May Bird of the Month: the “Sparred” Owl

The Spotted Owl just can’t get a break. Endemic to old-growth forests in the Pacific North west, the endangered owl’s population was already declining due to deforestation, but now they have been forced to accommodate an inconsiderate guest: Barred Owls. Native to the eastern half of North America, the Barred Owl’s territory has been expanding westward since the turn of the last century.

Birdathon 2019: When is Peak Landbird Migration in Northern Virginia and Washington DC?

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia sponsors a Birdathon every spring. We send out a bunch of teams whose goal is to see as many species as possible in a 24-hour period and to raise money for our programs. Read on to find out the best tips and tricks for spotting as many species as possible, and learn why now is the best time to go out birding.

We Need Your Help!

ASNV is primarily a volunteer-driven organization.  We rely on people like you to carry out most of our organization’s functions.

If you would like to volunteer your time to help support birds and the environment, check out the following opportunities. If you are interested, please send me an email at and if you have other ideas about projects you’d like to undertake, let me know about those too.

Calling all Birders: Birdathon 2019!

Birdathon 2019 is underway! How does it work? Like a walk-a-thon, Birdathon participants collect pledges from friends and family. Then, during any 24-hour period between April 19 and May 19, participants record how many species they can identify. The more species they identify, the more funds they raise! Birdathoners also import their data into eBird, an online database of bird observations run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

2019 Native Plant Sales

Hello spring and summer gardening! As you buy, remember that native plants supply critical nutrition for birds and other wildlife. A list of local native plant sales can be found here. And please, no invasives! Besides from being nutritionally deficient themselves, invasive plants smother native plants, creating environmental food deserts. A list of invasive plant species to avoid can be found here.

March Bird of the Month: Gynandromorphic Birds

This past February, a very unusual Northern Cardinal was spotted in Erie, Pennsylvania. Its right side is brilliantly red, while its left side is a modest brown, with both sides perfectly split down the middle. The reason for the color split is remarkable; the left side is biologically female, while the right side is biologically male. Genetically, the two halves are as closely related as brother and sister.