November 2012
In This Issue
Christmas Bird Counts
LEAPP Classes
Barbara Chambers
Science Fair Coordinator
Field Trips
Advocacy Update
Other Workshops
Antique Bird Illustrations

Upcoming Event

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

  • Nov 28 
  • Dec 19  
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • Nov 14  
  • Dec 12   

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.)


Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Read more.


Help 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 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 info@audubonva.org.
 
Message from the ASNV President

Dear Members, Partners and Friends:  

 

This month we're focusing on our annual appeal for donations that will enable us to continue serving our community as a local leader in environmental education, outreach, advocacy and citizen science. We are a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization in which 100% of our funding is invested here in the community in service of our mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems.

 

Your support has an important and immediate impact in Northern Virginia - literally in your own backyard. Our relatively new Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary program has certified over 100 properties in less than 3 years, covering nearly 800 acres. The program involves hands-on outreach; volunteer Audubon at Home ambassadors have made themselves available to consult with property owners. These property owners have agreed to embrace the National Audubon Society's "Healthy Yard Pledge" -- to conserve and protect water quality, reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, remove invasive plants, plant natives, and support birds and beneficial wildlife on the property. Participants personally record the appearance of birds, pollinators, and other essential critters in their backyards. We have teamed up with local chapters of Virginia Master Naturalists, Virginia Master Gardeners, the Virginia Native Plant Society and Earth Sangha to support the initiative. We need your help to sustain the momentum of this program. Our property signs, brochures, training materials and supplies are an essential part of the program. At the moment, we're spending more than we're taking in. Read more about it on the website at the "Audubon at Home" tab.

 

In addition, a remarkable community contribution continues to be ASNV's annual Northern Virginia Bird Survey (NVBS) - along with a list of other citizen science projects - including the upcoming Christmas Bird Count (see dates below). The NVBS has been conducted since 1995 to monitor trends in our region's bird populations. It corroborates what is being reported nationally regarding declining numbers and continuing loss of habitat due to development. While we're trying directly to tackle this trend with our Audubon at Home program, we also support strong public advocacy, encouraging members and friends to participate in land-use decisions and other government actions that affect our environment. Additional funds are much needed to develop and analyze our data and make it available to land managers at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as to development partners in the private sector. Read more about it on the website at the "Issues and Action" tab and the "Wildlife Conservation and Counts" tab.

 

ASNV depends almost entirely on funding from individual members and friends who share our conservation, restoration and education mission, including those who enjoy our classes, workshops and field trips. Consider volunteering for the Christmas Bird Count and check out the bird walks and other ways to be engaged, including the Ornithology 101 class coming up in February. We are very grateful for the many dedicated volunteers who make our programs possible. Here's wishing all a naturally enjoyable Thanksgiving season, along with the confidence that we can each make a difference if we choose to act. I hope you'll consider ASNV this year as a very good return on your annual giving!  

 

Terry F. Liercke, President

 

Christmas Bird Counts
Manassas-Bull Run Bird Count!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Our annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
will be on Sunday, December 16th. Our count circle is around Centreville and takes in Manassas Battlefield, parts of Bull Run Regional Park, undeveloped areas south of Dulles Airport, and many stream valley parks and undeveloped locations from Clifton to west Fairfax City. more

Ft. Belvoir Christmas Bird Count
Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Ft. Belvoir CBC will be the last Sunday of the count period, 30 Dec, which is good for us as most people will have Monday as a holiday. Pass the word. So, bring a friend and join us!

 
LEAPP Classes

The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers Northern Virginians the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection.  Since its inception in 1999, students have found that LEAPP classes are fun and personally rewarding.  Don't miss out - register early!  Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. (For Master Naturalists:  All workshops have been approved for Advanced Training hours.) To register, contact ASNV at 703-438-6008 or at info@audubonva.org.


Ornithology 101

12 Tuesday evenings from February to mid May

This course is an introductory, college-level course in Ornithology and will provide students with the tools and skills of being a birder. The course will be held 12 evenings from February to mid May and will cover: field guides and optics, the origins and evolution of birds; feathers, flight and the physiology of birds; behavior and communications;migration, navigation, and social behavior;avian life histories;population dynamics and conservation. Read more. 

 

In Memoriam
Barbara Chambers
1929 - 2012
Our great and good friend Barbara Chambers died on October, 15 2012 of heart failure. Barb was an outstanding advocate for all creatures great and small, especially birds, working with the Northern Virginia Bird Club (NVBC), Virginia Bluebird Society (VBS North American Bluebird Society (NABS), and in the 1990s with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (formerly the Fairfax Audubon Society). She was also a volunteer with local parks and the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) system. Barbara served for several years as a conservation watchdog for the NVBC, attending and reporting on Fairfax County planning meetings. She also served as Vice-President for Programs for the club.
 
Science Fair Co-ordinator Needed 
ASNV needs someone to manage awards for student projects and recruitment of judges for the Regional High School Science and Engineering Fair. ASNV recognizes environmental science projects by our young people to encourage the next generation towards scientific research and workable solutions for Environmental Stewardship.

Contact Mary McLean Ed. Com. Chair

  

Field Trips and Birdwalks  

 

Bright Pond, Reston

Sunday, Nov. 18, 7:30-10:30 AM

Join Naturalist Kevin Munroe in one of Reston's hotspots.

Getting there: From Baron Cameron Ave. in Reston, take Reston Parkway north. Turn right on Bright Pond Lane and go to the cul de sac to park and meet Kevin.

