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Spring Greetings.
Charlie and I have been just feeding and admiring the birds on the homestead this past month!  He did make a short trip to his hometown a couple of weeks ago and took some nice photos I am going to share with you.. 

The spring migration has started!  Our Purple Martins are starting to come back! The Hummingbirds are on the way! We are looking forward to more outdoor activity!
Charlie chased this Yellow-Throated Warbler all over the park trying for a photo. He went back the next day to try again, but the migrant had moved on!
I love his picture of this Eastern Phoebe.  The bird seems to be posing and asking for his picture to be taken!
This Hermit Thrush also was cooperative!
This is my favorite! A pair of Tree Swallows!  It looks like it could be a piece of art!
Charlie's movements were closely watched!  You never know when he might just take a picture of YOU!
 The "Winchester" Bald Eagles are back and nesting!  They had to rebuild their nest of twigs and sticks as the other one collapsed last fall. At this time of the year, they are feeding and caring for the eaglets.  We don't know how many yet.  I have several pictures of this adult apparently "just chewing" on a small branch of a stick.  Is she bored with nothing else to do?
CORNEL LAB eNEWS: Lower 48 Has 4 Times as Many Bald Eagles as a Decade Ago 
In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the latest population estimate for Bald Eagles, and the news was heartening. Some 316,000 eagles now cruise the skies in the Lower 48—more than four times the previous estimate, from 2009. See how the most accurate eagle count in history was partly powered by 180,000 eBirders plus sophisticated eBird Science models.
Dig Deeper: Explore the latest Bald Eagle distribution models, including colorful animated maps that show where eagles go throughout the year.
We still have a Dark-eyed Junco who hoovers at the thistle feeder just long enough to grab a seed.
I am calling this my "Spring Newsletter because it is now mid April and I do not plan to do a May issue! Happy Spring!
See you in June!  Judy
I think it will be a beautiful autumn.  We are planning a camping trip soon so we can enjoy the fall colors!
I am sad to say that this will be my last “Shenandoah Naturalist Newsletter”.  I want to thank all of you who have encouraged me to continue.  I am not sure if  my life is getting “too busy” or if I just require more time to accomplish anything!.   I am not sure how many years I have been writing the newsletter, but it seems to have started sometime in 2010. That's a lot of newsletters!  Our website will continue to exist as well as our NatureLover email.  Charlie and I will still be out there birding!  Actually, we have 3 major birding trips planned for the next two years.  They had been canceled because of the pandemic.  And NOW we finally get to go!
Almost every year Charlie and I attend the “Biggest Week in American Birding” Festival.  It is hosted by The Black Swamp Bird Observatory, an organization started by Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman.  They have put together a wonderful Virtual program for birders.  Some talks are free to the public and for other talks you need to be a member. Please check out the link to this wonderful resource called “Birds at Home”!!
We had a pleasant surprise the other morning.  Charlie had just put out the peanuts for the resident critters when a flock of migrating Blue Jays swooped in and gathered most of the peanuts up.  We could only estimate their numbers; 30 was our agreed upon guess.
Last week we had a Bald eagle stop by our front yard!
This afternoon a small flock of turkeys ate their way across the yard!  It is so nice to live where you can go birding out the kitchen window!
We no longer have any Hummingbirds coming to our feeders. .  Our resident ones usually leave on Sept. 23rd (my birthday). The last one was seen on Sat. Oct. 3rd.  Of course, the ones we were seeing may have been ones still migrating from the north of us. Yesterday's migration reports show the farthest north reported Hummer was just south of Richmond.
While Charlie was repairing a small section of our roof, he discovered why we keep finding our resident Black Rat Snakes either trying to get onto the roof or falling off of it!  It looks like Samson and Mildred found the perfect spot to shed their old skins!  
I am going to close with a picture of one of my favorite birds.  It is a Tufted Coquette Hummingbird and is smaller than the Ruby-throated. This picture was taken in Trinidad after a three-day effort to get even one shot. But patience paid off!
Thank you again for being loyal followers!  Hopefully we will keep in touch in other ways! Feel free to share with me any exciting photos or bird happenings! Judy

For more information, please go to their web site.
Thu, Oct 06 Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley Meeting Laurel Ridge Community College RSVP

