The Basics of Bird Anatomy with Dr. Kathleen Hunt, May 20th

Image: Bird Guide Part 2, Chas. K. Reed, Public Domain

Monday, May 20, 2024
7:00 – 8:00 PM

Virtual Seminar
ASNV Member ticket: $15 (Non-member ticket: $25)

Registration required!

Have you ever wondered what a secondary feather is, what a wishbone or a gizzard is for, how an eggshell is made, or why birds don’t have teeth? In this overview of bird anatomy, Dr. Kathleen Hunt (Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation) will explain how a bird’s body is put together and how it all works. Dr. Hunt will go over the visible features that are useful for birding identification, and then take a peek inside at some ingenious internal features like the lightweight skeleton and the avian air sac system. By the end of the class you may be envious of the birds’ design!

Kathleen E. Hunt, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She is a physiologist and endocrinologist with a strong interest in applied conservation physiology. Most of Dr. Hunt’s research interests center on impacts of environmental and anthropogenic stress on reproduction and health of free-ranging vertebrates, with an emphasis on applications for conservation. She has studied nest timing, nest success, and the effect of environmental change on Arctic tundra birds and avian malaria on native Hawaiian birds.

FCPA Announces the Farmers Market Opening Days

Photo: FCPA Farmers Market

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining, which means the Farmers Markets are opening up for the 2024 season!

Farmers Market Opening Days

  • Mount Vernon Farmers Market: April 17 
  • Burke Farmers Market: April 20 
  • Reston Farmers Market: April 27
  • Oakmont Farmers Market: May 1
  • Wakefield Farmers Market: May 1 
  • Annandale Farmers Market: May 2
  • Herndon Farmers Market: May 2 
  • McLean Farmers Market: May 3 
  • Kingstowne Farmers Market: May 3
  • Lorton Farmers Market: May 5

Please click here for more information about the Farmers Market Schedules and locations.   

Earth Sangha’s Spring Open House and Native Plant Sale, May 5th

Image: Courtesy of Earth Sangha

Sunday, May 5th, 2024
9:00AM – 1:00PM

Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery
6100 Cloud Dr.
Springfield, VA 22150

 

About the Wild Plant Nursery

The Wild Plant Nursery is a unique resource for ecological restoration in the greater Washington, DC, area. Established in 2001 in Springfield, Virginia, under an agreement with the Fairfax County Park Authority, the nursery is the region’s most comprehensive source of local, wild native-plant material (“local ecotypes”). The use of local ecotypes is a standard best practice in ecological restoration because that helps to safeguard genetic diversity and local adaptation in the species planted. The nursery is currently working with about 340 species, some uncommon or rare in the wild in this region. For many of these species, their nursery is the DC area’s only source of production — local ecotype or otherwise. All plants are grown from seed (or spores) that they themselves collect, from over 50 local natural areas. (They collect only with permission.) The nursery serves their own planting programs, as well as those of area governments, schools, businesses, and other conservation nonprofits. They rely on volunteers to run the nursery! To join them, check the Volunteer page for our Field SchedulePlease note that their nursery and office addresses are different. The Wild Plant Nursery is located at 6100 Cloud Dr. in Grove Point Park (formerly known as Franconia Park), Springfield. Our office is located in Annandale but is not open for plant sales.

Earth Sangha’s Wild Plant Nursery Species List

 

 

 

Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities, May

Photo: FMN Janet Quinn, Hidden Pond stream monitoring

*NVSWCD Workshop*
Sugarland Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, May 2, 3:00-6:00pm
Where: Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon/Sterling

This site is located near one of the largest great blue heron rookeries (breeding/nesting areas) in the eastern US. Volunteers often find plenty of newly hatched young crayfish in the spring. This is also the most accessible stream site, which can be easily reached by wheelchair and/or other assistive tools over a paved path. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

*NVSWCD Workshop*
Little Difficult Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, May 11, 1:00-4:00pm
Where: Fred Crabtree Park/Fox Mill Park, Herndon

This small stream is located in a peaceful wooded park a short hike away from the parking area. Little Difficult Run often scores very highly on the macroinvertebrate index because its watershed lies almost completely within the protected parkland. Reaching this site requires hiking through the woods and over uneven terrain. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

*NVSWCD Workshop*
Quander Creek/Dyke Marsh Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, May 16, 9:00am-1:00pm
Where: Mount Vernon District Park, Alexandria

Volunteers monitor a small tributary of Dyke Marsh twice this spring in partnership with the Friends of Dyke Marsh. This is the District’s only muddy bottom stream, all others use the rocky bottom protocol. You will see a lot of cool crane fly larva and dragonfly larva here! Reaching this site requires walking through the woods and over uneven terrain. Space at this workshop is limited. If you’re interested in joining us, please email Ashley.

*NVSWCD Workshop*
Horsepen Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, May 23, 3:00-6:00pm
Where: Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This site has undergone a lot of change over the last few years! While it had become more challenging to monitor this site in the past, recent changes to the streambed have brought more riffles to monitor and we’re excited to see how this changes the macroinvertebrates we may find! This is an accessible stream site, which can be reached by wheelchair and/or other assistive tools over a paved path (there is a moderate slope). Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

 

More Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

The NoVa Soil & Water Conservation teams are  very excited to contribute their stream data to state and national datasets. If you’d like to see data from all the NVSWCD regional stream monitoring team’s active sites, you can find our organization on the Clean Water Hub.

Spring Native Plant Sale at The Clifton Institute, May 18th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, May 18, 2024
11:00AM – 2:00PM

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Rd
Warrenton, VA 20187

Native plants provide better food for insects, which in turn provide food for birds. You can make a huge difference for wildlife by planting native species on your property. Since fall 2019 The Clifton institute has been collecting seeds of native grassland plants from around the area, which means in addition to being native they are of local ecotypes. At the plant sale they will sell seedlings grown from these seeds of a variety of perennial wildflowers, native grasses, and a few trees. Some of their favorites include butterflyweed, upland ironweed, scaly blazing star, narrow-leaf mountain-mint, and gray goldenrod. Partners from other organizations will also have plants and merchandise for sale. They will accept credit card, cash, or checks made out to the Clifton Institute. Hope to see you there!

Spring Creatures of The Night, May 17th

Image: Courtesy of the Clifton Institute

Friday, May 17, 2024
8:00 – 9:30PM

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Rd
Warrenton, VA 20187

Cost: FREE

Registration is REQUIRED.

Join the Clifton Institute for a night-time exploration of their trails and vernal pools while participants listen for frog calls, look for insects, and see what animals swimming in the ponds.

Cancellation policy: If you register and can no longer attend this event, please let the Clifton Institute know as soon as possible so that they can open your spot to someone else.

By registering for this event, you are affirming that you have read and agree to the Clifton Institute liability release policy.

Science Saturday: Box Turtles, May 11th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute, Box Turtles

Saturday, May 11, 2024
1:00 – 4:00PM

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Rd
Warrenton, VA 20187

Cost: FREE

Registration is REQUIRED.

In 2022, The Clifton Institute started a research project to study what habitats Box Turtles use at different times of year. This will help inform researchers and other landowners about the best time of year to mow fields and do other land management practices that might disrupt or even kill Box Turtles. On this second installment of Science Saturdays, participants will help get the 2024 season started by looking for turtles that were radio-tagged last year as well as potentially finding new turtles to tag. This is a special opportunity to tag along with the staff researchers and see how field science is done.

Cancellation policy: If you register and can no longer attend this event, please let the Clifton Institute know as soon as possible so that they can open your spot to someone else.

By registering for this event, you are affirming that you have read and agree to the Clifton Institute liability release policy.