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Introduction to Bird and Nature Photography with Brian Zwiebel, February 18th and 25th

Thursdays, February 18 & 25, 2021
7 – 8 pm
Cost $25
Register here.

This introductory program is great for beginners but will offer a few nuggets for the intermediate shooter as well. Learn what Brian does and what you should do too, every time you get your hands on a new digital camera. Discover what a histogram is, how to read it and use it to make better exposures. Learn to improve your images with better compositions and backgrounds as well as how to improve your action and behavior images. All of this and much more will be included in the program and each talking point supported by Brian’s award-winning photography. Presented by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Waterfowl Identification Webinar with Bill Young, January 11th & 12th

Hooded Mergansers, photo by Bill Young

Two sessions:
Monday, January 11, 2021 7-8 pm
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7-8:30 pm
Fee: $25
Limit: 150
To register, click here.

Waterfowl can be easy to see, but difficult to tell apart. This two-part program, presented by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, will provide techniques for identifying ducks, geese, and swans. It will also show how to identify other species typically seen on the water, such as loons, grebes, cormorants, and coots. Suitable for beginning and skilled birders. Practice your skills during the second session with a fun Kahoot!

2020 Christmas Bird Counts and Alternatives

Photo of Eastern Towhee by Bob Howdesell, CBC

Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count
When: Monday, December 28, 2020
Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy as they participate in the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. The count circle has a 15-mile diameter and covers 177 square miles of Loudoun’s countryside: north to Waterford, south to Aldie, east to Ashburn, and west to Purcellville. LWC will not be holding an in-person Tally Rally this year but may do something virtual. If you are interested in participating for just a couple of hours or the entire day, sign up here.

Reston Association’s Winter Bird Count
When: Saturday, January 2, 2021 7 am – 12 pm
Half-day annual bird count throughout Reston natural areas. Meet local bird experts, obtain tips on identification, and help with collecting vital information about our feathered friends. Register using code 106201205 or call (703) 476-9689, ext. 5, by December 30th.

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia plans to hold the 39th Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 20. This year’s count will be different, in light of the pandemic.

Instead of recruiting new participants, they will be limiting the count to last year’s participants who want to do the count under conditions that conform with pandemic restrictions, including wearing masks, maintaining social distance and carpooling with household members only. Instead of their count day lunch gathering, they will have an online “tally rally” in the evening of count day. If you participated in last year’s count, you should have received a message about participating this year.

If you were looking forward to volunteering for the first time for this CBC, they hope you’ll understand and volunteer next year. BUT there are still ways you can join the spirit of the count! Consider these possibilities or invent your own:

Join the Free Zoom CBC Celebration and Summary:

Learn about highlights of this year’s CBC and celebrate with the CBC community. Register here.

Do Your Own Count:

Walk through your neighborhood or visit a park or refuge to gather observations and report your personal findings via eBird. (see below) Be sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask if within six feet of others!

Learn More About Useful Identification and Database Applications:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a suite of useful tools and sites related to birding.

Explore many aspects of birding (species, hotspots, regions, etc.) at ebird.org.

You can also take a free course on their eBird smartphone application that allows you to document the species you see or hear. https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/product/ebird-essentials/

Take a free course on using another great smartphone app, Merlin Bird ID and other tools at https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org

Play learning games about birds at https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/learning-games/

Project FeederWatch:

Count birds that visit your feeders from the safety of your home or yard. Submit data from your sightings to contribute to winter and early bird counts. The 2020–21 FeederWatch season began on November 14 and ends on April 9. You can still sign up, and the last day to start a two-day count is April 8. Details are at https://feederwatch.org.

CBC Feeder Watchers:

If you reside in the Manassas-Bull Run CBC circle, you can count your feeder birds on December 20 and send a report that can be included in the official count. Contact the CBC compiler Phil Silas, epsdcva@aol.com for details.

Audubon Afternoon with Dr. Sahas Barve, January 17th

Photo by Jennifer Renteria

Sunday, January 17, 2021
3 – 4:30 pm
Free
Register here.

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and learn how birds stay warm in cold weather and extreme elevations. Sahas is an avian evolutionary ecologist and currently a Peter Buck Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where he studies how birds stay warm in the high Himalayas. He is also an avid birder and hopes to see 6,000 bird species by the time he is 60. Learn more about him at his website www.sahasbarve.com.

Birds and Culture with Bill Young, Six online sessions, November 16th – December 1st

Parc de Belleville, Julien Malland

November 16, 17, 23, 24, 30; December 1, 7:00 to 8:00 PM
6 one-hour sessions, 7 — 8 pm
Fee: $40
Register here

Birds have inspired the imaginations of people from prehistoric times to the modern era. They have influenced the development of human language, religion, music, literature, art and many other areas. Audubon Society of Northern Virginia‘s Birds and Culture will examine these relationships in a 6-part course. Birders of all skill levels will be able to understand the content.

Instructor: Bill Young is a writer who lives in Arlington. He is the author of The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat. He is the co-creator of the MPNature.com website, which contains information about birds, plants and other aspects of natural history at Monticello Park in Alexandria. Bill also makes nature videos, and his YouTube channel has had over half a million views.

