booth 


I had the good fortune to attend the national convention of the National Audubon Society from July 12 to 15 on the magnificent Columbia River in Stevenson, Washington, the first National Audubon convention in 13 years. In addition to having chats with President David Yarnold and other national Audubon leaders, I attended many interesting sessions, but to get readers properly focused, let me start by saying that I did not see many birds.   After all, this was a convention, i.e., three days of indoor, birdless meetings, except for those in PowerPoint presentations. Read more... 


Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Programs and Field Trips

Monarch Butterfly Release - We have an incredible opportunity this coming week where 100-200 Monarchs...raised by people across Loudoun from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis will emerge together and be ready to be released on the same day! Sometime between August 13th, 14th or 15th. More information here.

The Fascinating World of Bats - Friday, August 16, 7:00 p.m. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy at Morven Park in Leesburg for a great family program to learn about our local bats! 

Butterflies of the Blue Ridge Center - Saturday, August 17, 9:00 a.m. The Blue Ridge Center of Environmental Stewardship is a hot spot for butterflies.

The Songs of Insects - Tuesday, August 20, 7:00 p.m. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy at Morven Park with Wil Hershberger, award-winning nature photographer, nature sound recordist and co-author of The Songs of Insects.

A Hummingbird Evening - Friday, August 23. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy with Dr. Emily Southgate for "A Hummingbird Evening."

Birding the Blue Ridge Center - Saturday, August 25, 8:00 a.m. Only a few miles south of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, the Blue Ridge Center. 

Nature Walk at Dulles Greenway Wetlands - Saturday, August 31, 8:00 a.m. Explore the Dulles Greenway Wetlands Mitigation Project.

Meadows Field Trip - Saturday, September 7, 10:00 a.m. Cosponsored by Loudoun Master Gardeners and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.

Discovering Butterflies at Willowsford - Saturday, September 7, 9:00 a.m. Butterflies are not just pretty to look at, they are also important indicators of the health of an ecosystem and a critical link in the food chain.

Birding Banshee - Saturday, September 14, 8:00 a.m. Join the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve for the monthly bird walk.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Fall Native Plant Sale - Saturday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Birding the Blue Ridge Center - Saturday, September 28, 8:00 a.m. Only a few miles south of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, the Blue Ridge Center.

Information on the above programs can be found at: