December 2016

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In this Newsletter

In this Newsletter
  • President's Corner
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Northern Virginia Bird Club Scholarship
  • Bird Belize and Guatemala with ASNV!
  • Take Action
  • Hog Island, Maine
  • Hog Island, Maine
  • Beginning Birding: Winter Birds
  • Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
  • Birdwalks and Field Trips
  • Recurring Bird Walks

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 for more details or to reserve your space.


General Surveys

Meadowood on Mason Neck (7:30AM - 12 PM) 

  • December 7
  • January 11

Occoquan Bay NWR  (7:30AM - 12 PM)

  • December 21
  • January 25

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys   (8:30 am-12:30 pm)

(Note:  Surveys will resume in April 2017.)

Any survey may be changed or canceled for weather, etc. up to an hour before the scheduled start.

Make a Difference!  Volunteer


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 elected officials to support actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If you would like to help us make a difference with climate change and other important issues, please contact Glenda Booth.

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 the ASNV office.

President's Corner

Now more than ever, we need to do everything we can to protect and restore our natural spaces and wildlife.  I’m sure many of you have been getting repeated appeals for funding from a variety of environmental and conservation organizations, as I have, and all of these efforts do need money.  But maybe more important, they also need our time and energy.  The next few years will be a crucial in our efforts to influence policies and actions at the federal, state, and local levels (“act locally”), and ASNV can use your volunteer hours to help advance our advocacy initiatives in the upcoming legislative sessions.  Everyone can be an advocate in some way!  For more information on how you can help, contact Glenda Booth

Last reminder to register for the December 18 Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count. For more information, click here.

Space is still available on the trip to Belize/Guatemala in March, run for us by Holbrook Travel. Click here for more information. This is an opportunity for some fantastic birding, and it is also a way you can support sustainable, bird-based tourism in the wintering grounds for many of the birds that breed in our area in the summer (“think globally”).  Proceeds also help to support ASNV. 

Larry Meade will be teaching a workshop on “Beginning Birding:  Winter Birds” in January.  Click here for more information. By then, I am sure, we will all be itching to get outdoors - what better excuse could you have than this?  This will be a great introduction to our winter residents, including wintering waterfowl and species you might never have known were here in the winter. 

And don’t forget about our January “Post-Holiday” Audubon Afternoon on Sunday, January 8.  David Johnson, Director of the Global Owl Project, will be speaking to us about “Owls in Myth and Culture.”  Click here for more information. 

Finally, our thanks to Ellen Jacobson, who is stepping down from the Board.  She has contributed to ASNV immeasurably, most recently in coordinating our partnership with Holbrook Travel, and organizing our field trip last spring to the Great Dismal Swamp.  She was also a key contributor to our bird inventory at Wolf Trap, and to our field trip planning for the National Audubon Convention at Lansdowne.  Join me in wishing her well.

Have a good month.

Carl Kikuchi

Audubon Afternoon


Owls in Myth and Culture – a Global Perspective
Save the Date: Sunday, January 8, 2017, 2:30 – 5:00 pm

National Wildlife Federation Building
11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston, VA 20190
David H. Johnson, Director – Global Owl Project.  djowl@aol.com

 Every society on earth has myths and legends about owls. What people believe about owls makes a difference in how they protect and conserve owls.  So, what do people really believe?  We interviewed about 6,000 people in 30 countries, using a 4-page interview form translated into 17 languages. 

The answers gave remarkable and wildly varied insights about the current ecological knowledge and cultural perspectives about owls.  Read More...

Northern Virginia Bird Club Scholarship

Our friends at the Northern Virginia Bird Club are pleased to announce the Val Kitchens Memorial Scholarship for 2017. The scholarship will provide financial support to a young birder from 13 to 18 years of age to attend a VSO activity, a birding camp, or a similar activity. Scholarship applications up to $550 will be accepted.

More information here. All Scholarship Applications and supporting material must be in by February 1, 2017. 

Bird Belize and Guatemala with ASNV!


The time is short! Sign up now for Birding in Belize and Guatemala!

Now is the time to join the ASNV trip to Belize and Guatemala, March 19-26, 2017.

Register before December 14!

We will search for antbirds, motmots, parrots, hummingbirds, woodcreepers, Jabiru, and more of Belize’s 600 migrant and resident species! Among the places we will bird in Belize are lagoons at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, higher elevations at Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, and Biotopo Cerro Cahuí for raptors, toucans, and Ocellated Turkey. We will experience the rich Maya history and Caribbean-influenced culture of Belize, and meet with a representative of the Belize Audubon Society to learn about the exciting new conservation projects in the country. Click here for more information. 

Harpy Eagle - Laura Hare/Holbrook Travel

Take Action

Budget Time

Local governments are preparing to unveil their budgets in the coming months and to hold public hearings.  Given recent media reports, many budgets will be tight which means that conservation measures will be in tough competition with many other needs.

State Legislature to Convene

The Virginia General Assembly will be in session from January 11 to February 25, 2017.   The Virginia Conservation Network, www.vcnva.org, will monitor and advocate for conservation during the session.  You can read their briefing book on their website.  The Virginia Public Access Project, www.vpap.org is another source of bills as they are introduced. On December 3, you can learn what’s ahead in the state legislature and how you can influence public policy.

Virginia Conservation Network’s Preview of the General Assembly

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Virginia State Capitol – House Room 3
1000 Bank Street  |  Richmond, VA 23219
Tickets $15  |  Register today!
If you plan to attend, email Glenda Booth at gbooth123@aol.com so we can coordinate.  Info:  www.vcnva.org.
VCN’s annual Conservation Lobby Day is January 23, 2016 in Richmond.
To find your state legislators, click here. Many will be having town meetings before and during the session. 

