Audubon Afternoon: “A Year in the Life of an Owl,” June 5th

Photo:  Eastern Screech Owl, Randy Streufert

Sunday, June 5th
3 pm
National Wildlife Federation Building cafeteria
11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for their first in-person Audubon Afternoon in more than two years! Four live owls will be the stars of the show. They’ll gather informally starting at 2:30 pm. At 3 pm they’ll have a brief Annual Meeting where they will elect officers and directors. Their main program will begin at 3:15 pm, when Secret Garden Birds and Bees will present “A Year in the Life of an Owl,” featuring four live owls for you to see and photograph: a Barn Owl, a Screech Owl, a Great Horned Owl, and a Barred Owl. This is an event the whole family will enjoy!

They welcome any food and drink you would like to share with everyone during the informal portion of the program.

Madagascar: Exploring a Biodiversity Hotspot through its Lemurs and Birds, May 17th

Photo: Collared Nightjar, Elizabeth Lyons

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
7 – 8:00pm
Cost: Free
Register here.

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia presents, Madagascar: Exploring a Biodiversity Hotspot through its Lemurs and Birds.

Dr. Sally Bornbusch and Dr. Libby Lyons, a mother-daughter scientist team, will immerse the audience in the fascinating biodiversity of Madagascar. Based on their first-hand experience with Madagascar as a biodiversity hotspot, they will focus on its famous lemurs, a group of primates found only in Madagascar, and its suite of endemic birds. They will discuss some of the recently extinct animals, the human impacts that continue to challenge the island nation, and conservation efforts being undertaken to protect Madagascar’s unique biological richness. They will also reflect on their scientific career paths in hopes of helping young women and girls pursue their own passions in environmentalism and science.

For more information about this event please click here.

Birding by Ear for Beginners with Colt Gregory, May 12th

Photo: Blackburnian Warbler, Shirley Donald/Audubon Photography Awards

Thursday, May 12, 2022
7 – 8:00pm
ASNV Members: $10
Non-members: $20
Register here.

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia presents, Birding by Ear for Beginners with Colt Gregory.
Often it is faster and easier to identify a bird by its song. In this program, Colt Gregory will:

– explain the many benefits of birding by ear
– introduce some of the most common birds by their songs and calls
– share resources and apps to help you practice and improve your birding by ear skills.

This program is intended for beginner birders but may be a helpful refresher for more experienced birders. This program welcomes children age 10+ accompanied by a participating adult.

For more information about this event please click here.

Photographing and Viewing Wildlife: Gear, Tips and Ethics, April 14th

Photo:  Gordon Atkins, GBBC

Thursday, April 14,2022
7 – 8:30pm
ASNV Members: $10
Non-members: $20
Register here.

Wildlife photographer, filmmaker, and Nikon Ambassador Kristi Odom will be joined by photographer Molly Riley to discuss all things related to bird photography, from lens and camera choices, to autofocus settings. They will not only talk about how to get great shots, but how to do so ethically. This talk is all about gear, behavior (the wildlife as well as our own), and respect.  Hosted by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Warbler ID Course, March 29th, 31st and April 5th, 7th

Photo: Ashley Bradford

Tuesday and Thursday, March 29 and 31, April 5 and 7, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
ASNV members: $40
Non-members: $50
Register here.

Learn how to identify warblers visiting Northern Virginia in spring migration during this Audubon Society of Northern Virginia course.

Warblers are some of the most challenging birds to identify. They are small and often fast-moving, with easily confused calls and songs. This four-part course will cover plumage, behavior, and vocalizations to help you identify the 35 species of warblers you might see this spring.

This course will be presented by Bill Young, co-creator of the website, which describes the natural history of Monticello Park, a hidden gem and warbler hotspot in Alexandria, VA. Bill is the author of the book “The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat.” He also makes nature videos, and his YouTube channel has had 850,000 views.