Sat, Oct 15 and Oct 29 Abrams Creek Wetlands Preserve Bird and Nature Walks RSVP

Tue, Nov 01 Appalachian Trail Conservancy Program Shenandoah University RSVP

Sat, Dec 17 Northern Shenandoah Valley Christmas Bird Count Location is TBD RSVP

Sat, Dec 31 Calmes Neck Christmas Bird Count Location is TBD  RSVP
Please note that some of their activities fill up quickly!
Thursday, October 6th Blandy Sketch Group
  • Start time: 12:30pm
  • End time: 03:30pm
  • The Blandy Sketch Group is a dynamic group of artists who work in the visual arts and who all share a love of the natural world as inspiration for their artwork. The Blandy Sketch Group is open to any artist, beginner or professional.  This month, we will be meeting in the Library.Visit our website for more info-
Tuesday, October 11th Full Moon WalkSaturday, October 15th Wild Virginia! With the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center
  • Start time: 07:00pm
  • End time: 08:30pm
  • Get up close and personal with your wild neighbors and learn all about their natural history! This program focuses on animals that live here in Virginia and interesting facts and stories about their lives. Animal guests may include: fox, skunk, opossum, squirrel, bat, snake, turtle, raptor. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: HTTPS://BLANDY.VIRGINIA.EDU/CONTENT/UPCOMING-EVENTS
Wednesday, October 19th Plein Air Group
  • Start time: 10:00am
  • End time: 12:30pm
  • Paint surrounded by the beauty of the natural world! After a quick check-in at the Blandy Herb Garden, artists may go wherever they prefer to paint within Blandy. All experience levels welcome! 
Visit our website for more info:
Friday, October 21    8:00am  Winter Migrants Bird Walk
   Around this time of year, birds from northern forests fly south in search of overwintering grounds. Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of juncos, sparrows, finches, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and more! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: HTTPS://BLANDY.VIRGINIA.EDU/CONTENT/UPCOMING-EVENTS
more details»  copy to my calendar
Thursday, October 27 10:00am  Plein Air Group 1:00pm
                                       1 pm Blandy Book Club
Tuesday, November 1 7:00pm   Blandy Photo Club Meeting
Thursday, November 3 12:30pm   Blandy Sketch Group
Saturday, November 5 10:00am  Houseplants 101
Did you know that bringing houseplants can improve indoor air quality, reduce stress, and boost your sense of wellbeing? Learn tips and tricks to keep your houseplants happy and healthy from Blandy’s Assistant Curator for Herbaceous Gardens Carrie Whitacre. Pick out a new “plant pet” to take home at the end of the program. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: HTTPS://BLANDY.VIRGINIA.EDU/CONTENT/UPCOMING-EVENTS
more details»  copy to my calendar
Sunday, November 13     2:00pm    Arboretum Walking Tour
Explore the Arboretum’s history and collections! Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. We will walk approximately 1.5 miles over gently rolling terrain. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: HTTPS://BLANDY.VIRGINIA.EDU/CONTENT/UPCOMING-EVENTS
more details»  copy to my calendar
Wednesday, November 16 10:00am  Plein Air Group
Friday, November 18 8:00am   Snow Bird Walk
Our winter residents have come home to roost! Join Blandy director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, Northern Harriers, and others. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: HTTPS://BLANDY.VIRGINIA.EDU/CONTENT/UPCOMING-EVENTS
more details»  copy to my calendar
Thursday, December 1    12:30pm   Blandy Sketch Group
Tuesday, December 6      7:00pm   Blandy Photo Club Meeting

 Audubon Society of Northern VA
Please continue to check their web page as they continue to offer many interesting zoom presentations
 and what is happening in the legislation areas!
Thursday, October 13, 2022 7:00 PM 8:00 PM Flying with Fur, Not Feathers! All About Bats with Leslie Sturges A great presentation on the only true flying mammal and learn what makes bats so successful. Did you know that almost 1 in every 5 mammal species is a bat? Virginia is home to 17 species of bats, including the tricolored bat, recently proposed for protection as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. There will be facts about bats, review the species native to our region, talk about bat conservation, and provide an update on the impact of white-nose syndrome among Virginia's bat population.  There is a fee for this virtual presentation.   register

Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM The Spooky and the Spectacular: All About Spiders with Dr. Sarah Stellwagen  A favorite snack of many birds, arachnids are a crucial part of the ecosystem. Dr. Stellwagen will discuss some of the scary and not-so-scary species that live in our region. You might be surprised by how clever, creative and, yes, even “cute,” spiders can be.  There is a fee for this virtual presentation. register

There is a new board game called “Wingspan”. If you love birds and you love board games - you’ll love Wingspan! Imagine a game of Monopoly, but instead of using cash for real estate transactions, you are building a wealth of birds on your wildlife preserves by using real-life information about North American birds and their habitats, feeding behaviors, and nesting preferences. Wingspan is a competitive, card-driven, board game from designer Elizabeth Hargrave and Stonemaier Games. It is the 2019 winner of the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres Award, an international award honoring family-friendly board games. There are hundreds of unique and beautiful bird cards, which are pulled from a deck. You can use your turn to gain food tokens (fruit, fish, grain, worms, or rodents) and once you have the right food for a bird (e.g., fish for a Bald Eagle or fruit for a Cedar Waxwing), you can strategically play that bird card in a habitat where the bird is found (e.g., forest, grasslands, or wetlands.) Your birds can reproduce if you buy eggs for them. Points are assigned for each bird (with rare birds earning more points), as well as eggs, food, and special categories. The winner is the player with the most points after 4 rounds.
Watch this video to learn how to play the game. This is a great way to share your love of birds and birding with your friends and family.

