March 2012
In This Issue
ASNV is on Facebook
Birdathon
ASNV Partners with Habitat for Humanity
Gardening with Deer
Field Trips
Classes
Advocacy Update

Upcoming Events

Save the Date!
The International Migratory Bird Count at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge will be conducted on Saturday, May 12.

More details coming soon.


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.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • March 28
  • April 25
  • May 30
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • April 11
  • May 16

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.)

Upcoming surveys:
  • April 6, Metz Wetlands
  • April 13, Occoquan Regional Park
  • April 20, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • April 27, Meadowood Recreation Area

Eakin Park Bird Walk
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 AM December through February, and 7 AM the rest of the year. No need to sign up. The walk generally goes for a couple 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.


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 via email or phone (703-256-6895).


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 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.
 
Message from the ASNV President

Hello everyone!

Spring is here! With the onset of nice weather, things are beginning to move out there and one of them is our stalwart office manager and chief administrator, Jill Miller, who will be leaving us in April. 

Many of you know Jill as the cheery voice on the other end of the phone, or the one responding to questions about birds, or the one who makes sure you're registered for one of our field trips. Jill will be sorely missed by us. But, we are lucky, because she is being replaced by a woman we can't wait to bring into the fold. 

Perry McDonald is an experienced administrator and office manager in the not-for-profit sector as well as a former in-house corporate attorney. She has a strong focus on community outlook and for the past five years has been a parish administrator for her church. She has done many other things in her life and is a birder and hiker as well and is taking those two passions on a trip to Wales in May.

So, when you get a moment, give Jill a fond farewell and thanks and say hello to Perry the next time you sign up for one of our classes or field trips.

Also, exciting news: now you can follow us on Facebook! Click here to check it out and "like" our page.

Thanks, and please stay in touch!! 
Bruce

ASNV is on Facebook!
"Like" our Facebook page for updates and the latest news


We have a Facebook page! Go to our website (www.audubonva.org), click on the Facebook logo and like us. Or, click here to be taken directly to the page.

All you have to do is click "like" on our Facebook page, and you'll be kept in the loop on our latest events, field trips and classes. We'll also be using the page to share ideas and thoughts about our organization and the natural world.

Come join the conversation!

 

It's Time for the Annual ASNV Birdathon!
Support your organization while enjoying the outdoors

Our annual Birdathon will be held between April 27 and May 13 this year.This event is one of only two ASNV fund-raising efforts during the year, and we need your help.

 

It's easy (and fun!) to play. First, form a team with a few friends.Then, choose a day during the peak of neotropic bird migration. Finally, get outside and see how many bird species you can spot!You can bird for a full day or just a couple of hours, travel across Northern Virginia or just relax in a local park.You may even win a prize for your effort!And, best of all, you will definitely help support ASNV's conservation and education programs.

 

Participating is fun and signing up is easy.To learn more and sign up, or to pledge a donation, please click here

 

Then enjoy your springtime birding.

What does an Audubon at Home Sanctuary Have in Common with Habitat for Humanity?

The answer: Habitat! Or, more specifically: A pollinator garden! 

On March 18, Habitat for Humanity hosted a dedication ceremony for its newest property, Perry Hall in Arlington. ASNV is among the partners in developing this property through our agreement to provide consulting advice and planting material to ehnance the landscape. A pollinator garden, including host and food plants for birds and beneficial wildlife, will be installed with homeowners and Habitat for Humanity volunteers who will prepare the soil during one volunteer day, and install plants on a second volunteer day. 

ASNV, through the Audubon at Home program, is providing volunteer design services and small grant support for native wildflowers and shrubs to be part of the concept of habitat for both humans and wildlife. The program partnership also includes the Potowmack chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the local non-profit Earth Sangha, who will supply native plants for the project. 

 

Habitat Gardening and Landscaping with Deer
an Audubon at Home workshop

Deer pose a significant challenge in many parts of our region for gardeners trying to provide wildlife habitat on their properties. In this outdoor workshop, we'll discuss plants that deer favor, native plants that are deer resistant and a variety of techniques and products that discourage deer browsing. And, if you have a reliable approach, please share it at the workshop!

Click here for more information on our website.

Date: Sun., May 20, 2012

Time: 2 - 4 p.m.