An optional field trip, led by Phil Silas, will be held on Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 7:30 AM for 20 Identifying Warblers participants. The field trip fee is an additional $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. The field trip will be held in Woodbridge, VA, but the exact location will only be revealed after registration. An email with a link to register for the field trip will be sent upon registration for Identifying Warblers. The field trip is first come, first serve and there will be a waitlist.
Photo credit: American Redstart, Ashley Bradford


Audubon Afternoon: The Evolution of Birds with Douglas Futuyma, webinar March 27th

Photo courtesy of Douglas Futuyma

Sunday, March 27, 2022
3:00 – 4:00 PM
FREE, but registration is required

We all learned that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago – but now we know that they are still with us today. Join Douglas Futuyma, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, for an Audubon Society of Northern Virginia presentation on how birds evolved and continue to evolve. How did birds become so diverse, and spread throughout the world? Why are many of them so brightly colored? Join us to learn the answers to these questions and more. Youth 14+ who are interested in science and animals may enjoy this presentation.

Douglas J. Futuyma recently published, “How Birds Evolve.” In this multifaceted book, Futuyma examines how birds evolved from nonavian dinosaurs and reveals what we can learn from the “family tree” of birds. He looks at the ways natural selection enables different forms of the same species to persist, and discusses how adaptation by natural selection accounts for the diverse life histories of birds and the rich variety of avian parenting styles, mating displays, and cooperative behaviors. He also explains why some parts of the planet have so many more species than others, and asks what an evolutionary perspective brings to urgent questions about bird extinction and habitat destruction. Along the way, Futuyma provides an insider’s view on how biologists practice evolutionary science, from studying the fossil record to comparing DNA sequences among and within species.

Growing Bird Food: New Research about Native Hydrangeas, webinar March 10th

Photo: Sam Hoadley

Thursday, March 10, 2022
7 – 8 pm
Fee: $10
Register here.

If you love birds, help them by growing native plants in your yard. Birds cannot live on birdseed alone, but also need to eat native insects – which need native plants for food and shelter.

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for a presentation by Sam Hoadley from the Mt. Cuba Center, a nonprofit dedicated to preservation and conservation of native plant species of the Piedmont ecoregion. Sam will take us on a deep dive into Mt. Cuba Center’s newly released Hydrangea arborescens evaluation results. After just completing a five year trial, the results are in on which Hydrangea species received top marks from a garden perspective and which species and cultivars tallied the most pollinator visits. Included will be tips for successful cultivation and care of wild hydrangea in your home landscape, and where you can purchase plants to get started.

Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center where he evaluates native plant species, old and new cultivars, and hybrids in the Trial Garden. Sam earned his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont.

Birds and Words with Bill Young, February 15th, 17th, and 22nd

Photo:  William Young

Tuesday, February 15, Thursday February 17, and Tuesday February 22, 2022,
7-8 pm
Register here.

How have bird words infiltrated the English language? What is the basis for the common and scientific names of birds?

These and many other questions will be answered in this three-part workshop. Bill Young will address these and many other questions in Birds and Words. Bill is the author of the book The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat. He also is the co-creator of the website, which is a comprehensive resource for people who visit Monticello Park in Alexandria, Va.

Great Backyard Bird Count Workshop and Kahoot!, February 3rd

Thursday, February 3, 2022
7 – 8:30 pm
Register here.

Save the date! The next GBBC is February 18 – 21. Bird enthusiasts of all ages count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are ranging. Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Now, hundreds of thousands of people, all ages and walks of life worldwide, join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.

This FREE workshop will cover the history of GBBC, its purpose, tips for identifying birds, and the protocols to be followed while counting.

After the presentation, theyll test your identification skills with a Kahoot!

ASNV Workshop for Winter Waterfowl Count, January 27th

Photo: William Pohley

Thursday, January 27, 2022
7-8:30 pm
Online, free!
Register here.

Join Greg Butcher, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia board member and migratory species coordinator for US Forest Service International Programs, for an introduction to waterfowl identification. Get to know many of the species that winter in the open waters of our region. You’ll learn how to tell a Bufflehead from a Hooded Merganser, and, with luck, you will see the beautiful Tundra Swans that winter in our area. Strategies will include identification by shape and color pattern.

They’ll review protocol to ensure that participants understand the ASNV pandemic restrictions which include wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and carpooling. After the presentation we’ll test your identification skills with a Kahoot!

This workshop will include an outdoor field trip and bird walk on Saturday, January 29—details will be given in class. After the workshop and field trip, you’ll be ready to rally for a tally during our 13th Annual Waterfowl Count, Saturday, February 5, and Sunday, February 6