Identifying shorebirds in the field is one of the more challenging activities for birders. Interest in meeting that challenge must be keen, however, because a recent ASNV class in shorebird identification, held at Fairfax High School August 16, sold out all seats.
Owls are our nocturnal neighbors, leading secretive lives in woods and fields around us. Rarely seen during the day, they can be hard to spot at night. Here are 12 things to know about these elusive birds.
Sign up soon for ASNV’s eight-day, seven-night birding adventure in Panama, including two nights at Canopy Tower, three nights at Canopy Lodge, and two nights at Gamboa Rainforest Resort.
ASNV members have the opportunity to participate in the third and final planting day at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. September 19. Meet at Dyke Marsh next to the Haul Road trail. The National Park Service will provide tools, gloves, and water.
The Trump administration is seeking to change the Endangered Species Act in ways that will diminish 45 years of protections for jeopardized species and remove habitat protections that keep roads, pipelines, oil wells, and other development out of diminishing wildlife habitat. The administration says it is streamlining the law, but in fact it is threatening to turn the nation into a corporate-driven endangered-species factory.
Even if you have not visited the Prince William County landfill, you may have heard that it is a magnet for Bald Eagles, among other birds, including clouds of gulls. You can stand at a random spot and count more than 20 adult eagles at a time. Bit of a shame, really, that we have pulled Bald Eagles back from the brink of extinction, thanks largely to federal protective laws, only to have then turn into connoisseurs of rubbish.
ASNV on July 13th submitted comments to the National Park Service regarding plans for repair and reconstruction of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. This construction could have negative effects on bald eagles nesting near the parkway.
ASNV could really use your help with its Membership Committee—generating welcome letters to new members, publicizing volunteer opportunities, helping to engage new members, organizing volunteer rosters.
There’s one important item missing from this month’s President’s Message—when Carl Kikuchi thanked our retiring board members for their service he forgot to mention that he also is leaving us. That oversight is no surprise for a guy who never sings his own praises and who, sadly for us, is migrating permanently to join his flock in Arizona.
Plastics are an increasing threat to our environment. Birds are jeopardized too: an estimated 1 million sea birds die each year from ingesting plastic. In our throw-away culture, millions of plastic bottles and bags are simply tossed away yearly, without any thought to their environmental impacts.
Funded in part by contributions from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV), 35 volunteers assembled at the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on May 9 and June 9 to plant some 2,000 native trees and plants on a 0.65-acre site previously overwhelmed by non-native or invasive plants such as English ivy, mile-a-minute and stiltgrass.
At about 3 p.m. Friday we arrived at Cape Henlopen State Park, where we walked the beach along the bay. Officials had roped off part of the beach, excluding people for the protection of endangered Least Terns and Piping Plovers nesting there along with threatened Oyster Catchers. Using scopes, we saw Piping Plovers, Oyster Catchers, many Laughing Gulls, and various shorebird species.
Have you heard the one about Franklin opposing the Bald Eagle as national symbol? Well, it may not be true. The Bald Eagle has ranged widely across U.S. coins, paper currency, and government stationary for more than 200 years.
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Do you have word processing skills? Would you like to (really) help ASNV? Our long-time devoted Webmaster has told us that he and his wife are moving to Arizona.
ASNV is pleased to announce that our Audubon at Home (AAH) Program has awarded funds from the Plants for Birds Burke Grant program, which has been established with generous support from the Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants, to six faith communities.
Many thanks to Northwest Federal Credit Union for its very generous gift of 100 Backyard Birds of the Mid-Atlantic folding guides. In addition to use in support of ASNV’s Youth Education Programs, the guides will be used in conjunction with Celebrating Birds, a summer-long, family-focused program investigating the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics of birds.
Audubon at Home Ambassadors who are also certified as Virginia Master Naturalists helped spread the word about positive environmental practices at three regional Earth Day events on April 22.
ASNV has awarded three $500 Youth Education mini-grants to help applicants connect youth to birds. Blue Ridge Middle School in western Loudoun County will use the funds to expand the native plant garden in its outdoor classroom and to conduct citizen science to determine whether more native birds are attracted as a result.