The State of Fairfax County’s Environment

The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) will hold its annual public hearing on the environment on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in conference rooms 9 and 10 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia.  EQAC members are appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to advise on environmental matters.
EQAC will present its annual report to the Board of Supervisors on December 6. The report will be posted here with previous reports at around that time.

EQAC invites people to attend the public hearing, to share views on the state of the environment and to identify environmental issues.  Environmental issues considered by EQAC include water quality, air quality, noise, hazardous materials, solid waste, stream valley protection, wildlife management, light pollution, visual pollution, energy, climate change response and adaptation, land use, transportation and the use and preservation of ecological resources. Read More...


Heads Up, Alexandrians

Alexandria’s mayor Allison Silberger has a monthly coffee, “Mayor on Your Corner,” at which she talks to constituents. Click here

Advocacy Tips and Travails

If you would like to help plan an advocacy training workshop, contact Glenda Booth.

Hog Island, Maine

Application Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia is pleased to offer a full scholarship and transportation to “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week,” July 16-21, 2017, at National Audubon Society’s Hog Island Camp in Maine. 
Application Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017.
Scholarship Announcement: March 17, 2017
Questions: info@audubonva.org or contact Mary McLean, Youth Education Chair.
For further information about Hog Island, visit: hogisland.audubon.org
Applicants must be classroom teachers, specialists, or school administrators working in: Alexandria City, Falls Church City, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William counties.

The winner is expected to develop a new or enhance an existing conservation-themed project for students. Past projects have included: developing wildlife-friendly habitat at schools, building and maintaining a Bluebird Trail and conducting nature-themed in-service programs for teachers. ASNV will assist the winner in completing their project by offering resources, professional advice and program support as needed. Photo by Phil Kahler.


Beginning Birding: Winter Birds

Winter is a great time to improve your birding skills. Birds are easier to find since there are no leaves on the trees. In addition, winter brings a wide variety of usually easy to see ducks and geese. Several species of hawks and sparrows also call our region home during our coldest months. For this workshop we will have a classroom session and a field trip.  Limit 25. The locations of both are TBD. 

Cost: $30.00 for members, $40 for non-members. Register here.
Classroom: Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030. Room TBA.
Field Trip: Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Location TBA.

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 (http://uberlarry.smugmug.com/).

Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 18, 2016, 7:00AM

Calling all birders! It’s time to sign up for the 35th Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count!  Birders of all skill levels are needed in the field and as feeder watchers. The count circle comprises Centreville and includes Manassas Battlefield, parts of Bull Run Regional Park, undeveloped areas south of Dulles Airport, as well as many stream valley parks and locations from Clifton to west of Fairfax City.   
A FREE hot lunch will be served to participants.
If you haven’t heard from your sector leader or have any questions, contact Bob Shipman
Signing up is easy, just click here.  See you on the 18th!
Northern Cardinal - Sam Schaen

Birdwalks and Field Trips  

Owl Outing, Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA
This Fairfax County walk for adults will prowl the park after dark to listen for and learn about our local owls, and possibly see a barred owl. Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for the weather and standing off trail.  Register at Parktakes,
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes/   Activity 3404866602. Fee $8 -$10.

Getting there: From I-195, take Route 1 south for 3 miles.  Turn right on Lockheed Blvd. and in 0.5 miles turn left into park entrance.  3701 Lockheed Blvd..
Saturday, December 3
4:30 to 6:30 PM
Registration required via Parktakes. Cost $8-10
Christmas Bird Count Preview, Manassas Battlefield Park
Are you participating in a Christmas Bird Count this year? Maybe you want to brush up on your winter bird identification skills so that you can have a bit more confidence in the field. Larry Meade is leading a Christmas Bird Count preview walk the weekend before the CBC season begins. We will bird the Stone Bridge trail and time permitting, other locations around the Manassas Battlefield. 
Getting there: We will meet at the Manassas Battlefield Park visitor center.
Sunday, December 11
8:00am  12:00pm
Burke Lake Park, Fairfax VA
This walk includes lake views, woods, and fields. It’s a great time for look for winter waterfowl and other residents. Leaders Catherine Kubo and Jean Tatalias. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.
Getting there: Entrance is off Route 123, south of Burke Lake Road. Follow signs to Park, turning left at second traffic light. Take an immediate left in the park, then meet at the lot on the right (near the mini golf course). 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, 22039.
Wednesday, January 11
8:30 to 11:00 AM
Eakin Park, Fairfax County, VA
Start the Holiday early and join the regular Monday bird walk through this local wooded park where hawks and barred owls can often be found. Carolyn Williams leads. Sponsored by Fairfax County.
Getting there: From Route 50 outside the beltway, take Prosperity Avenue South one mile to the entrance to the parking lot on the left (east) side. 3401 Prosperity Ave, 22031.
Monday, January 15
7:30 to 9:30 AM
Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA
Join leader Tom Nardone to scan the river for waterfowl and enjoy a walk through the marsh and woodland areas. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: From Alexandria, take GW Parkway south.  Cross I-495; continue 1.2 miles to Belle Haven Park entrance on the left.  Meet at the south parking lot. 6401 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria,  22307
Wednesday, January 25
8:30 to 11:30 AM

Recurring Bird Walks

Several parks in the area have established year-round weekly bird walks. These walks are not run by ASNV, but may be of interest to ASNV members. They can be found here.

Other News


Bird Feeder in Reston

The Bird Feeder in Reston This store offers a 10% discount to current ASNV members, good on all purchases excluding optics and sale merchandise. When you visit, just tell them you are a member of ASNV and ask for the discount. Read More→