Posts

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!

See the Tundra Swans at Mason Neck

 Saturday, February 10, 2018, 2:00 PM

Woodmarsh Trail, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge

 

Join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park on Saturday, February 10 on a walk to see the Tundra Swans! Each year, the Mason Neck area is host to one of Northern Virginia’s largest concentrations of Tundra Swans. Depending on the day, you may see between 200 and 400 swans and hear their haunting calls. You will also see other waterfowl, including Northern Pintails, American Coots, Ruddy Ducks, Black Ducks and Mallards — and who knows what else? Bring your binoculars if you have them. If not, there will be binoculars and telescopes for people to share. The tide will be high when the group gets there, which will maximize the likelihood that the birds will be close.

The group will gather at the Woodmarsh parking lot at 2:00 PM. It is on the left of High Point Road about a quarter mile BEFORE the Mason Neck State Park Contact Station. It is about a 1-mile walk on level ground to the bird blind at the marsh.

There is no charge for the hike, and there is no need to pay the State Park entrance fee since the group will be outside the park.

Learning Opportunity: Evolution in Marsh Wrens

Sunday, February 25th, 2:00 PM
Mount Vernon Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
Parking is available at the Governmental Center and across the street at Whitman Middle School.

 

A Dyke Marsh inlet, photo by Ned Stone.

Hear Dr. Sarah Luttrell talk about her work on evolution and speciation in the marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris).  Dr. Luttrell studies how evolution works by studying subspecies of birds.  She will examine how comparing multiple traits like plumage color, size and shape, vocal behavior, and genetics in marsh wrens has revealed an exciting pattern of evolution in this bird.  She received her Ph. D. in Biological Sciences in August 2017 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

 

The program is sponsored by Friends of Dyke Marsh.  It is free and open to the public.

Join the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in a yearlong celebration of birds

 

2018 is it the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—legislation that saves countless birds’ lives—but birds are facing many new and serious threats. Audubon has teamed up with National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to officially make 2018 the Year of the Bird.

Throughout the year, these partners, along with more than 100 other participating organizations, will be celebrating birds while raising awareness about their troubles across all of our channels—magazines, television, social media, and more—with new editorial, content, and programs.

Help build a better world for birds by taking a simple but meaningful action each month. Count Me In gives you options for learning about some ways to participate.

Check out the official Year of the Bird website for others.