Turn Your Lights Out to Protect Fall Migrants by Ines Nedelcovic and Robin Duska
Fall migration is expected to peak from September 15 to November 3 in the northern Virginia area. You can help protect the hundreds of millions of birds that are expected to fly over our area by turning off or dimming non-essential lighting during critical migration periods. Type your location’s name into BirdCast’s local migration alert tool to see how many birds are expected to fly over on any given night. If the tool indicates migration is expected to be “High,” please turn off any nonessential lights that would be visible to birds, including outdoor lights and, if you have access, those in tall office buildings. 
Turning off or dimming non-essential lighting during critical migration periods drastically reduces bird deaths, because artificial light can attract, confuse and disorient migrating birds by competing with the natural nighttime light from the stars and the moon by which the birds navigate. Disoriented birds exhaust themselves and also can collide with buildings. Hundreds of millions of birds die in collisions with buildings annually, including many species of high conservation concern. 
Lights Out efforts to attack this problem are underway in over 30 North American cities. Learn more about what you can do from this information from the International Dark Sky Association and National Audubon. More information on migration in your area is also available from the BirdCast Migration Dashboard. BirdCast applies weather surveillance radar to gather information on the numbers, flight directions, speeds, and altitudes of birds aloft in order to expand the understanding of migratory bird movement. 
Potomac Valley Audubon Society
This organization offers many things including a nice birding area close to Winchester call Stauffer's Marsh.  Also their Cool Spring's Preserve (close to Charles Town, WV) has a variety of habitat for birds and well kept trails for hiking.

Tuesday, October 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm October Wellness Walk at Yankauer Nature Preserve Yankauer Preserve Whitings Neck Road, Martinsburg, West Virginia
Wellness Walk Guide: Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested. Please register below Let’s get outside and walk the trails together! With an eye on staying mentally and physically healthy this fall, Krista hopes you will join her on her monthly Wellness Walks at […]

Wednesday, October 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s Monthly Program: Climate Change in our Backyard: An Introduction to USGS Research in Bullskin Run and Streams Across the Region
Hospice of the Panhandle Education Center 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville
Presenter: Dr. Nathaniel (Than) Hitt, Research Fish Biologist at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center in Kearneysville WV PVMN Continuing Education Eligible This in-person program is free and open to the public. The Potomac Valley Audubon Society welcomes Than Hitt as he presents "Climate Change in our Backyard: An Introduction to USGS Research in Bullskin […]

Wednesday, October 19 @ 7:30 am - 10:30 am ‘Third Wednesday’ Bird Walk at Cool Spring Preserve Cool Spring Preserve 1469 Lloyd Rd., Charles Town, WV
PVAS Trip Leader: Beth Poole This event is free and open to the public, however, registration is required and limited to 15 participants. If you can no longer attend, please notify so that others may attend. Join Beth Poole on her regularly scheduled ‘Third Wednesday’ bird walk at Cool Spring Preserve. The trails at Cool Spring […]

Saturday, October 22 @ 7:30 am - 10:30 am Fall Bird Walk at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center
Trip Leaders: Heather Walsh & Beth Poole Photo credit: Christine Densmore This event is free and open to the public, registration is required and limited to 15 participants. Join PVAS on a Bird Walk at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center property! Our expert birders are offering regular walks at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center […]

Saturday, November 5 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Autumn Tree Identification Field Trip Ferry Hill Mansion,
Autumn Tree ID Field Trip Leader: Herb Peddicord PVMN Continuing Education Re-Cert Eligible Everyone is welcome to join this tree identification walk, however, registration is required and limited to 15 participants; […]

Wednesday, November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s Monthly Program: Gently Down the Stream: Protecting Our Waters from Plastic Pollution
Hospice of the Panhandle Education Center 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville
Presenters: Julie Prevratil and Lindsay Amsberry (pictured here showing off their environmentally friendly reusable water bottles!) PVMN Continuing Education Eligible This in-person program is free and open to the public. […]

Kathy’s Corner (sponsored by the Potomac Valley Audubon)
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Can AI Stop Rare Eagles Flying into Wind Turbines in Germany?

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US Court Revokes Permits for Plastics Plant in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’

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Pawpaws are America’s Hidden Edible Treasure. Here’s How to Pick Them.

A Rare Orchid, Thought to be Extinct, Has Been Rediscovered in Vermont

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Swinomish Tribe Builds Modern Clam Garden, Reviving Practice

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