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Sep 12, Oct 10

Generally, the second Monday of each month. For more information, see the Meetings page.

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In late August, a Common Gallinule was seen among the lily pads on Willow Lake, south of Raphine in Rockbridge County. Ever since early June, the two Sandhill Cranes have remained in the area along Kiddsville Rd. north of Fishersville.

Last bird alert:

30 Aug 2016

Due to a wave of spam attacks, this Web site feature has been disabled for the time being. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Augusta Bird Club members may submit rare bird sightings by using the Update page. For further information, or to report any unusual sightings, please contact the rare bird alert coordinator, Allen Larner.

Blue Ridge Young Birders
Blue Rridge Young Birders logo

Gabriel Mapel,
Club President

Please support and/or spread the word!

Birds of Augusta County book cover

Birds of Augusta County, edited by YuLee Larner. Copies may be found at local public libraries and school libraries.

September 2016
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
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Last news update: 19 Sep 2016

Program for the October 10, 2016 meeting:
Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas,
by Dr. Ashley Peele, Virginia Tech Our next "Birds & Brews, Wings & Wine" social hour will be on Tuesday, August 30th, 6:00 PM at Yelping Dog, 9 East Beverley Street in downtown Staunton.

Annual Bird Seed Sale

The online store for our bird seed sale is now up and running! Note that it includes options for renewing membership in the Augusta Bird Club, puruchasing high-quality squirrel-proof feeders, as well as for donating additional amounts, and for home delivery of the seed. There is also an option for printing a hard copy order form on that page, for those who prefer doing it that way. The order deadline is October 6, and the pickup date is Saturday October 15, in the Augusta County Government Center in Verona, as in past years. Our bird seed sale is the main fund-raising source for the many educational and conservation endeavors to which the Augusta Bird Club is committed. In particular, we provide scholarships to area youth to attend Nature Camp in Vesuvius, which teaches natural history and environmental science. Place your order today!

Hawk Watch Open House

In contrast to last year, when the event was canceled due to bad weather, the 2016 Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch Open House ("A Day at the Hawk Watch!") took place under sunny skies, with large crowds of visitors of all ages in attendance. Guests were treated to grilled hot dogs and other snacks, and a large number of nature-oriented organizations had displays. We had a fantastic turnout, with over 145 visitors. There were many families with kids who were really enjoyed the hands-on displays. Attractions included: displays by local bird clubs, owl pellet dissections, Master Naturalist bluebird trail display, mounted raptor displays and museum specimens to examine, up-close displays of raptor feathers/eggs/beaks/talons, Raptor migrations exibits, a display and presentation on the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas by Ashley Peele, a live raptor (Red-tailed Hawk) presentation by Amanda Nicholson from the Wildlife Center of Virginia, a raptor identification workshop by Brenda Tekin, and lots more!

Ironically, the nice weather did not provide ideal conditions for migrating birds, so it was a little slow, raptor-wise. However, another Mississippi Kite (sub-adult) showed up at 2:12, following three Kites yesterday and one on August 14, a total of five for the season now. This kite was spotted by Rose to our northeast, and moved in closer to circle overhead multiple times giving great looks and lots of photo opps! An unaged Bald Eagle moved through at 1:36.

by Vic Laubach

Hawk Watch Open House
Hawk Watch Open House
Hawk Watch Open House
Amanda Nicholson, Red-tailed Hawk, crowd

Among the exhibitors at the Hawk Watch Open House was Amanda Nicholson of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, with a Red-tailed Hawk.

Open House poster 2016

Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch needs your help

Like raptors? Like to count migrating raptors? The Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch was founded in 1976 to identify and count migrating raptors each fall from August 15 to November 30. Our hawk watch is located on Afton Mountain at the site of the Inn at Afton, easily accessible from Interstate 64. Because we are a small group of volunteers, we sometimes have difficulty in keeping the watch covered on a day-to-day basis, especially week days. This fall I am especially concerned that too many days might go uncovered due to a diminishing number of volunteer counters with cooperative schedules. Thus I am putting out a general call for help to all those who would consider volunteering their help with the raptor count this fall. To be an official counter, one must be able to accurately identify all of the expected raptor species that migrate down the eastern U.S. (There are 13 common species and 2 uncommon species.) In addition, one must be able to scan and locate/identify raptors in the sky, both near and far. If you aren't skilled to this level but have interest in becoming a counter, we can provide the training to do so, don't worry. The season is almost here! It's more fun to count migrating raptors with others, so also consider teaming up with a friend. If you have any interest, know someone who may be interested, or have any questions, please contact me as soon as possible.

Vic Laubach
Coordinator, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
Email: laubach@virginia.edu

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