In the 19th century, a curious phenomenon stumped European bird watchers and zoologists. Why did some species of birds disappear and then reappear every year? People back then had no way to track birds as they traveled long distances, so they had to come to their own conclusions.
Save the date for our next Audubon Afternoon & Silent Auction, Sunday September 22, 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM. Join us as we welcome Leslie Ries and Elise Larson from the Ries Lab of Butterfly Informatics at Georgetown University. We’ll learn about their current research and get an update on ASNV’s citizen science surveys.
Spending six days on Hog Island, Maine was one of the most meaningful, educational experiences I have ever had. From the moment we stepped off the boat from the mainland, we were immersed in a rich environment of natural wonder, forming new relationships, and inspired by the passion and knowledge of the camp staff and our fellow educators who arrived from all over the country.
This year’s annual Audubon Photography Awards contest attracted 2,253 entrants from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Kathrin (“Kathy”) Swoboda, of Vienna, VA, won the grand prize for her photo of a Red-winged Blackbird seeming to blow smoke rings. Kathy is an amateur photographer who started photographing birds about seven years ago in her backyard, which is beside a park.
A session on “Planting Hope: Engaging Faith-based Communities in Plants for Birds,” engaged a full room at the July National Audubon Convention in Milwaukee.
On August 7, over 100 people attended Plant NOVA Natives’ (PNN) first native plants conference for professionals, including representatives from 39 professional landscaping companies. PNN (outreach partner of Audubon at Home) and AAH collaborated to obtain “seed money” for the conference from Transurban’s Express Lanes Community Grant Program.
On the weekend of August 17 – 18, sixteen ASNV members headed east to Calvert County Maryland for a fun summer weekend. Only an hour and a half from Northern Virginia, our first stop was the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, where we were greeted with the call of a Piliated Woodpecker, as we walked under the canopy of majestic cypress. A gently flowing stream under a boardwalk revealed fresh deer and raccoon tracks while blooming cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) provided bright red color to the serene setting.
ASNV is pleased to announce that Centreville Elementary School has won this year’s ASNV Conservation Grant. The school plans to revitalize a walking trail and natural vernal pond. The vernal pond suffers from run-off, consequently, salamanders which used to spawn there have disappeared. Students plan to add native plants to improve stream filtration while also attracting native bird and amphibian species.
Audubon Society of Northern Virginia provides speakers, staffs tables at events and/or provides materials for organizations interested in our mission and programs. Please use this link to make your request and submit it at least two weeks before your event.
We will follow up with you within 3 business days to schedule stating whether or not we can meet your request and to discuss details to ensure a successful event.
Given how much of the planting in Northern Virginia is done by landscaping professionals, Plant NOVA Natives, which is Audubon at Home’s outreach partner, is sponsoring a conference to educate landscape professionals on the value of native plants. If you know any landscape designers, architects, or other landscape professionals who might be interested, please point them to this invitation.
This month's Potomac Flier is out! Click here to read it.
In July, 2015, two Peregrine Falcon chicks were found on Market Street in Reston Town Center (RTC). They were taken to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and safely released into the wild. No one realized Peregrine Falcons nested in Reston but the chicks prompted a discovery that two adult peregrines were nesting in RTC. The pair has continued to nest there for five years.
Brown-headed Cowbirds love cows. True to their name, they can often be found alongside herds of cattle or horses, eating insects that much larger animals flush from the grass. Historically, Brown-headed Cowbirds followed bison herds across the Great Plains, but the spread of livestock farming has expanded their range across North America.
The Audubon at Home program is happy to announce that the Reston Association's Central Services Facility (CSF) native plant garden has achieved certification as a Wildlife Sanctuary. RA developed this 3 acre site to serve as a demonstration site to educate Metro developers on how native plants can be integrated into areas near Metro stations.
Are you new to birding and want to learn more or just want to dig deeper into the subject? Then this class is for you! This course is designed to include beginners, but it is by no means restricted to them.
ASNV member Randy Streufert photographed a Carolina Chickadee driving off a Downy Woodpecker from the chickadee’s nest box. You can see Randy’s remarkable photos, which were taken in just over one second, in the slideshow below.
A few years ago, while I was at the dentist’s, I looked out the window and saw a welcome distraction: a Northern Mockingbird landed on a telephone pole, jumped a few feet in the air, and then gracefully fluttered back down. It repeated this behavior for several minutes.
Most birdwatchers start out feeding birds in their backyard or at the duck pond. During spring migration, we all get excited by warblers and orioles and tanagers. But there’s a whole other world out there – the ocean! And ASNV has found the perfect ocean interpreter – Chris Haney. Chris has been a professional marine biologist for decades and also an avid birdwatcher basically all his life.
The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations has named conservation advocate and long-time ASNV member Catherine (Cathy) Ledec as the County’s Citizen of the Year. Cathy’s dynamic volunteer leadership includes several Fairfax County Park Authority programs and other volunteer efforts across Fairfax County.
Audubon at Home welcomes new Program Assistant Jill Spohn, who is an Audubon at Home Ambassador and Fairfax Master Naturalist.