Location: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Instructors: Debbie Humphreys, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and Terry Liercke, ASNV

Limit: 20

Cost: $10 for members; $15 for non-members (AAH Ambassadors & trainees, free)

 

 
Field Trips and Birdwalks

Registration is not required for field trips, 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.

Bles Park, Loudoun County
Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 AM
This park along the Potomac and Broad Run can turn up some interesting surprises. Meet Bill Brown in the parking lot.

 

Riverbend Park

Thursday, April 12, 7:30 - 10:30 AM

Meet Jenny Vick in the upper parking lot at the Visitor Center for a walk through the woods and along the river.

 

Wildflowers at Riverbend Park

Saturday, April 14, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Katy Simenson and Riverbend are the perfect combination for a wildflower walk. Meet her at the Visitor Center and experience the beauty of spring along the river. Bring a hand lens and a wildflower guide if you have them. Katy would appreciate a call if you plan to attend (703-281-7129), but drop-ins are also welcome.

 

Brown's Chapel, Reston

Sunday, April 15, 7:30 - 10:30 AM

Join Bill Brown to check the lake, woods and open fields around Brown's Chapel.

 

Lake Fairfax Park

Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 AM

There is a lot more to this park than the lake and Water Mine. Bill Brown has been exploring there recently and has found some excellent birding areas. Meet him at the Visitor Center to check out some new areas of the park.

 

Twin Branches, Reston

Sunday, April 29, 7:30 - 10:30 AM

Matt Bender will lead this walk through stream valley and mature forest. Surprises often turn up here.The first part of the trail is rather steep and rocky downhill so wear appropriate footwear.

 

Thompson Wildlife Management Area

Wednesday, May 2, 8:00 AM - early afternoon

 

Does your heart beat faster at the prospect of rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, cerulean, hooded and Kentucky warblers?If so, join Carol and Jay Hadlock and we'll throw in spectacular trilliums and other wildflowers and birds.

 

Important notice: Virginia DGIF is now requiring a permit to enter all state wildlife management areas.This can be a daily use permit, an annual permit, a valid freshwater fishing license or a hunting license.A daily permit can be purchased for $4 and you must have the permit with you while on the property.Go to the DGIF website to find where the permits are for sale near you, and make sure you have one and have it with you if you plan to go on this trip.

 

 

Registration required. Limit 10.  Call Carol & Jay at 703-437-7451. Lunch at The Apple House, Dutch treat, optional.

 

Bright Pond, Reston

Sunday, May 6, 7:30 - 10:30 AM

Always a popular spot in springtime, this natural area in the midst of residential development is a magnet for arriving songbirds.Andy Rabin will lead the walk.

 

Magee Marsh, Ohio
Friday, May 11 - Tuesday, May 15.

We still have two rooms available at the Maumee Bay Lodge for this trip but they must be claimed before April 10.

Kenn Kaufman called Magee Marsh the "epicenter of birding in spring...a magical place to watch birds..." It's a place where warblers forage around your feet, perch at arm's length and flit around your head. On this trip we will spend time on the boardwalk each day, plus birding in Ottawa NWR, Turtle Creek Bay, Cedar Point Marsh, and Maumee Bay State Park.

Limit 10. Cost $40 per person. Travel will be by car. We will try to match up single participants who do not wish to drive with drivers who have space to share. A block of rooms is being held at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, 15 minutes from Magee Marsh.

Reservations required. Contact Carol Hadlock via email or phone (703-437-7451) to reserve your space. After making your reservation, please send your check for $40 per person, made payable to ASNV, to ASNV, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Suite 100, Reston, VA 20190.

More information is available on the ASNV website.

 

Take the LEAPP!!
Learn More About the Natural World

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.

Amphibians of Northern Virginia
Class: Saturday, March 24, 2-3:30 PM
Field trip: Saturday, April 7, 7-8:30 PM
Join expert naturalists for an "up close and personal" look at amphibians in our region. We will explore local frogs, toads, and salamanders through a slideshow and with live specimens! Be prepared to learn calls, habits, and life cycles of these amazing animals. Please note: The class session is mandatory for those wishing to go on the field trip.  

Spring Wildflowers
Class: Thursday, April 19, 7-9:30 PM
Field trip: Saturday, April 21, 10 AM - noon
Did you know that ants are the seed dispersers for 30% of spring wildflowers? Learn how to pronounce myrmecochory, how to identify some common spring wildflowers and plant families, and the folklore associated with plants in this area. The field trip will be held at Riverbend Park, Fairfax County Park Authority's only riverfront park which has over 400 acres of forest, meadows, and ponds. Riverbend's location along the Potomac River makes it a naturally unique and sensitive area with spectacular spring wildflowers.

