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Birds of Augusta County:

Birds of Augusta County book cover

Just click on the image above. The 4th edition (2016), edited by Dan Perkuchin, replaces the 3rd (2008) edition Birds of Augusta County, which was edited by YuLee Larner. The 5th edition (2020) will be released soon.

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June 2020
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Last news update: 09 May 2020

Because of the coronavirus emergency, no field trips will take place for as long as Governor Northam's "stay at home" order remains in effect. Members will be notified via e-mail about whether we will have the annual picnic-brunch, perhaps some time in June. We expect to resume regular meetings of the Augusta Bird Club on Monday, September 14. "social distancing" guidelines
There wil be a SPECIAL "Birds & Brews, Wings & Wine" social hour in honor of ABC founding member Grant Simmons, who will soon be moving away from our area. It will be held on Tuesday, June 25 at 5:30 pm, at the Mill Street Grill in Staunton.

Please RSVP to Crista Cabe at cristacabe@gmail.com.

Another rare bird: Western Tanager

For the second time this year, a rare bird has made an appearance in Augusta County. In February it was a Scott's Oriole and this time it's a Western Tanager, apparently a first-year male. Several Augusta Bird Club members were invited to view the bird, which was frequenting a rural neighborhood south of Staunton for a few weeks. There are two previous records of this species in our area: March 2004 in Staunton and May 2015 in Stuarts Draft.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager, south of Staunton in late April. Photo courtesy of Ann Cline.

Socially distant birding

Due to the coronavirus emergency, no organized birding events are taking place until at least June 10. Nevertheless, individual birders, pairs, and trios having been heading outdoors to keep track of the spring migration season.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male), north of Staunton in early May. Courtesy of Larry Litke.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker; in Ridgeview Park on May 7.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl, in the "Warbler Road" area east of Buchanan, VA in late April. Photo courtesy of Ann Cline.


On May 7, 2020 the Rockfish Gap Hawkwatchers team (Vic Laubach, Gabriel Mapel, Baxter Beamer and Ezra Staengl) will be conducting our 8th annual Raptorthon to have fun and raise money to support our local Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch and HMANA's work for raptor conservation, migration, and hawk watching. Half of the proceeds we raise will go to HMANA and half will go to our hawk watch.

Founded in 1976, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is located in Afton, VA in the Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 2,100 ft. Each of our team members are volunteer counters at Rockfish Gap, with Ezra being our youngest counter at age 16. Our hawk watch operates daily from mid-August through November, during which time we typically count over 26,000 raptors each season.

This year, due to the coronavirus, instead of birding together our team members will be birding solo. Each of us will cover a different nearby county; with Ezra covering Nelson County (474 sq mi), Baxter covering Albemarle County (726 sq mi), Gabriel covering Augusta County (971 sq mi), and Vic covering Highland County (416 sq mi). This will actually be quite interesting with a little internal competition! Each of us will have from sunrise to sunset to find as many different bird species as we can within our counties, with particular attention to raptors. At the end of the day we'll tally our results for both individual as well as total species numbers. It'll surely be fun! Afterward we'll send out a full report of our Raptorthon adventure to all our sponsors!

Please consider sponsoring our team's efforts. We're very grateful to those that have supported us in past years and hope you can do so again this year. It's easy to donate! To donate online simply visit our Raptorthon page and click on our team. To donate by mail, write your check to "HMANA" and mail it to Vic Laubach, 104 Lanchester Ct, Waynesboro, VA 22980. We'd greatly appreciate your support!

Wish us luck!

Vic, Gabriel, Baxter, and Ezra

Rare bird visits Augusta County

Scott's Oriole

From February 14 until March 23 an immature male Scott's Oriole visited a residential property in the Swoope area of Augusta County. It was the first state record of this species in Virginia! Further details will appear in the April Augusta Bird Club bulletin.

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Photos at the top of this page (left to right): Bald Eagle by Vic Laubach, Short-eared Owl by Allen Larner, Long-billed Dowitcher by Ann Cline, Golden-winged Warbler by Andrew Clem, and Pileated Woodpecker by Larry Litke.

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