Photo: Courtesy of Joan E. Strassmann

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia presents Author Talk: Slow Birding with Joan E. Strassmann on March 7

Photo: Courtesy of Joan E. Strassmann

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Fee:$25 ($15 ASNV Members)

Click here for registration details.

Join this presentation for an engaging talk with author and evolutionary biologist, Joan E. Strassmann. Her book, Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard, invites us to re-examine the birds closest to home. Professor Strassmann will share stories and facts about common birds and the scientists (professional and amateur alike) who study them. She will offer advice and guidance on what to look for when slow birding, so that you can uncover clues to the reasons behind specific bird behaviors. Participants will leave with concrete bird-focused activities to do at home to practice slow birding.

Learn more about her book in this recent article in the New York Times.

Joan Strassmann has been a slow birder all her life. She is an award-winning teacher of animal behavior, first at Rice University in Houston and then at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is Charles Rebstock professor of biology. She has written more than two hundred scientific articles on behavior, ecology, and evolution of social organisms. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives with her husband in St. Louis, Missouri.

Naturalist volunteer opportunities at Hidden Oaks!

Photo: Hidden Oaks, Fairfax County Park Authority
Share your love of nature at Hidden Oaks Nature Center!
Hidden Oaks has opportunities for program assistants this spring.  You’ll interact with kids and families doing hands-on activities, experiments, demonstrations and crafts.
As a program assistant, you work with a staff naturalist and enhance your interpretation skills.  One volunteer is needed for each of the below programs except as noted.  To volunteer, contact Kim Young or Kari Schilling, as indicated below:

Friday, March 17, 2023
4:30-5:30PM and 7:00-8:00 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Science:

(5-12 yrs.) Come and explore some green, leprechaun science that seems like magic. We will discover what those tricky leprechauns have up their sleeves, make green snow, green slime worms, and other exciting explorations- contact [email protected]

 Sunday, March 26, 2023
1:30-2:30 pm


(5-12 yrs.) Find out what’s cracking (or not) as we do various experiments with eggs and learn about their many amazing properties—contact [email protected]

Sunday, May 21,2023
12:15-3:45 pm

DinoFest in Nature Playce:

(3-9 yrs.) Learn and explore in dinoland! Compare your height and length to that of dinosaurs. Search for hidden dinosaurs and tracks. Make a fossil impression to take home. Canceled if rain. Child must be accompanied by an adult—contact [email protected]    2-3 volunteers welcome

But that’s not all! 
You can contact Hidden Oaks Volunteer Coordinator Janet Siddle, [email protected], to connect with other programs and projects that match your interests and availability.
There is an on-going need for volunteers to help lead Hidden Oaks’ many programs and camps.  In addition, there are openings for shifts at the Visitor Information Desk.  You would be talking to the public as they enter the building, directing them to their possible interests and answering their many questions.

Native Seedling Sale sponsored by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD)

Orders for the 2023 Native Seedling Sale open on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 9:00am.
The order site will be linked from this page.

The seedling sale pickup will be Friday, March 31, 2023, from 9am-4pm and Saturday, April 1, 2023, from 9am-12pm at Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club, 3516 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church VA 22044. Any seedlings not collected at pickup will be donated to a reforestation project in Fairfax County. Seedlings must be purchased in advance; no day of sales or extras will be offered.

NVSWCD’s understands this is an unusual time. Please contact NVSWCD prior to the seedling sale date should you require accommodations. NVSWCD looks forward to seeing you at the 2023 seedling sale!

Woodcock Watch Presented by The Clifton Institute, March 4th and 11th

Photo: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute, American Woodcock

Saturdays, March 4 or March 11, 2023
5:45 – 7:15 PM

Cost: $10 for general public, $5 for Friends of Clifton

The Clifton Institute

6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

Registration for the March 4th event.

Registration for the March 11th event.

The American Woodcock is one of the stealthiest birds, but it’s also one of the most fun to watch when they do show themselves. On early spring evenings, the males perform their mating displays, flying high into the air and falling back to the ground, making calls and sounds with their wings as they do so.

There will be a brief talk about these interesting birds, followed by a walk out into our fields where you will be able to watch and hear the birds perform.

For FMN CE credit use All Continuing Ed and select ‘Clifton Institute’ as the Approved Organization. Please make a note in the description that it is for the Woodcock Watch.


Saturday, March 25, 2023
9:30 AM–3:45 PM

Administration Building Auditorium,
U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Reserve your spot now! $100 (FONA members $80)
View the full program here.

What do George Washington, the National Arboretum’s bonsai curators, and several of the region’s grassland restoration experts and landscape designers have in common? An appreciation of the ecosystem services provided by native plants and a commitment to their conservation.

Learn from the National Arboretum’s line-up of native plant professionals about efforts to reestablish beautiful and unusual habitats and how you can successfully manage and design your cultivated landscapes. The 36th Lahr Native Plant Symposium provides inspiration from the wild and practical advice for your gardens.

Registrants attend all plenary sessions and one concurrent session of their choice.

