Virginia is for Birders

10,000 Birds

It’s southernmost third, given to Virginia by accident of history rather than geopolitical intention, lies apart from the rest of the state both culturally and geographically. Standing at the hawkwatch at Kiptopeke State Park, as I did for a significant amount of by visit to Virginia, was a humbling experience, not just for the word-class birding raptor watching but for the enormous numbers of passerines passing overhead at any moment. Birding ABA Virginia

West Virginia University to Build Animal Research Lab

Critter News

Why would this West Virginia University project be the recipient of federal stimulus money? From West Virginia Metro News. Tags: west virginia university animal research Obama tax dollars us Thanks to your tax dollars, federal stimulus money is being used to build a $14.5 million dollar research lab. It is the largest grant thus far under the stimulus package. It will house rodents for use in experiments.

Albino Hummingbird in Staunton, Virginia

10,000 Birds

Amazing photographs of an albino Ruby-throated Hummingbird that has been visiting a yard in Staunton, Virginia, can be viewed here. Asides hummingbirds

Virginia Fox Smuggler Gets Six Months

Critter News

Attorney Julia Dudley said Blevins had bought animals for several years from trappers in different states and brought them to Virginia to sell to the owners of "fox pens." He was caught after a yearlong investigation by Virginia game officials that included the undercover purchases of 54 red foxes and 47 coyotes from Blevins. Howard Glen Blevins, 68, of Asheville, N.C., pleaded guilty in March to five counts of trafficking in wild animals. A statement from U.S.

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Turkey Abuse in West Virginia Aviagen Plant

Critter News

Overlooked this one. Another nasty farm animal abuse story. Whatever you think about PETA, I admire them for exposing this crap. It's even got Chuck Jolley from the Cattle Network riled up. Bottom line: If you’re running a business where you allow the kinds of shortcuts that let animal abuse happen, please sell it and leave the industry now. Find another line of work. If you’re caught by PETA or HSUS, please do not plead ignorance and vow to clean it up. It will be too late.

Virginia’s Warbler in Alley Pond Park, Queens, New York Refound!

10,000 Birds

The Virginia’s Warbler that has eluded birders since Eric Miller first found it on 31 October has been refound – and photographed – by Andrew Baksh. This is the first documented record of this southwestern wood-warbler in New York State. Congratulations to Eric for the original find and to Andrew for forestalling any accusations of stringing against Eric!

Returning to Old Haunts

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One particular resting place brought me to familiar birding territory: Pleasure House Point, Virginia Beach. When I was first learning to bird in the summer of 2013, I spent a summer living with my fiance in Virginia Beach. During my three days in Virginia Beach, I knew I had to walk that path again. Virginia Beach is pretty built up, so each disturbance and loss of habitat weighs on our avian friends. Birding Virginia Virginia Beach Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of July 2021)

10,000 Birds

I found myself fully immersed in marine species while boating, fishing, and birding coastal Virginia with family this weekend. The best of a bunch of birds I see all too rarely was, quite fittingly, Virginia Rail showing well in a saltmarsh.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of July 2021)

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A Barred Owl called from the woods near his aunt and uncle’s house, Corey spotted several Virginia Rails in a wetland, and he saw hordes of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming to feeders.

Elton’s Egret

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But a small colony of them have made an exception for Elton Reed, who has fished off Chincoteague Island, Virginia for almost five decades. He found it in Gay Frazee , a skilled wildlife rehabber who runs Wildlife ER on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of June 2021)

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I was especially pleased that a Virginia Rail (pictured above) was hanging out by a puddle right at the edge of the road when I arrived. June is the breeding month, when New Yorkers mostly give up on migrant birds and look for birds where they nest.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of June 2019)

10,000 Birds

He had a suspicion that it might be a Virginia Rail though it wasn’t a noise he was used to hearing from Virginia Rails. To confirm the identity, he played a quick snippet of Virginia Rail tape – literally less than five seconds – and, well, as you can see from the photo above the bird responded! If you’re not finding mid-June birding all that exciting, you’re definitely not alone.

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Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery: Heir Apparent Mexican Spiced Imperial Stout

10,000 Birds

On one hand, it’s already the official state bird of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the home state of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, just as it is for half a dozen other states, making it the most popular selection nationwide.

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Vick Back Home

Critter News

Vick has returned to his home in Virginia. From the AJC: He will spend the next two months being monitored at home and working a $10-an-hour job as a construction laborer. He’s scheduled to be released from federal custody on July 20, and then faces three years of supervised probation.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of September 2020)

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On Friday morning he unsuccessfully chased a LeConte’s Sparrow and a Connecticut Warbler in Queens but had his second ever encounter with Virginia Rail in Queens as well as a Yellow-breasted Chat.

