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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

Geolocators used to study Golden-winged warbler movements between wintering and breeding grounds

Male Golden-winged Warbler fitted with "light-level" geolocator © Lesley Bulluck/VCU

New technology and interest in a declining migratory songbird prompts range-wide study and collaboration: a snapshot of the project’s touchdown in the Allegheny Highlands. Dr. Henry Streby, UC-Berkeley Postdoctoral Research Fellow, funded by National Science Foundation is leading a study of range-wide long distance migration in Golden-winged Warblers (GWWA), as well as Blue-winged Warblers and […]

Larry Smith receives Abbott Award at 2015 VSO Annual Meeting

Larry Smith receiving Abbott Award

At the 2015 Virginia Society of Ornithologists Annual Meeting the Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award was presented to Larry Smith for outstanding work in conserving Virginia’s birds and the state’s natural areas. Larry Smith works as the Natural Areas Protection Manager at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. In his letter of nomination it […]

VSO’s American Kestrel Nest Box Project

American Kestrel © Anne Gilna

American Kestrels are a welcome presence throughout Virginia’s rural countryside, and a treat to observe in any season.  The piercing cry of these magnificent little falcons echoing over farms and fields used to be a common occurrence, but not so much anymore. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the kestrel population nationwide decreased […]

Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz 2015

Spring male Rusty Blackbird.

Have you heard a squeaky-hinge song lately, or seen a flash of rust-tipped feathers under a bright yellow eye? Although occasionally overlooked as “just another blackbird,” Rusty Blackbirds face an unfortunate and remarkable notoriety: this species has endured a decline more severe than that of any other once-common landbird. Last year, the International Rusty Blackbird […]

February 6-8, 2015 VSO Outer Banks Field Trip Report

Thick-billed Murre © Jim Elder

The birds and weather could not have been better for the 100 people who registered for this year’s field trip to the Outer Banks. Looks like we set a new record for attendees and birds, with 150 species over the 3 days! The Friday trip to Lake Mattamuskeet was productive and full of surprises. Lee […]

February eBirder of the Month Challenge

Check your patch often enough, and you never know what will turn up!

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on birding your local area. Local birding in eBird is current best represented by patch birding. Your “patch” is an area that you bird on a regular basis, and can be as seemingly mundane as a little pond that you walk around […]

Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award — A Call for Nominations

VSO logo

The Virginia Society of Ornithologists is seeking nominations for the Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award, given for outstanding work in conserving Virginia’s birds and/or the state’s natural areas. The Conservation Award was renamed the Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award in 1989 based on Abbott’s extensive efforts to conserve Virginia’s birds.  While Abbott began the Fort […]

Purple Finch survey at CVWO Kiptopeke Hawkwatch

Purple Finch

The “Finch Forecast” was correctly predicted by folks at Ontario Field Ornithologists with Purple Finches in Virginia. Many Purple Finches have been migrating south in good numbers due to lower seed crops, and have been seen throughout Virginia in the field and at feeders. Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory (CVWO) has been conducting a Purple Finch survey […]

2014 VSO Craney Island Trip Report

Great Virginia Society of Ornithology trip to Craney Island in Portsmouth on 8/16/14. Ruth Beck and her band of expert leaders, Bill Williams, Brian Taber, Dave Youker, and George & Virginia Boyles, ROCK. All of the participants ROLLED with the new regulations at Craney Island, an Army Corps of Engineers site. Mother Nature cooperated by […]

Changes to Flickr embed code


A large number of eBirders are now adding photos to their checklists, and this has made interacting with eBird much more fun. It is also a tremendous help to our tireless review team, who can use the photos to assess records rare birds reported. Please keep including photos in your checklists! However, one of the primary […]