Join Project FeederWatch: Learn how with Greg Butcher and Dixie Sommers, October 29th

Photo: Feederwatch Kit

Thursday, October 29,2020
7 — 8:30 pm
FREE
Register here

Project FeederWatch is the easiest citizen science you will ever do! From the comfort of your home, you simply count the winter birds that visit your feeders and report your data to Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

This FREE Audubon Society of Northern Virginia workshop will cover a bit of the history of Project FeederWatch, its purpose, tips for identifying birds, and the protocols to be followed while counting.

Instructors: Greg is the Migratory Species Coordinator for U.S. Forest Service International Programs. He is a Ph.D. ornithologist who has worked for the National Audubon Society, American Birding Association, Partners in Flight, Birders World (currently BirdWatching) magazine, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Greg is a recognized public speaker and interpreter for bird conservation and ecology worldwide. He welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Audubon’s environmental mission at the local level.

Dixie Sommers has been an Audubon member since 1986 and became a serious birder after moving back to the Washington area from Ohio in 2006, adding to her long interest in nature photography and travel. She is an avid e-bird user and enjoys using photography to help learn the birds, and sharing her photos on www.ddpix.smugmug.com.

In addition to favorite places in Virginia, her recent birding travels include Colombia, Tanzania, Texas, California, and Mexico. She is also a board member for the Virginia Society of Ornithology and the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Dixie lives in Alexandria, Virginia and retired from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics after a long career of counting jobs and workers. Now she counts birds!

Little Brown Jobs: Online Workshop with Larry Meade, October 22nd

Fox Sparrow photo by David Boltz/Audubon Photography Awards

Thursday, October 22, 2020
7 – 8:30 pm
Fee: $15
Register here

Have you been wondering about all those “little brown jobs” in your backyard? Could you use a little help distinguishing between the House Finches and the Pine Siskins? Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows? This Audubon Society of Northern Virginia workshop will concentrate on identification skills for some of the finches, sparrows, and other similar birds in our region, including both residents and migrants, just in time for the arrival of our cold weather birds.

Instructor: Larry Meade, a member of the ASNV Education Committee, is president of the Northern Virginia Bird Club and a former board member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology. He has served as a sector leader for a number of years for several local Christmas Bird Counts and is an avid nature photographer.

Author Event: The Bird Way with Jennifer Ackerman, webinar October 15th

Thursday, October 15, 2020
7 – 8:30 pm
Virtual!
Fee: $10 ASNV members, $15 non-members
Register for the lecture here.

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia as they welcome author Jennifer Ackerman to discuss the much anticipated follow up to The Genius of Birds. NPR’s “SCIENCE FRIDAY” picks The Bird Way as one of “The Best Summer Science Books of 2020”:

Ackerman brings scientific research alive with personal observations of colorful and fascinating birds, from the kea parrot to the raven to the brush turkey, among others. By showing how each species communicates, plays, parents, works, and thinks, she reminds us that there is no one way to be a bird.

Learn more about Jennifer and her work here. To order an autographed copy of her book, visit our website.

Confusing Fall Warblers, webinars 9 & 10 September

Photo: Magnolia Warbler, Seth Davis/Audubon Photography Awards

Two webinars
Wednesday, 9 Sep and Thursday, 10 Sep 2020
7 – 8:30 pm
$25
Register here

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for a webinar with Marc Ribaudo and learn to identify warblers that pass through Northern Virginia in the fall.

This workshop is back by popular demand. Don’t be afraid of the little green jobs! The presenter will focus on the field marks of fall warblers that typically pass through our region, with an emphasis on species that look very much different in the spring than fall, and species that are most often confused. 

Marc Ribaudo is an avid birder with over 40 years of field experience.  He regularly led trips for the Northern Virginia Bird Club and Friends of Dyke Marsh before retiring and moving to North Carolina. We are thrilled to have him teach this online workshop.

Creating a Wildlife Sanctuary on Your Property: The Audubon at Home Program, webinar 27 August

Photo: Audubon at Home Certified Wildlife Sanctuary, Toni Genberg

Webinar
Thursday, 27 August 2020
7 – 8:30 pm
$5
Register here

What can you do on your own property to attract and support wildlife? To learn how, join online for “Creating a Wildlife Sanctuary on Your Property: The Audubon at Home Program.” Originally scheduled as a live event last March, the program had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Now you’ll be able to attend from the comfort of your home.

Betsy Martin will talk about the Audubon at Home program, Wildlife Sanctuary certification and Habitat Best Practices. Betsy is a member of the ASNV Board of Directors and a Co-Coordinator of ASNV’s Audubon at Home program. She is a Virginia Master Naturalist, a founder and President of the Friends of Little Hunting Creek and the Mount Vernon representative to Fairfax County’s Chesapeake Bay Exception Review Committee, which she also chairs.

Laura Beaty will relate how she transformed her yard into a wildlife habitat with a slide program entitled: “Your Landscape as Habitat.” She will show how to support nature’s relationships in your wildlife habitat, and why it’s important to view your habitat from two perspectives: the eyes of turf-grass traditionalists and native pollinators. She’ll show you the truth behind the phrases, “The greater the plant diversity, the greater the wildlife” and “Plant it and they will come.” Laura Beaty is Horticulture Chair of the Virginia Native Plant Society and Propagation/Plant Sales Chair of the Potowmack Chapter of VNPS. She also represents her Fairfax County district on the Fairfax Tree Commission.

This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of Mason Neck State Park and Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. They’re charging a nominal fee of $5.00 per registration to help defray the costs.