Join us for our Monthly Meetings!

ALL MEETINGS ARE ON ZOOM UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE EXCEPT THE JUNE MEETING, SEE BELOW, AND WILL NOT BE HELD AT SANDY BOTTOM NATURE PARK..

Our meetings are informative and include presentations from experts in the birding community!

 

We have a short business meeting, followed by entertaining, educational programs.

WHEN: Second Thursday of each month, September - May

 

SCHEDULE: 7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program

Meetings will be held via ZOOM until further notice except for June 12

 

You will need a computer or smart phone connected to the internet. A few days before the meeting, you will receive an email from HRBC President Shawn Dash containing a link to take you to the Zoom meeting.

Program for May 17

Bird Migration 2020

Brings Welcome Surprises!

 

By Dr. Jerry Via

7:00 PM | Business Meeting and Program Using Zoom

(Shawn will email link to members)

 

Dr. Jerry Via, Professor Emeritus from Virginia Tech, and a long-time trip leader for the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO), presented this talk to VSO on February 28, 2021 on the status of our knowledge of bird migration. We have permission from VSO to see this recorded video that covers the current science. The talk provides information on the observed irruption of the finches this past winter. It covers the new monitoring technology and what it teaches us about some of the mysteries of migration, such as trans-oceanic migrants and also what factors might influence the migration of seabirds and waterfowl. The input of birders with eBird and Christmas Bird Counts provides a wonderful look at what our birds are telling us about migration and climate change.

Program for March 11

YouTube video of Meeting and Program

What Can the Timing of Tree Leafout, Flowering, and Bird Arrival and Range Shifts Tell Us About Climate Change? 

By Jason Johnston

7:00 PM | Business Meeting and Program Using Zoom

(Shawn will email link to members)

 

Climate change has led to many changes in the phenology of birds as well as the plants, insects and other parts of their communities.  Citizen science data collected years ago has provided an essential baseline data source to compare to contemporary observations.  Dr. Johnston will share findings from two northern Maine data sets of migratory bird spring arrival originally collected by a hunting guide and a hobby birder from the 1940's and 1950's and 1969 to 2013.

 

Dr. Johnston is the Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.  He has conducted research on breeding wood thrush, house sparrows, hermit thrushes, northern cardinals, boreal birds, and others on topics from long-term demographics, physiological ecology, nest desertion, habitat quality, food use, and impacts of a wind turbine.  He has a Ph.D. from the University of Maine in Biological Sciences. His Master’s Degree is in Entomology and Applied Ecology from the University of Delaware where he met Shawn Dash. He lives on a small farm in northern Maine where they also grow hops for the craft brewing industry in Maine. 

Meeting June 12

In-Person

8:00 AM Bird Walk

 

10:30 AM Presentation of Officers and Board for 2021-2022 at Shelter 8

 

By Jane Frigo

Join us for a walk of the White Oak Trail at 8:00 AM. Meet at the bridge that crosses over the reservoir near the Discovery Center. We will do the White Oak Trail Loop thru the Swamp Bridge and return to our cars and then travel to Shelter 8, which is behind the Ranger Station at Newport News Park, near the restrooms. There we will present the Board for next year. Please bring your mask and if desired, folding chairs and your own brunch/lunch to eat at the shelter. This is our first in-person meeting in over a year. We hope to see everyone there!

Program for April 8

YouTube video of Meeting and Program

Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks

Birds, Rocks, Trees, and Water plus San Diego Birding

By Pete Peterman

7:00 PM | Business Meeting and Program Using Zoom

(Shawn will email link to members)

 

 

Pete and Charm Peterman traveled to San Diego at the end of September 2020 and with Charm’s sister drove to the iconic national parks in the Sierra Nevada’s. The presentation shows the birds and the environment that they survive in.

 

Pete and Charm are members of HRBC and have birded in many parts of the US, Canada, Central and South America.

Program for January 14

 

Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird

By Katie Fallon

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using Zoom (Shawn will email link to members)

Vultures are often overlooked, underappreciated, and unloved, despite the vital role they play healthy ecosystems. Worldwide, vultures are more likely to be threatened or endangered than any other group of raptor, but in the United States Turkey and Black Vultures may be increasing in number. Based on Katie Fallon’s recent book, this fun presentation will discuss the life and times of the noble Turkey Vulture, including its feeding, nesting, and roosting habits, migratory behaviors, and common misconceptions.

