Again this summer the VSO and Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) are offering a field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Piney Grove Preserve, site of nesting Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers. More details here »
Join us in the beautiful, scenic mountains of western Virginia (aka "Little Switzerland" for our summer field trip! Highland County is a hot spot among birders throughout Virginia, and we're excited about the arrangements we've made for you on the weekend of June 7-9. Field trips will be offered Friday morning, Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning.
NOTE: Please bring a two-way radio if you have one to make communication easier among members of the same caravan. More details here »
Adopt an Important Bird Area
The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an international bird conservation program being implemented on every continent, with 48 states participating in the United States. The aim of the program is to identify a network of sites that are essential for sustaining naturally occurring populations of bird species, and to protect or manage these sites for the long-term conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. For a site to be recognized as an IBA it must meet criteria based on bird concentrations, threatened species, or species assemblages representative of priority habitats. The Virginia IBA Program was initiated in 2002 and has been making great progress toward greater protection of our state’s vulnerable bird species. IBA identification in Virginia has produced 20 IBAs (as of November 2009) that represent our state’s very best bird habitat. It’s now time to work to protect these areas and you can help!
Local community members can play a vital role in furthering the goals of the IBA program. Through the Adopt an IBA initiative, a local group (such as an Audubon chapter, bird club, school group, etc.) adopts an IBA and participates as a group to further conservation, monitoring, or advocacy efforts on the site. Involvement can include organizing a monitoring effort, clean-up day, education program, or habitat improvement project or advocating for the IBA in the political arena. Adopting an IBA can help in the conservation of the site by raising awareness about the importance of the site and building a local group of constituents that care about it. The IBA Adoption Group Guidelines can be downloaded here » 84 KB MS Word® Doc.
Please note that it may be possible to receive a Virginia Society of Ornithology Conservation Grant to help support IBA Adoption efforts. Please visit the VSO Conservation Commiittee page for more information.
In the Fall 2008 issue of the Virginia Society of Ornithology newsletter, VSO President David Spears said, “In the Federalist Papers, Hamilton and Madison wrote, 'If men were angels, no government would be necessary.' But men aren't angels, they went on to argue, and therefore we need rules to govern our behavior. What about birders? Are we all angels? Do we need rules?”
President Spears' article continued on this idea of rules for birding and defining ethical birding behavior. The Virginia Society of Ornithology recently adopted a set of principles for birding ethically. The VSO has been considering the issues related to birding ethics for the past year. These issues have been discussed at length on the VA-Bird listserv, in emails, at VSO board meetings and field trips, in the VSO newsletter and who knows where else. Birding organizations across the country and the world are considering or have enacted similar policies. Many organizations have adopted the American Birding Association's code of birding ethics. The VSO's Principles of Birding Ethics are based on this ABA code. The VSO hopes these are guidelines that birders in Virginia will support and abide by. Please share copies of the principles with your birding friends. Download VSO's Principles of Birding Ethics ...>>