“Restoring the Little Things that Run the World,” webinar with Doug Tallamy, September 25th

Photo: Doug Tallamy

Sunday, September 25, 2022
3 – 5pm
Fees: $10 + fees
Register here.

Doug Tallamy is an entomologist, ecologist and conservationist, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and a successful author. Tallamy will deliver a talk for us titled, “Restoring the Little Things that Run the World.” A recent UN report predicts that as many as 1 million species will disappear from planet earth because of human activities. Many of these are insects and nearly all species at risk rely on insects. A world without insects will be a world without humans! So, how do we create beautiful landscapes brimming with life – landscapes that support the butterflies, caterpillars, bees, beetles and other insects that run the ecosystems we depend on? Tallamy will remind us of the essential roles insects play, and describe the simple changes we must make in our landscapes and our attitudes to keep insects on the ground, in the air and yes, on our plants.

“How do Birds get their Colors?” webinar with Ivan Phillipsen, July 14th

Photo: Andrean Emerald Humminbirds, Ly Dang/Audubon Photography Awards

Thursday, July 14, 2022
7 pm
ASNV members $15, nonmembers $25
Register here.

One of the things most loved about birds is their wild array of plumage colors and patterns. Where does all that color come from? In this presentation, you’ll learn how pigments and microscopic structures in feathers create the kaleidoscope of beauty we find in the avian world. Topics covered include iridescence, molting and feather wear, the evolution of feather color, and the functions of feather colors.  Audubon Society of Northern Virginia presents.

Ivan Phillipsen is a professional naturalist guide with a background in scientific research. Amphibians and reptiles were his first obsession as a kid. He eventually earned a PhD in Zoology, working in the field of conservation genetics. Ivan’s love of nature has expanded to include plants, fungi, and all animals, including birds. Birds have become his greatest passion. He’s an avid birder, hosts The Science of Birds podcast, and co-owns a birding ecotour company.

Author Event: “A World on the Wing” with NY Times Bestselling Author Scott Weidensaul, webinar June 28th

Photo: Yellow Sea Shorebirds, Scott Weidensaul

Thursday, June 28, 2022
7 – 8:15 pm
ASNV member $20, nonmember $30
Register here.

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the Virginia Society of Ornithology are proud to present an author talk with New York Times Bestselling Author, Scott Weidensaul!

His recent book, A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, has captivated birders and non-birders alike with stories of astounding discoveries about the navigational and physiological feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, go weeks without sleep or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch.

For this lecture, author and researcher Scott Weidensaul takes you around the globe — with researchers in the lab probing the limits of what migrating birds can do, to the shores of the Yellow Sea in China, the remote mountains of northeastern India where tribal villages saved the greatest gathering of falcons on the planet, and the Mediterranean, where activists and police are battling bird poachers — to learn how people are fighting to understand and save the world’s great bird migrations.

Get your ticket at reduced price by joining Audubon Society of Northern Virginia or the Virginia Society of Ornithology.

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.