Registration is required and includes all sessions, morning coffee and refreshments, and box lunch.

Questions? Email us at [email protected].

For FMN CE credit use All Continuing Ed and select ‘Other’ as the Approved Organization. Please make a note in the description that it is for the NBG symposium.

As with all CE, VMN does not permit travel time to be included. Also, with symposiums and conferences, only actual ‘learning sessions’ can be claimed. Lunch, plant sales, intros, breaks, etc. are not considered learning sessions.

Wetland Dynamics through the Seasons

Photo: Courtesy of the National Park Service, Vernal Pool

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

This is an On-line program.

Click here for program registration.

Wetlands like those at Mason Neck State Park experience dramatic changes over the course of a year. The Friends of Mason Neck State Park are co-sponsoring the Friends of Dyke Marsh’s online program “Wetland Dynamics through the Seasons” at 7 PM on March 1. The presentation will explore the secrets and wonders of freshwater and tidal wetlands and associated woodland over the course of a year: spring’s avian migrations, quickening of vegetation, burgeoning of myriad invertebrates and the assaults of extreme weather conditions; summertime’s proliferation of flora, fish, fowl and mammals; amazing feats of biological inventiveness during the autumnal preparation for winter; and how plants and animals adapt to winter’s harsh conditions.

The program will be presented by Dr. Colin Rees, retired biodiversity specialist at the World Bank and professor of Zoology at the University of Maryland. He is one of the developers and founders of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary on the Patuxent River, part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Southern Maryland, which is the focus of his recent book, Nature’s Calendar: A Year in the Life of a Wildlife Sanctuary.


A Birder’s Garden: Habitat for Feathered Friends with Alyssa Morel, February 28th

Photo of Alyssa Morel, Courtesy of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Tickets: $10

Click here for registration.

Birders who want to see feathered friends without leaving the comforts of home can create a garden that attracts and supports them. This talk gives practical gardening advice for new gardeners as well as suggested plant species to help turn your bit of ground into an avian sanctuary.

Speaker Alyssa Ford Morel is one of our Audubon at Home Ambassadors, as well as a member of the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. She also helps coordinate the Glencarlyn Library Demonstration Garden.

This event is brought to you by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.


Doug Tallamy On Hope and Restoring Biodiversity, February 26th

Image: Courtesy of Friends of Hollin Hills, Doug Tallamy

Sunday, February 26, 2023
Book signing and reception starts at 3 pm
Talk starts at 4 pm

Mt Vernon Unitarian Church,
Main Building, 
1909 Windmill Lane Alexandria, VA 22307

Tickets: $25

Click here for tickets and additional details. 

Friends of Hollin Hills are hosting an in-person event with professor and author Doug Tallamy on Sunday, February 26.

Doug Tallamy addresses the need to restore our natural world. Global insect declines and 3,000,000,000 fewer birds in North American are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.

To create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them, we must 1) remove invasives and 2) add native plant communities that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities and manage our watersheds.

​If we do this in half the area now in lawn, we can create Homegrown National Park, a network of viable habitats throughout the US that will provide vital corridors connecting the natural areas that remain. This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world. It is also enormously satisfying and restorative for those who act.


Approved for FMN Continuing Educattion Credit as ‘Other’ as the Approved CE Org

Arlington Regional Master Naturalists Presents Seminar: Too Many Deer? February 22nd

Photo: Whitetail Deer Courtesy of National Park Service

Wednesday, February 22,2023
7:00 p.m.

Free Zoom Seminar

Register here for Zoom details

Click here for presentation flyer.

Are too many deer endangering our local flora and fauna? If so, what can be done about it?

As humans have transformed landscapes, many species have lost their habitats, struggling to survive, while whitetailed deer have thrived. Overwhelming evidence points to high deer populations as a main factor in reducing
biodiversity and limiting forest regeneration. Cornell University Professor Blossey, a leading expert on forest health in
the Eastern United States, will present evidence for this imbalance and discuss potential solutions. “Deer are
charismatic native species that belong in our fields and forests,” Blossey said. “Humans have allowed them to become
ecological bullies, and if we are serious about our responsibilities to protect all native species, we need to embrace the
need to reduce deer impacts through reductions in the local deer herds.” This presentation, sponsored by a network of
Northern Virginia environmental organizations, comes as Arlington County studies the impact of deer.

See more information on the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists web page:


Conference in Spanish – Learn About Native Plants and Managing the Local Natural Landscape

Photo: Courtesy of Plant NOVA Natives

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Northern Virginia Community College –
Campus de Annandale
Forum Room – Ernst Community Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003

Free parking anywhere in lot B
Meet on the second floor, “CE” building.

Please click here to register.


  • Why native plants? (Elisa Meara)
  • Proper tree planting and maintenance (Patricia Greenberg)
  • Control of invasive plants (Patricia Greenberg)
  • Taking care of the soil (Beth Sastre)
  • Spotted Lanternfly (Beth Sastre)
  • Natural pruning (Jose Lara)

In Spanish: For more information can be found at this link.


English translation: please click here.