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News and Features

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 […]

2014 VSO Foray Will Be in the Dragon Run Area June 7–15

2014 VSO Foray Will Be in the Dragon Run Area June 7–15 2014

The 2014 VSO Foray will be held in Middlesex and King & Queen Counties this year, on June 7–15. These counties border the beautiful Dragon Run, well-known as an “ecological gem.” While participants won’t be able to kayak the run itself, as the water level will be too low by June, the area around it […]

May eBird Challenge


May is typically our biggest month for data collection in eBird and we want this to be our biggest month ever. To that end, this month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic, has one purpose — for you to try to enter at least 100 checklists this month. We know this may sound […]

Virginia Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz Update

Rusty Blackbird distribution in Virginia, March 2014

The Ides of March have passed, so we’re half-way through the survey period for contributing to the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz.  Virginia has made a good start with its part of the survey.  In the map below I have summarized those sightings which have been submitted to ebird thus far.  As you can see […]

Get your Blitz On: Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz opens March 1st

Spring male Rusty Blackbird.

Have you seen a flash of rust-tipped feathers under a bright yellow eye? Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed the dubiously melodious sound of a squeaky-hinge song? Previously a common sight in mixed-blackbird flocks and flooded forests, Rusty Blackbirds now face an unfortunate and remarkable notoriety; this species has endured a decline more severe than any other […]

VSO winter weeked at Virginia Beach 2013 trip report

VSO Virginia Beach Field Trip © Lee Adams

The winter 2013 VSO Virginia Beach weekend (December 6-8, 2013) started off on a summery note with temperatures rising close to 80F on the Pleasure House Point walk . Rexanne Bruno led the way pointing out birds and sharing some of the history of the area. Among the afternoon’s highlights were three Osprey at one […]

Great (Global) Backyard Bird Count this weekend!


February 14-17 (Friday to Monday) is the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). To participate, just go birding during this timeframe and make sure to enter your checklists in eBird. The GBBC was one of the first demonstrations that the internet could be used to collect bird checklists and was instrumental in the creation […]