Loudoun County Atlasers,
Flowers are blooming, migrants are gracing our backyards and parks, and the breeding season is underway! Let’s go atlasing!
1. Great Egret observed at the Dulles Wetlands. A rare treat for early April!
2. Female woodcock with young found near her nest in Aldie. Distraction Displays also observed in the area a few days prior.
3. 15 Common Loons observed flying over Tarara Winery during a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy sponsored walk.
4. Red-Breasted Nuthatch observed in the Waterford 5 block.
5. Thanks to a proficient atlaser in the Purcellville 5 block, high school students in an environmental explorations class will now be contributing data to the atlas (vetted through their teacher for accuracy). What a great way to share the joys of birding with our youth and express the importance of protecting birds and their habitat!
1. The Owl/Nightjar and Miniroute Special Surveys begin this month – please let me know if you are interested in covering a route.
2. If you haven’t already, please mail me your field cards from the previous atlas year.
1. Check all bridges for potential swallow nesting sites. When entering your data, please make note of the bridge where the nest/behavior was documented or send me an email with the details. This information will be used to encourage state highway departments to consider the breeding swallows when planning future bridge projects.
2. While a singing male often alerts you to the presence of a nesting pair, the female is often the key to confirmation. Watch females closely for nest building, incubating, and feeding young.
3. If you use or are considering using playbacks while atlasing you may be interested in this excellent article discussing the advantages and disadvantages of playbacks: http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/04/the-properuse-of-playback-in-birding/
Upcoming Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Events
Loudoun Wildlife is holding a series of bird walks between May 7 and 15 to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. Check the Loudoun Wildlife website for details and to sign up for a walk.
On May 9 my daughters (ages 1 and 4) and I will be conducting a Bird-a-thon. It really is quite a hoot (pardon the pun!) to try to find birds while making sure the girls don’t jump into the ponds or wander off the trail into the woods – but what a fun way to share my enthusiasm for nature and birds with them! Please let me know if you’re interested in sponsoring my team or would like more information. All Bird-a-thon donations are tax deductible and provide the primary source of funding for the atlas. Thanks for your consideration.
Loudoun County Bird Atlas Coordinator