Katie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction books Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird (2020, 2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (2011), as well as also two books for children. She is a founder of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the region’s wild birds through research, education, and rehabilitation, and has served as President of the Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society. A member of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators, Katie has worked with birds since 1998; over the last twenty years she has given educational presentations featuring live raptors, vultures, parrots, and corvids. She is also a columnist for Bird Watcher’s Digest and has taught writing at West Virginia University, Virginia Tech, and elsewhere. Her first word was “bird.” For more: www.katiefallon.com.

Program for February 11

 

Birds in Our Yards: Helping Nature’s Pairing

By Jeff Wright

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using Zoom (Shawn will email link to members)

 

Climate change is having an impact on seasons, birds, and plants across Virginia. In this class you’ll learn how you can fine tune your yards features and plantings to attract, enjoy, and help a wider variety of birds while at the same time sharing observations about your yard to help science and conservation within Virginia.

 

Jeff Wright is a Virginia Master Naturalist and a former President of the Northern Neck of Virginia Chapter. He is the VP of the Friends of Dragon Run. He is a member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO), The North American Blue Bird Society (NABS), the Northern Virginia Audubon Society (NVAS), the Northern Neck Audubon Society, the American Birding Association (ABA), and the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Among his favorite philanthropic institutions supporting birds are The Nature Conservancy, American Bird Conservancy, and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He serves as a county coordinator for the Old Growth Forest Network, Compiler for Butterfly Counts and Christmas Bird Counts, and as a Trail Monitor for The Nature Conservancy in Virginia.

Program for November 12, 2020

The Evolution of Birds

By Pete Peterman

 

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using ZOOM

The program will cover the evolution of birds during the Age of Dinosaurs using a DVD put out by PBS entitled “When Whales Walked.” It then will cover the evolution of birds into modern families based on John Reilly’s book, “The Ascent of Birds.” Information gleaned from Paleontology and DNA was used to produce a phylogenetic tree that can be seen at www.onezoom.org/EDGE_birds.htm. The presentation will end with a discussion of the Finches found in the Galapagos Islands based on the book by Jonathan Weiner entitled “The Beak of the Finch.”

 

Archaeopteryx.jpg

Program for December 10, 2020

Winter Ecology

 

By  Shawn T. Dash B. Sc., M. Sc., PhD.

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using ZOOM

A wonderful way to explore winter in the warmth of your own home.  During the deep cold of winter we will chat on themes that warms the heart and excites the mind learning about the numerous ways plants and animals survive the season. Dr. Dash will explain the adaptations of life in the cold and look at common methods of survival.  Our discussion will take us from underneath a blanket of snow to the migratory path of neotropical migrants.

Archaeopteryx (from dkfindout.com via Pete)

Program for September 10, 2020

YouTube video of Meeting and Program

Foraging Habits of

Migrating Songbirds

By Chance Hines

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using ZOOM

Chance Hines is a research biologist for the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB).  Chance has been working with CCB since 2014. His current role places him in charge of monitoring Red-cockaded Woodpecker populations at Piney Grove Preserve and the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. He also gets a chance to study his beloved passerines while researching wintering Ipswich sparrows along the Atlantic coast. His graduate work at Old Dominion University focused on fall migratory songbird ecology. His talk will cover his research on migrating songbirds and what they eat to fuel their long journeys.

Program for October 8, 2020

YouTube video of Meeting and Program

Ticks, Birds, and People

 

By Dr. Ashley Kennedy

7:00 PM  |  Business Meeting and Program Using ZOOM

Like it or not (and who does?), most birders encounter ticks at some point along their birding adventures. Come listen to Dr. Kennedy share everything you wanted to know about ticks and probably some things you didn’t. Learn about the ticks that parasitize birds and people, the diseases associated with them, and what you can do to avoid ticks in the future. Her dissertation research at the University of Delaware focused on bird-insect food webs.