New Version of Website
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Hog Island Scholarship
July 19-24, 2015
The Audubon Society of Northern VA is offering a professional development scholarship for a teacher, specialist or administrator. Please relay this to anyone you think might be interested and can benefit from it.
Birding New Zealand
With Ray Smith
Sunday, March 22, 2015, 3-5 PM
National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston VA 20190
Join us for an afternoon Birding New Zealand! Ray and Anne Smith recently returned from a VENT birding trip to New Zealand that covered both of the main islands and many of the surrounding smaller islands. They found it so interesting and enjoyable that Ray has agreed to give us a talk about the experience.
Winter Waterfowl Survey
January 24-25, 2015
January 24 and 25 will be the Winter Waterfowl Count. Teams survey areas along the Potomac River from Algonkian Regional Park in Loudoun County down to Quantico in Prince William County and some select inland ponds and lakes. Those interested can contact sign up online here. Larry Cartwright, the compiler, will begin general recruitment and contacting those who signed up for the identification workshop and the count after the conclusion of the Christmas Bird Count season that ends on January 5.
Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
We are still gathering and reviewing the figures for our Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count on December 14, 2014. The rain held off and we had a record number of people scouring woods, lakes, fields, ponds and skies counting what appears to be an all time high number species and more than 20,000 birds. Among the interesting finds this year were Redheads, Common Yellowthroat, a first ever American Wigeon, Merlin, Great Horned Owl, Horned Lark and Pine Siskins. Each Sector found at least one species that no other Sector did. Check next month’s Potomac Flier for complete results and expanded detail.
ASNV Partners with Birducation
ASNV is pleased to be a partner in Birducation, an organization founded by Lucila Fernandez who is a local bird enthusiast with experience in developing bird-themed curriculum and conducting fieldwork on birds. Lucila grew up in our region, was a Smithsonian Migratory Bird Intern, and recently completed a US Forest Service Internship in Oregon where she created public events connecting new audiences with birds, science, and local parks. She’s returned to our area with a passion for sharing her love of nature by offering bird-themed programs to underserved communities.
The days are getting longer, which means Birdathon 2015 can't be far behind. It's not too early to start organizing your teams for our annual spring migration birding competition. It's a fun outing with an array of great prizes. And it raises much-needed contributions to support ASNV's conservation and education programs.
Bills Threaten to Increase Populations of Feral Cats
ASNV is concerned about several bills now under consideration in the Virginia General Assembly that would, in effect, legalize and encourage feral cats. We sent out an action alert on January 19 and are grateful for the response of many ASNVers. In an effort to provide more specific information about Audubon's response and the science behind our concerns we're posting the letters we sent to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee (click here) and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee (click here). We would also encourage anyone interested in this complex issue to visit the American Bird Conservancy's website and read about their Cats Indoors efforts.
Tell Officials What Kind of Parks You Want
Softball advocates are vocal, says Mary Cortina, Fairfax County Park Authority Board member, as they were in 2004. After that, the last needs assessment process, the Park Authority Board agreed to build nine baseball fields, even though that sport ranked 26 out of 26 on a list of unmet needs for recreational facilities.
Fairfax Park Authority Adds Acreage
The Fairfax County Park Authority recently made this announcement. ASNVers can weigh in on master plans, if they are developed for these parks.
“The Fairfax County Park Authority has acquired three new parcels of land, all of which will add to the Park Authority’s parkland holdings and ultimately provide new recreational opportunities and natural resource areas.
Alexandria Should Stop Polluting the Potomac River
Part of Alexandria is served by a combined sewer system which dumps untreated sewage into streams flowing to the Potomac River during many storm events. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has given the city many permits for this system and in the most recent one is requiring the city to develop a long-term control plan for Hunting Creek bacteria no later than December 31, 2035. Repeat: 2035, 21 years from now!
Alexandria Trees and Plants
On the good news front, Alexandria has created a Notable Tree Program. Visit http://alexandriava.gov/Trees#Notable_Trees. Also, city officials have conducted surveys on over 1,000 acres of parkland and natural areas every year. You can learn more about the city’s flora, geology and natural communities at http://alexandriava.gov/22560 and the natural resource management webpage at http://alexandriava.gov/48838
Help EPA Reduce Ozone
January 19, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed strengthening revisions to the national ground-level ozone standard. Also known as smog, ground-level ozone is a major pollutant in the Washington, D.C., area and northern Virginia has not attained the current standard for some time.
You can speak out on January 19 at an EPA hearing at the William Jefferson Clinton East building, Room 1153, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20460.
Stop Spraying Caterpillars
ASNV has launched an online petition to urge Fairfax and Prince William counties to stop spraying an insecticide targeting the native fall cankerworm, an insecticide that potentially kills all exposed caterpillars in the spring when birds are migrating through and/or raising their young. Be sure to sign it here. It's quick.
Attend a Regional Session of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute
Expand Your Network and Sharpen Your Skills
You can join the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute at one of its three-day sessions in different locations around Virginia. We use a mix of mini-lectures, experiential exercises, stakeholder panel discussions and field trips to build your competencies in environmental issues, collaborative problem solving, and leadership.
ASNV Weighs in on Colchester
ASNV Weighs In on Colchester: ASNV submitted comments on November 30 to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) on their master plan for Old Colchester Park and Preserve. The FCPA plan is one of the few park plans in the county that emphasizes natural resource conservation. It would establish several resource protection zones and allow passive (not active) recreation.
Fairfax County Park Authority Decennial Needs Assessment
The Fairfax County Park Authority is conducting its decennial needs assessment, a process of considering park and recreation needs, trends and preferences. This is an excellent opportunity for Auduboners to advocate for more parks and more natural resource parks. In addition, FCPA Board member Mary Cortina is urging Auduboners and others to get involved and to express their views.
- Take Back the Forest - Next spring there will be a HUGE push to control invasive species in Fairfax County parks & Take Back the Forest. Over 500 volunteers will work to remove invasive plants, replant native plants, and restore local forests back to health. All volunteers will get a free t-shirt. We invite young artists from Fairfax County (ages 12-18) to design artwork for a t-shirt that captures our theme of Take Back the Forest. Read more...
- The Bird Feeder in Reston offers a 10% discount to current ASNV members, good on all purchases excluding optics and sale merchandise. When you visit, just tell them you are a member of ASNV and ask for the discount. Read more...
See the calendar (at right) for more events.
Counts and Surveys
The table below has links to various counts and surveys in which ASNV participants participate along with upcoming dates. The links on the left point to pages with additional information about the count—often including links to compiled data from previously held counts.
|January 24-25, 2015
Great Backyard Bird Count
Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz
Annual Butterfly Count
|Scheduled Wednesdays, monthly
|Scheduled Wednesdays, monthly