Introduction to Birds and Birding
Class 1: Wednesday, April 18, 7-9 PM
Field trip 1: Saturday, April 21, time TBD
Class 2: Wednesday, April 25, 7-9 PM
Field trip 2: Saturday, April 28, time TBD
In Class 1 -- Basic Ornithology -- you will gain a basic understanding of taxonomy and species; bird biology; the natural history of birds, including behavior, reproduction, migration; and the great diversity of birds and habitats. In Class 2 -- Beginning Birding -- you will learn how to choose and use binoculars, explore various field guides and learn the language and tricks of identifying birds in the field. Please note: Participants must register for both Basic Ornithology and Beginning Birding.

Introduction to Local Stream Life
Class: Saturday, May 26, 1-3 PM
Field trip: Saturday, June 9, 2-4 PM
Join Potomac Overlook naturalists for an exploration into the world that exists in our smaller local streams. Common fish, amphibians, birds, insects, crustaceans, amphibians, and other invertebrates will be covered through an interpretive slideshow. Live specimens will also be on hand for participants to observe. Please note: The class session is mandatory for those wishing to go on the field trip.

 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends on You!

State Legislature Could Cut Conservation Funds
As we go to press, it appears that the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have not reached agreement on the budget and will have to have a special session before July.  Last month we reported that the General Assembly will address Governor Bob McDonnell's transportation proposals.  The Virginia Conservation Network and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters say these bills would be adverse to the environment because they would divert what is called "general fund" money to roads, thus leaving less for natural resource protection, public safety, schools and other functions.  It's never too late to urge your state legislators to support conservation, issues like state parks, the Virginia natural heritage program, clean air and clean water.

Get Involved!
Here are a few tips for Auduboners, who may wish to express their opinions to their legislators:

How to Find Bills and Legislators
Information Resources on Virginia Legislation
Support Conservation Corridors
Destruction and fragmentation of habitat is a major cause of the decline of many species.  Fortunately, there's an effort to try to connect the few natural areas left in Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is identifying and mapping high-value ecological areas, establishing baseline data and in part, attempting to highlight opportunities for more natural connectivity.  Their Conservation Corridors in Northern Virginia Assessment Report is available at www.novaregion.org/conservation

In March, the commission will consider whether to adopt the plan at a meeting on March 22, 7:30 p.m., at NVRC's headquarters, 3060 Williams Drive, suite 510, Fairfax. This is an opportunity to support conservation in Northern Virginia.

EPA Is Under Attack
Some Members of Congress continue to try to weaken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to protect the environment.  The next round is expected to be bills to stop EPA from limiting greenhouse gas emissions like carbon.  You could let Virginia's U.S. senators and congressmen know you want them to oppose measures that would disable EPA.  You can contact Virginia's Members of Congress via their websites at www.senate.gov or www.house.gov.  The Northern Virginia Climate Action Network, a coalition of ten conservation organizations of which ASNV is a founder, has a petition along these lines.  Can you help get signatures?  If so, email Glenda Booth at gbooth123@aol.com.

Help Protect Migratory Birds at Wind Farms
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) urges people to let the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) know that they should protect birds from the negative impacts of wind energy by developing regulations that will safeguard wildlife and ensure responsible wind energy development.

The ABC petition urges the U.S. government to issue regulations establishing a mandatory permitting system for the operation of wind energy projects under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that would both limit and mitigate for the impacts of wind farms on migratory birds.  In addition to saving birds, the proposal would provide the wind industry with some certainty.

ABC says that they "filed the petition because the government's voluntary approach - in place since 2003 - has proven ineffective. Preventable bird deaths at wind farms keep occurring, and new wind projects continue to be built in areas that are high-risk to birds."

The petition includes a map showing important bird areas and bird migration corridors throughout the United States, overlaid with the locations of proposed and already operating wind turbines. You will see that many planned and existing wind turbines are in areas posing significant threats to birds.

You can help ABC get regulations to protect birds at wind farms by endorsing ABC's wind petition. Learn more at www.abcbirds.org.
 
 
 
The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Inc. | 11100 Wildlife Center Drive | Suite 100 | Reston | VA | 20190

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