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Ringling Brothers Wins Court Case Over Elephant Abuse

Critter News

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan signed the December 30 ruling in favor of Ringling's owner, Virginia-based Feld Entertainment Inc. Pretty heavy blow. FEI) at the outset of a nine-year-old suit brought by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that culminated in a six-week trial in March.

Calling all Dogs: Celebrate National Dog Day with Free Ice Cream August 25

4 The Love Of Animals

Best Friends Pet Care is a leading national pet care company and offers boarding, daycare, grooming and training at 42 locations across 18 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

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Signs of Spring Migration in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

During migration, they occur in more places, I bet that golden-hooded bird with a rainforest mixed flock was on its way to Virginia or Alabama or wooded swamp in some other part of its ancient range that used to bear witness to the double knocks of Ivory-billeds.

Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of July 2014

10,000 Birds

Keep your eyes to the skies for brilliant sunrises, like the one my buddy Beau Walsburger snapped in Virginia Beach this morning. I’ll be finishing up my Virginia Beach vacation and admiring birds on the Chesapeake Bridge Bay Tunnel on the way back to Rochester this weekend. The month of July is more than half over, but those of us enjoying summer still have many weeks of hot fun ahead.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act

Critter News

The high court case stemmed from the arrest and conviction of a Virginia-based documentary producer named Robert Stevens who sold videos containing scenes of dogfights. The Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed the depiction of animal cruelty. Mr. Stevens said his videos were aimed at portraying the aggressive characteristics of pit bulls and the use of pit bulls in hunting. He argued that his documentaries were protected by the First Amendment.

Virgina Creates Wildlife Crime Watch Program

Critter News

Wildlife Crime Watch" is a new program implemented by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This program is a proactive effort to develop a partnership between citizens and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Sounds intriguing. I was particularly interested in the list of program sponsors. They were all hunting associations AND the National Rifle Association.

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7 State Parks for Fall Colors and Birding

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North Bend State Park, West Virginia. Strong populations of birds reside in the hardwood forests and dense understories in this north-eastern location of West Virginia. Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia. Known as a warbler haven, 30+ species visit this bi-state park near the Kentucky and Virginia southern border. Leaves and birds in the Appalachian Mountains.

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First Post-COVID-19 Birding Trip: Wisconsin and Horicon NWR

10,000 Birds

In mid-summer, the refuge is full of breeding birds, including Canada Goose, Mallard, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Virginia Rail, Sandhill Crane, Black Tern, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, etc.

Bowl by Bowl Challenge

4 The Love Of Animals

they are sending professional photographer Nanette Martin to take pictures of shelter pets at the Virginia Beach SPCA. We wanted to share this great initiative called “Bowl by Bowl” that challenges negative perceptions of shelter pets as well as helps feed animals in need. Purina One will donate a bowl of food to a shelter for every quiz completed on their Facebook page.

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Back to the Canyon

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Yes, Virginia, those Elegant Euphonia colors are real. Of all my favorite birding sites, by far the closest to home is la Cañada de los Filtros Viejos (“the Canyon of the Old Filters”, named for structures that once provided water to the city of Morelia).

Giveaway: Puppy Bumpers

4 The Love Of Animals

Puppy Bumpers manufactured in Virginia at STEPS, Inc., Puppy Bumpers are stuffed collars that keep dogs from getting out of fences. It’s a patented solution for people with dogs who fit through wrought iron fence rails or balcony slats! Though we haven’t tried them ourselves, we think they are a great solution to a common problem a lot of pet owners have. And, we are lucky enough to have one collar to giveaway !

On Vegan Devastation at PF Chang's

Animal Person

Northern Virginia? From VegCooking , courtesy of PeTA: The vegan-friendly attitude of P.F. Chang's is largely due to the number of requests that management receives for meatless cuisine. Vegan dishes are among the bestsellers. One manager told PETA Eats that most people prefer the vegetarian lettuce wraps over those with chicken. Wok-seared tofu, red onions, and water chestnuts with hints of mint and lime and served with cool lettuce leaves are a combination that few can turn down.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of July 2019)

10,000 Birds

Despite getting good looks at Virginia Rail , lots of Eastern Kingbirds , and a host of other birds he decided to stick by his old standby as his Best Bird of the Weekend, a Green Heron. A hot weekend doesn’t necessarily make for hot birding, but things may be warming up on that front. One truth you learn in the birding business is that birds are always moving in one direction or another. If you didn’t see much this weekend, just wait a few weeks.