 

Riverbend Park

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:00 AM

Take a walk along the Potomac with Glen Gerada and Kathy Berger to look for arriving winter waterfowl.

Getting there: From Rt. 193 east of the village of Great Falls, take Riverbend Rd. to Jeffery Rd. and turn into the main entrance to the park. Meet at the boat ramp.

 

Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:00 AM

Naturalist Casey Pittrizzi will lead this walk in the park. He will emphasize beginning bird identification and beginning birders are welcome. Extra pairs of binoculars will be available for use, and Casey promises to have the coffee ready when you arrive!

Getting there: The address of the park is below; check GoogleMaps for best directions from your location. Meet at the Nature Center.

 

Potomac Overlook Regional Park

2845 N. Marcey Road

Arlington, VA 22207

 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

 

Healthy Habitat Is Key: Is there a way to "marry" advocacy and Audubon at Home? Of course! Auduboners can urge managers of public property to plant more native plants using Audubon at Home principles. 

   

Examples: Huntley Meadows Park, Long Branch Nature Center, Potomac Overlook Park, Colvin Run Mill and the Gulf Branch Nature Center. Others that have planted natives but have not yet received the Audubon certification are Belle View Elementary School, the Great Falls Library and the Oakton Library.

 

Kings Park Library has a butterfly garden and the Sherwood Regional Library has a small section of pervious pavement and some native plants.

 

Fairfax County prepared a natural landscaping plan, at the initiative of then Chairman Gerry Connolly, but little has happened since.   Alexandria has its Eco-City initiatives. Auduboners could talk to the managers of public property near them and volunteer to help.

 

Move Virginia Forward, Environmentally: It's not too early to start talking to your state legislators about conservation issues to come before the 2013 session, especially bills you would like them to initiate. Legislators are now preparing the bills they will introduce in the 2013 session.   Have a suggestion for a bill?   Talk to your legislator. The legislature will convene on January 9 in Richmond. Let them hear from you before they go to Richmond. You'll get more time and attention before they go than when they are there. Visit  http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/ for more.

 

Virginia Conservation Issues: The Virginia Conservation Network will hold their General Assembly preview workshop on Saturday, December 1, at the state capitol in Richmond. Among the issues discussed will be renewable energy, uranium mining and transportation reform. Visit www.vcnva.org.

VCN has a network of advocates across the state and needs more people for each state senator and delegate. Visit http://statevoices.salsalabs.com/o/39/signup_page/lct to learn about these teams and to sign up.

 

Help Stop Global Warming:   Hurricane Sandy swept many birds away from their usual paths and habitats. A northern gannet, for example, was seen in West Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Hurricane Sandy was yet one more example of the increasing incidence of extreme weather events we are experiencing, exacerbated by a warming planet. National Audubon's website says, "The ferocity of this hurricane was a reminder of why we do what we do. Climate change is real. The science says so. And extreme weather events like this remind us of the devastating cost to people and communities." Auduboners can help prod the new Congress to act.

 

Climate Change Action November 18: Join fellow advocates on November 18, Bill McKibben and 350.org in Washington, D.C., and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network for a big climate disruption action. Click here to RSVP: www.eventbrite.com/event/4585376986. The event will be at the Warner Theater starting at 1 p.m. and there'll be music and special guests.

The event is also the springboard to the next phase of climate change organizing in the U.S. All across the country people are planning new campaigns targeting the fossil fuel industry's financial might, using divestment, civil disobedience and strategic pressure campaigns.     

 

Other Workshops
Hog Island Audubon Camp
Registration Opens October 15, 20
More information can be found  here.

National Audubon Society National Convention
July 12-16, 2013
Skamania Lodge
Plan ahead for the convention.   www.skamania.com

 

Other News

"KittyCam" Reveals Wildlife Being Killed by Outdoor Cats 

 

A new study of house cats allowed to roam outdoors finds that nearly one-third succeeded in capturing and killing animals. The cats, which wore special video cameras around their necks that recorded their outdoor activities, killed an average of 2.1 animals every week they were outside, but brought less than one of every four of their kills home. More information can be found here


Antique Bird Illustrations
   Kohl Exhibit
October 9, reception  5 to 7 p.m 
Exhibit open through November 30  

The Kohl Gallery at Washington College invites all birding enthusiasts and naturalists to come and enjoy a very special exhibit of antique bird illustrations in an atmosphere filled with bird song and imagery.  I hope you will want to share some version of this news release with your membership and other interested parties.  More information here.

Northern Virginia Teen Bird Club 

The Northern Virginia Teen Bird Club sponsored by Flint Hill School and The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia had a field trip to ABA's MidAtlantic Young Birder Conference last weekend in Hockessin Delaware.

Here is a link to a brief summary and slide show of that day followed by a link to a photo of our group which had students from 6 different schools and included 2 middle schoolers and 5 high schoolers.

Teens interested in birding can contact Fred Attwood (fredatwood@yahoo.com).

Winter Waterfowl Survey

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia

 

On Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27, birders of all skill levels will join up to count waterfowl in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William counties, including the Potomac and Occoquan watersheds. Novice birders will be paired with expert bird enthusiasts. Larry Cartwright continues as our volunteer compiler for this year's waterfowl count. For more information and to join the team, please e-mail info@audubonva.org or call (703) 438-6008.

 

Studies have revealed that some waterfowl species are facing population decline and habitat loss. Join us in counting for conservation and collect important scientific data about trends in our local waterfowl population. Your tracking and trekking across Northern Virginia today will help protect the threatened species of tomorrow!

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