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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 […]

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics eBirder of the Month for 2014


We are pleased to announce the 2014 eBirder of the Month program sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Each month we will feature a new eBird challenge and set of selection criteria. The monthly winners will each receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular and a selection of books from another great eBird sponsor, Princeton University […]

Got Snowies–2013!

Snowy Owl at Stone Harbor Point, NJ, 2 December. Photo by Tom Johnson.

Two years ago Snowy Owls staged a massive invasion into the Lower 48, and this year it looks like they are on the move again. In 2011 the invasion was continent-wide, with particularly large numbers in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains, but numbers in the Northeast U.S. and Atlantic coast not particularly high. This […]

November Birding: Urban and Suburban Microclimates

Audubon's Warbler ©eBird

It’s late November. The temperature is dropping. Where should you go birding? How about a grocery store parking lot? Last week, Team eBird converged for meetings in Ithaca, New York. In between meetings they managed to find an Audubon’s Warbler in just a narrow strip of shrubs and trees next to Wegman’s (home of the […]

Laughing Gulls no match for rising seas

Laughing Gulls

In one of the most dramatic responses to sea-level rise to date, laughing gulls within a historic stronghold along the Lower Delmarva Peninsula have collapsed in less than a decade.  A recent survey conducted by the Center for Conservation Biology has revealed that the population declined from more than 25,000 to less than 4,400 breeding […]

VSO Trip report: Craney Island, Sunday, August 18, 2013.


Approximately twenty Virginia Society of Ornithology members attended the birding trip to Craney Island on Sunday, August 18, 2013.  The VSO sponsored/led trip started at 8 AM on a cool (low seventies), overcast morning.  Fortunately the wind speed was low and we had a great morning of birding despite the intermittent sprinkles of rain that […]

Baywatch Waterbird Migration Survey

Watching the Bay

Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory began a new program on October 1, 2013, called “Baywatch Migratory Waterbird Survey.” The goal is to document waterbirds moving down the Chesapeake Bay and the program will run through November. Steve Kolbe, CVWO’s Kiptopeke hawkwatcher last year, is the “Baywatcher.” He has experience at the Avalon Seawatch in New Jersey. […]