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"Sick" Vick to Get Out of Jail

Critter News

after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's Surry County. Already? Imprisoned NFL star Michael Vick will be allowed to finish his sentence under home confinement because there is no room at a halfway house for him, a government official told The Associated Press Thursday. Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan.,

2009 100

The Thorn Birds

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Which may be why the photo here shows two Clay-colored Sparrows , one Yellow-rumped Warbler , and one lovely Virginia’s Warbler , all hiding among many vicious huizache thorns.

Millions of Red-eyed Vireos, Eastern Kingbirds, Chimney Swifts in Costa Rica- All Heading North

10,000 Birds

When birding in parks and woodlots of Ohio, Virginia, and Toronto, places with groves of maples and old craggy oaks, it can be hard to imagine that the Red-eyed Vireos of constant song were foraging for caterpillar larvae in rainforest just a few months earlier.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of May 2019)

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Corey has been enjoying the beach and the sun down in Virginia all weekend. In the midst of a three-day Memorial Day observance, many American birders still have a day left to nail down a BBOTW. If you’re not happy with your progress so far, make the most of what is left of May.

2019 43

Where Are You Birding This Final Weekend of May 2019?

10,000 Birds

Corey is taking his act down to Virginia Beach, which is a mighty birding destination in itself. Is May ending already? Some birders wait eleven months for just this moment, keenly feeling loss after its passing. How can you prevent the post-migration blues? Make hay while the sun shines: if birds are still passing through your corner of the world, get out and greet every one. Maybe they’ll come back in the fall!

2019 43

Beats the Beltway: a review of Bruce Beehler’s book “Natural Encounters”

10,000 Birds

And in April, he sees the return of the many species he has seen in that month in years past – but, also, weirdly, a Virginia Rail, a reclusive marsh bird, flopping around the sidewalk in downtown D.C. (the

2020 57

The Big Dip

10,000 Birds

You can imagine my excitement when Eric Miller, a fellow Queens birder, found a Virginia Warbler in Alley Pond Park in, yes, you guessed it, Queens, on 31 October, two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. That’s right, I was out looking for the Virginia’s Warbler with a whole big bunch of other birders. Dipping on a bird like a Virginia’s Warbler , which normally is no closer to New York than, say, Colorado, hurt.

What is the State Bird of North Carolina?

10,000 Birds

In addition to North Carolina, six other states have named the cardinal their state bird, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. When birders in the eastern United States see a flash of red up in the canopy or deep inside nearby bushes, more likely than not those crimson feathers belong to the iconic Northern Cardinal.

What Happened This Winter

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At least one Virginia’s Warbler , a Lucy’s Warbler , an Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush , and several Cedar Waxwings were entirely new garden visitors. (As Here it is, the end of April, and things are slowing down in the south.

“It’s a good life”: Donald Kroodsma’s Birdsong

10,000 Birds

Photographers: Wil Hershberger (American woodcock, Eastern whip-poor-will); Marie Read (Virginia rail, Northern flicker); Robert Royse (Canyon wren, Wilson’s snipe).

2020 59

Getting a Kitten from Kansas

Critter News

She has had two for the past ten years, one she bought and had shipped from a breeder in Utah, the other from a breeder in Virginia. I am no fan of breeders, I'll admit it. I think there are many disreputable breeders, I think they are increasing a bloated supply of pets, and I think there are many purebreds already available from shelters. Are there good breeders out there that care for their animals and run their business out of pure love of their work and the animals?

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Snowy Owl Invasion!

10,000 Birds

Birders in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland, and Virginia are all enjoying Snowy Owls , but none as much as the North Carolina birders, who are enjoying their first and second Snowy Owls in thirteen years. Snowy Owl in Queens, New York, 1 December 2013.

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Adventures of a Louisiana Birder: One Year, Two Wings, Three Hundred Species–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Smith’s Longspurs, Vermillion Flycatchers, Burrowing Owls, Long-billed Curlews, Virginia Rails, Black Terns, Crested Caracaras–there’s a bird here for every taste. Louisiana is a magical place to bird.

“They fly and fly until there’s no more ocean to fly over” — a review of the book “Shearwater”

10,000 Birds

In six or seven months, the “best books of the year” features will come out in the important print and web publications. They will list ten or twenty or fifty titles, and will include, inevitably, Hunter Biden’s autobiography, and Volume 12 of Barack Obama’s, and other such works.

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Collaborative list – April 2020

10,000 Birds

Virginia’s Warbler (Leiothlypis virginiae). As the rest of the world hides behind the curtains, our beats have thrown theirs open to record the avian life that passes outside their windows.

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