November 2016

View this email in your browser

Quick Links

In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
  • Hometown Habitat Film Showing
  • Hog Island, Maine
  • Take Action
  • Birdwalks and Field Trips
  • Recurring Bird Walks
  • Bird Belize and Guatemala with ASNV!
  • Other News

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) 

  • November 16
  • December 7

Occoquan Bay NWR  (7:30AM - 12 PM)

  • November 30
  • December 21

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

We don’t have any acorns in our yard, but the Blue Jays come rocketing in anyway.  They are handsome birds, and they know it.  I don’t think I have ever heard anyone use the word “shy” to describe them, or “adorable” for that matter, but they are always well worth watching, always on the lookout for an opportunity.  They seem particularly vocal this time of year.  Interestingly, West Nile virus does not seem to have hit Blue Jays as hard as it hit our local crows, and they are one species that seems to be doing pretty well in Northern Virginia.  Is this a bird one can grow fond of?  Maybe that isn’t the right question.

We are partnering with Holbrook Travel again this year, this time to offer an international birding trip to Belize and Guatemala in March.  We had a very positive experience with the trip to Costa Rica that Holbrook organized for us last spring, and this one should be equally exciting.  Space is very limited, so sign up early. Click here for more information.

Registrations are open for our Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count [link], to be held this year on Sunday, December 18.  You may also still register for our Christmas Bird Count workshop this coming Sunday, November 6, at 2:00 at the National Wildlife Federation Building.

Save the date:  our January “Post-Holiday” Audubon Afternoon will be on Sunday, January 8.  David Johnson, Director of the Global Owl Project, will be speaking to us about “Owls in Myth and Culture.”  (See below.)  This should be really good one.
Have a good month.

Carl Kikuchi

Audubon Afternoon


Owls in Myth and Culture – a Global Perspective
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.  For several countries, we also examined the archeological, anthropological, and natural history data as well, to gain richer insights into the longer-term aspects of owls in those regions. We were able to document important changes in cultural beliefs in some countries, while there were no changes in others. 

Owls are viewed as very dangerous spirits who can take your soul (causing death) in Mali, while they are viewed as the Creator Being (created the earth) in north-central Australia.  During our interviews, we uncovered substantial illegal trade in owl eggs and live owls in several countries.  In this presentation David Johnson will describe the methods, cultural insights, and powerful results of our findings.  Attendees will find that this is a ‘deep dive’ into the cultural beliefs about owls.  

Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count

Sign Up the 35th Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count!

The Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 18th.  The count circle is around Centreville and includes 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.   A hot lunch will be served to participants.  Birders of all skill levels are needed.   Read More...

Hometown Habitat Film Showing

Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.

The Friends of Dyke Marsh will be screening “Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home” November 16, at 7:30 at the Huntley Meadows Visitor Center.  This 90-minute documentary by Catherine Zimmerman explores how we can restore and incorporate nature into every landscape and redefine our relationship with nature, a practice some call conservation landscaping. The film features “habitat heroes,” real-life success stories, stories of hope, that cover topics like ecosystem services, nature’s resiliency, water conservation, ecoart and environmental activism. 

ASNV is co-sponsoring this program, along with Plant NoVa Natives, the Trust for the George Washington Parkway, and the Friends of Little Hunting Creek.

This program is free and open to the public.  If you use a GSP device to find the park, do not use the park's name.  Enter the park's address, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306.  More info at http://themeadowproject.com/.

Hog Island, Maine

Teaching Natural Resource Conservation

Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week
Instructors share favorite methods/activities for engaging children and adults with nature

Program Dates: July 16 to 21, 2017
Learn practical approaches and add inspiration to your environmental education curriculum during this action-packed program. Our experienced and enthusiastic instructors share their favorite approaches, methods, and activities for engaging both children and adults with nature.


Take Action

Virginia General Assembly Preview

What conservation issues will the 2017 Virginia legislature address?  Climate change? feral cats? water pollution? coal ash disposal?  Here’s a chance to learn what our state legislators will do or not do and how you can influence public policy.  Read More...

Weigh In On Parks

Park planning processes offer Auduboners and others to shape the future of parks.  The Fairfax County Park Authority seeks input on the master plan for the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.   Here is the county's press release seeking input on this park. Note the info on how to get involved in more master planning for parks. Read More...

Birdwalks and Field Trips  

Eakin Park, Fairfax, VA
This woodland park with meadow edges promotes an easy amble while we look and listen for local birds.  Jean Tatalias and Elizabeth Fenton lead this walk sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club
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.
Wednesday, November 9
8:30 to 10:30 AM
Lower Glade Stream Valley, Reston, VA
Reston walks are always enjoyable as we explore the streams and woods through the community in search of fall and winter species.  Sponsored by the Reston Association and the Bird Feeder of Reston.

Getting there:  From I-66 west, take exit 60 to go north on Rte 123.  Turn left on Hunters Mill Road/ Route 674.  Turn left on Lawyers Road, Route 673.  Turn right on Twin Branches Road.  Park near intersection with Glade Drive and meet leaders at the corner.
Sunday, November 13
7:30 to 10:30 AM
Merrimac Farm WMA, Nokesville, VA
Join this monthly walk sponsored by The Prince William Conservation Alliance and enjoy the crisp weather while birding for sparrows, woodpeckers and other winter residents in this 300 acre Wildlife Management Area.

Getting there:   Take I66 west to VA234 S.  Turn right on VA 28 S., then left on VA 619 E, Valley View Drive.  Turn left on Fleetwood Dr and then left on Deepwood Lane in Brentsville.  Use the address 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville 20181. When you are on Deepwood Lane, drive past the North Entrance to the VERY END of the road. Deepwood Lane dead ends at the Stone House where the walk meets. Questions may be directed to alliance@pwconserve.org
Sunday November 27
8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA
This walk starts with scoping the Potomac and then walks the Haul Road through the woods to the boardwalk.  Join leaders Larry Cartwright and Phil Silas in search of winter species. 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, November 30
8:30 to 11:30 AM
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

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.

Bird Belize and Guatemala with ASNV!

You can support sustainable, bird-based tourism and hemispheric conservation on this birding expedition to Belize and Guatemala. ASNV is sponsoring this trip with Holbrook Travel, March 19-26, 2017.
Visit www.holbrooktravel.com/asnvbelize17 for more information. Details will be added to this web page as they become available. 

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→