Dark Skies and Birds – Writers Needed

Photo:  Luke Franke
Fairfax County Park Authority is expanding its education on the importance of dark skies. Light pollution has negative effects on wildlife, plants, people, energy consumption, and human health. They are looking to celebrate international dark sky awareness week Home – International Dark Sky Week with some educational blogs and events.
Are there any Bird lovers out there who would be willing to write a blog (300-500 words) for the park authority about the effect of light pollution on birds?
This is a good year to do this as National Audubon Society is partnering on this effort as well as being the theme for this years world migratory bird day.
Notify Tammy Schwab at  if you are interested.
World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is focusing on the impacts of light pollution on migratory birds. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least two percent a year, presenting a problem for birds. Here are four simple actions everyone can take to help birds at night.
1. Reduce the amount of light outside your home or place of business. Turn off all non-essential nighttime lights. For essential lights, such as security lighting, use timers or motion detectors to keep usage to a minimum. And always use the minimum wattage necessary for the task at hand.
2. Change the color of your lights from cool to warm. Studies suggest that green and blue light attracts more nocturnally migrating birds than red, orange, or yellow light. Use light bulbs that emit warm lighting to minimize disturbance to birds.
3. Direct all lighting downward. Place lights to illuminate the floor or ground and use lighting shields to prevent shining into the sky.
4. Share the message to “dim the lights for birds at night.” Throughout the year we will highlight the steps that individuals and communities can take to reduce the impacts of light pollution on our shared birds. Share these messages through social media and other outlets to increase awareness of this important issue.
For more information on light pollution and how to fight this totally reversible type of pollution visit the international International Dark Sky Association – International Dark-Sky Association and for a local perspective learn more about Fairfax county’s outdoor lighting standards here Outdoor Lighting Standards | Planning Development (

Why Bird-Friendly Cacao Is the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift, Webinar, February 10th

Image courtesy of American Bird Conservancy

Thursday, February 10, 2022
4 – 5 pm
Register here.

Americans are expected to buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate the week of Valentine’s Day. Production of chocolate’s main ingredient, cacao, can have a huge environmental impact, but there are ways to produce it that conserve and restore habitat for birds.

Join American Bird Conservancy to learn all about cacao production in Central America and the Caribbean, and how it impacts migratory birds. In this webinar they’ll discuss the new Bird Friendly cacao certification that will be launched this spring by Smithsonian, and show on-the-ground efforts that are helping birds and farmers.

Finally, they’ll provide some tips so when you’re buying chocolate you get the best possible for 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.

Audubon Afternoon with Amanda Gallinat, September 13th

Photo: Hermit Thrush, Jeremiah Trimble

Sunday, 13 September 2020
3 – 4:30 pm
Free, but registration is required

Climate change shifts the timing of autumn, risking mismatch between migratory birds and nutritious native fruits

Dr. Amanda Gallinat is an ecologist who studies how environmental change affects plants, birds, and their interactions. Her recent research focuses on the effects of climate change on the timing of seasonal biological events in the northeast, including fruit ripening and bird migration, and how these climate-driven changes alter food availability for birds in autumn. Amanda’s research incorporates the historical field notes of Henry David Thoreau, long-term bird banding records, museum specimens, and field observations, and her work has been featured by National Audubon, The Wildlife Society and American Scientist. Amanda has a B.A. from Carleton College and a PhD from Boston University, and she is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Utah State University.

Winter Birds with Larry Meade, Mar. 5th

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190
Thursday, 5 March 2020
7-9 pm
Field trip: Saturday, 7 March 2020, TBD
Cost: $30 ASNV member/$40 non-member

March can offer spectacular birding, marking a transition between winter and spring. Many of our winter birds, such as waterfowl and sparrows, are still around, but they are joined by early migrants returning to breeding territories. In this workshop, the presenter will discuss birds that occur here at this time of year, with a special focus on species that are migrating into our region and their arrival dates. An ancillary field trip offers a chance to encounter many of these birds in their natural settings.

Larry Meade, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia Education Committee and President of Northern Virginia Bird Club, will lead.

Register here.

World Migratory Bird Day film festival, Oct. 23rd

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir.

NVCC Annandale Campus, Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center (CE) Forum and Theater
8333 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22003
Saturday, 23 October 2019
9am – 3pm

9:30 a.m. – “ALBATROSS” – CE Theater
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Secret Life of Birds and Bees: Raptor Lecture, Live Owls – CE Forum
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Exhibitor Hall – CE Seminar Rooms
12:45 p.m. – Panel Discussion – CE Forum
1:30 p.m. “BIRD OF PREY” – CE Theater

World Migratory Bird Day Workshop (WMBD), May 9th

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190
Thursday, 9 May 2019
7-9 pm

Join the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) for a FREE workshop to prepare for the longest running annual spring bird count in this area. The class will include an overview of WMBD, the Lower Potomac River Important Bird Area (LPR-IBA), key species, and techniques (eBird) used to count them. You’ll also learn how the data is used. Follow up what you’ve learned in the classroom by participating in the count on Saturday, May 11 with Jim Waggener.

Instructor: Larry Meade. Larry 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 of our local Christmas Bird Counts and is an avid nature photographer (

This event is FREE, but registration is required.