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Learn how native plants support wildlife, September 12th

Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh to hear Dr. Desiree Narango speak about her research on how residential landscapes influence biodiversity.

Common yellow throat

The talk will focus on her research comparing how well native and nonnative trees provide food for insect-eating Carolina chickadees.  She will share results from her work that can help you choose trees and shrubs that will support habitat for birds and other backyard wildlife.  She is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh and co-sponsored by Plant NOVA Natives, the Northern Virginia Bird Club, and the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria VA

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

7:30 pm

 

 

Hike along Buttermilk Creek Trail in Reston, 8 July

The Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston is leading a hike along Buttermilk Creek Trail to watch for birds, and maybe feeding hatchlings.

Buttermilk Creek
11032 Ring Road Reston, VA, 20190
Sunday,  8 July 8 2018
7:30-10:30 AM

Approved for continuing education credit for certified master naturalists.

Identify shorebirds with Audubon instructor Marc Ribaudo, 16 August

Join instructor Marc Ribaudo for an evening class and accompanying field trip that will cover identifying shorebirds.  The class is recommended for anyone who would like to tackle shorebird identification on their own.

The group will spend an evening in the classroom covering identification tips for shorebirds that can typically be seen in our region. Emphasis will be on shorebirds that pose the biggest identification challenges, such as peeps.

On the Saturday following the class, the group will visit Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware to put into practice what they’ve learned in class. Bombay Hook is one of the top shorebird spots in the northeast and provides ample opportunities to view many species of shorebird in close proximity to each other. The group may also visit Port Mahon or Taylor’sDitch, depending on tide and what is being seen at the time.

Fairfax High School, Fairfax, Virginia; Bombay Hook NWR, Smyrna, DE
Thursday, 16 August 2018; Saturday, 18 August 2018
$50/member; $60/non-member

Learn more and sign up

 

Explore the Discovery Trail through Fairfax County Parks this summer

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Discovery Trail Map features 12 sites across the park system that give children and adults the chance to discover each park’s special features. There’s a game built into the activities, so prizes are a possible outcome (e.g., bicycles, mini-golf, a carousel, train, tour boat, pedal boat, camping, wagon ride, RECenters and a boat rental).

This year’s free summer activities highlight the rich diversity of wildlife you’ll see in Fairfax County parks.

  • Now in its fifth year, the map encourages children and adults to explore and learn interesting facts about the wildlife that lives in the parks. Discover which bird’s wings beat up to 53 times per second, which park serves as the perfect habitat for the great blue heron and which creature could be called a party animal!
  • Discovery Trail Maps ware available now at staffed FCPA locations, Fairfax County Public Libraries, and Board of Supervisors offices (while supply lasts).  Maps also will be available online at Download Discovery Trail Map during the promotional period, May 26 – Sept. 3, 2018.
  • Each featured site has a sticker with a unique image that reinforces the educational messages on the map.
  • Pick up a sticker for each park at the sticker location listed in the table above, and place it in the corresponding box (participant must be present to receive a sticker).
  • Participants who visit at least eight of the featured sites will receive tickets to more park fun valued at $93 and be entered in a drawing for one of four bicycles donated by Spokes, Etc. through the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
  • Qualifying maps can be redeemed at Burke Lake Park, Frying Pan Farm Park and Green Spring Gardens.

Learn more

Get involved in Audubon’s Climate Watch citizen science work

Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report predicts that over half of North American bird species will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080.

To test these predictions, Audubon has been running a new community science project, Climate Watch, since January. Climate Watch aims to document species’ responses to climate change by having volunteer community scientists in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models project they should be in the 2020’s, giving us an understanding on how birds respond to a changing climate.

There’s still time to get involved. If you would like to find out more about being a volunteer or how to coordinate in 

your area, please contact the Audubon Climate Watch Team at climatewatch@audubon.org

See raptors up close

Saturday, April 21st, 10.00am – Noon
Belle Haven Park, 1250 Mount Vernon Trail, Alexandria, VA

Come see and photograph live raptors like barn and barred owls, hawks and more up close at Belle Haven Park on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Co-sponsored by Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, and the National Park Service. This is a great event for kids of all ages. Free, no need to RSVP.

Mason Neck State Park Eagle Fest–Live Animal Presentations

Saturday, May 12th
10.00 am to 6.00 pm (8.00 am for a pre-opening bird walk)
Mason Neck State Park, 7301 High Point Rd, Lorton, VA 22079

See shows and talks in two tents, including live animal presentations by Reptiles Alive, Secret Garden Birds and Bees, and Wildlife Center of Virginia; and, with luck, there will be a visit from Buddy the Bald Eagle.  In addition, there will be hay rides, pony rides, food for purchase, two live bands, walks to view nesting bald eagles and (hopefully) their young, a live Bald Eagle Cam, and mini-clinics by REI, Inc. Check out the booths set up by environmentally-oriented groups such as the Fairfax Master Naturalists, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Dogue Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Potomac Riverkeepers, and the Virginia Sierra Club.

Weather permitting, we’ll also have a Boating Bonanza, where you can try out canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.  Presented by Friends of Mason Neck State Park. Learn more or volunteer to help at the event.

Go Birding on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Chincoteague Island

Enjoy special access to Wallops Island and other protected birding destinations, where you’ll learn from experts as you look for the region’s more than 400 species of birds. During the migratory season, millions of birds along the Atlantic Flyway “funnel” through a small area along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where more than 400 species have been recorded. Explore the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s restricted back country on Chincoteague and Assateague islands with Chincoteague Bay Field Station.

The 6-day event costs $599. April and May are waitlisted; September and December are accepting applications.

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

April Activities at Huntley Meadows

Twilight Boardwalk

7 April 2018

7-9 pm

(6-Adult) Join a naturalist at Huntley Meadows Park on a guided tour through the forested paths to the wetland, and experience the park as it transitions from day into night. Watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents. The  cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Wetlands Spring to Life: Sketch Hike

21 April 2018

10 am-noon

(10-Adult) Join artist and naturalist Margaret Wohler to explore and sketch the wetland at Huntley Meadows Park as it wakes up for spring. Learn to identify and draw the first plants and animals that spring to life. Enhance your observation and sketching skills. The cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Get Ready for Warbler Migration

22 April 2018

8-11 am

(Adults) Learn or refresh your warbler calls and identification skills with this educational session at Huntley Meadows Park. Common warbler migrants of Huntley Meadows will be covered. The cost is $10 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

Learn more

 

Get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Enjoy observing local birds? You can make your observations count. The Great Backyard Bird Count, running from February 16-19 is a fun, free, family-friendly event that asks us to observe and count the birds in our backyards, building balconies, parks, schools–anywhere we may find them. Learn how to sign up and get started counting here.

Help spread the word with pre-made resources here.

In support of the bird count, DC Audubon is organizing a bird walk on Saturday, February 17 at 10:00 am at the U.S. Arboretum. For details and other updates, sign up here.

Join citizen scientists around the world for this annual tradition!