JANUARY NEWS

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Winter is here!  I hope you have a chance to enjoy making a snowman!  We can not keep the bird feeders full! 
The highlight of last month was going to see a "flock" of Bald Eagles at Parker Hollow Dam near Baker,WV.  We saw at least a couple of dozen, mostly immatures. They were landing on the mostly frozen lake,
The amazing part was that they would fly overhead in groups.  It looked like a "kettle" of hawks but it was all Bald Eagles!
There were two Snow Geese at the old GE plant pond.  At least one was seen on the local CBC.They winter closer to the coast and are considered a rare find in our area.
This is our Red-shoulder Hawk enjoying a frog from our pond.  I was surprised to realize that there were frogs available because of the cold temperature we had been experiencing.  But it was a relatively warm day and apparently  Bull Frogs can become active if the temperature rises enough.
This Charlie's photo of a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker we saw at Sky Meadows.  I never can seem to get a good photo of one :-(  This must be the year of the Sapsucker as I have seen about 5 this winter.  If you see a nice pattern of small shallow holes drilled in a tree, you have a Sapsucker!
We were at Sky Meadows looking for the Green-tailed Towhee which was hanging out close the riding stables.  Two trips yielded no sightings. He is a western bird.  I don't know if this is the first seen in VA or not. 

There is also a Rufus Hummingbird spending the winter in Green Spring Gardens 
in Fairfax Co.  See the note below about the Painted Bunting! 

We also still have our Black-capped Chickadee coming to our feeder.  It has been an interesting year to be a birder!
I do Tai Chi weekly at the De Grange Park by the Med Center and the Great Blue Heron arrives every time looking for lunch.  The pond is now frozen but he was determined that it would not stop him from finding his lunch.   I made a video of him walking on the ice and posted it to YouTube.
The "Winchester Eagles" are back.  Last fall their nest came apart and fell to the ground.  However, they have rebuilt in the same location and will soon be laying eggs. (Saw them both off the nest the other day, so I suspect that there are no eggs yet.)

MB Faintick of Old Trail; Crozet, VA has posted wonderful photos of his latest encounter with a Cooper’s Hawk on one of his bird walks:

Stay warm but also keep your eyes open.  You never know what you may see!  Judy
Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society NEW WEBSITE:
Feb 12, 8:00 AM Great Backyard Bird Count  Handley Regional Library, 100 W Piccadilly St, Winchester,  RSVP at

Mar 13, 9:00 AM Rookery Hike at Cool Spring! Shenandoah University River Campus at Co, 1400 Parker Ln, Bluemont, VA 20135,

Join the Global Birding Community – Participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count Participating is simple: Just observe birds for at least 15 minutes once during the 4-day count period and enter your data on eBird or through Merlin. Even if you are new to eBird and/or Merlin, you’ll find helpful, easy instructions on the GBBC website. You can also observe birds for longer periods of time during any or all of the 4 days. Here’s how to participate.

Want to learn how to ID a tree in winter? They are offering a self-guided walk which will help you learn!
You can also do these to help you:

The Audubon Society of Northern Va

They have a lot of wonderful articles this month.  I especially like the one about where do all the birds, insects and frogs go in the winter.  And how much do we really know about migrating butterflies?
Their “Bird of the Month” is the Painted Bunting because there is one at the C & O Canal National Historic Park, between locks 18 and 19. Charlie and I have not gone to see it.  Apparently thousand of people have been visiting!

February Fireside Chat, February roundup Chats with Dr. Tom Wood on February 8 at 8:00 PM. They will start with a special guest, Freya McGregor, to discuss “Birdability,” and access to birding for everyone.  Fee: FREE Register: Here

ONLINE: Thursdays, February 18 & 25, 7:00 - 8:00 PM EST (2 Sessions) Introduction to Bird and Nature Photography with Brian Zwiebel  Cost: $25 Register: Here

ONLINE: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7:30 - 8:30 PM
March 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30; April 1, 13, 15 Fundamentals of Avian Biology, The Study of Birds: 
Spring Session  Fee: $150/member; $175/non-member Limit: 50 Register: Here?
They have moved their classes and workshops to an online format due to the pandemic. They will provide recordings of as many of these events as possible and make them available here, both to keep our members and community engaged while staying at home and to develop an ongoing collection of educational resources. Check back often, as they will add videos and resources as they receive them. Please enjoy!

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
February 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Loudoun Wildlife Winter Adaptations for Survival (Virtual) Registration:

February 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Backyard Bats (Virtual) Access to the program is via the Library website.

Potomac Valley Audubon Society
Wednesday, February 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm  Potomac Valley Audubon Society (Virtual) Monthly Program: Abby & Emily’s Chesapeake Bay Experience
Kathy’s Corner (PVAS)