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RAS to Host 2017 VSO Annual Meeting

There’s never a bad time to visit Richmond, Virginia, but if you had to pick just one weekend out of the year, the first weekend of May will not disappoint. It’s typically the Goldilocks of weather—not too hot, not too cold—and spring migration is typically right around its peak. This year, the Richmond Audubon Society is proud to serve as the host chapter for the VSO Annual Meeting during that first weekend in May. The Wyndham Virginia Crossings will serve as our home base for the weekend (May 5-7, 2017), and we have an exciting line-up of programs and field trips planned. Our keynote speaker on Saturday evening will be Charlottesville resident Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds. Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator Ashley Peele will be presenting on Friday evening, and she will be hosting a workshop on Saturday afternoon to help you learn how to enter the data you collect during field trips into the Atlas’s database. Registration for the Annual Meeting is available online at the VSO website (here: or by mailing a check with the registration form found in this newsletter.  Prices per person are: registration $40, banquet $40, and raffle for a pair of Zeiss Optics binoculars $5.

The Wyndham Virginia Crossings hotel is located at 1000 Virginia Center Parkway, Glen Allen, Virginia. We have negotiated a special rate for the Annual Meeting weekend.  Single occupancy rooms with breakfast for one included (at the restaurant’s breakfast buffet) is $124 per night, and double occupancy rooms with breakfast for two included is $134 per night.  To get the group rate, call (804) 727-1400 or 1-888-444-6553 and identify yourself as a member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology group to get the reduced rate.  If you want to register online, use this link to get the reduced rate: Be sure to register with the hotel before April 12, 2017!

We are planning some fun events for your time in Richmond outside of the Annual Meeting.  We are putting together a self-guided tour of some of the avian-themed artwork at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (which offers free admission).  We are also working with our friends at Lickinghole Creek Brewery for a Sunday afternoon social as folks are wrapping up their time in Richmond and getting ready to head home to points West. Look for more information about these and other fun opportunities when you check-in at the Annual Meeting in May!

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April 20th Program: The American Woodcock

Presented by: Dr. Linda Ordiway

Linda is a biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society and she will be presenting to the April Richmond Audubon Society member meeting about the habitat needs and the effect of human development on American Woodcock populations. Affectionately nicknamed the “timberdoodle,” woodcock are an early-successional dependent species famous for their aerial acrobatics. They need young forest with small trees as their primary habitat type. In recent years, this habitat type has gone into decline, and we will learn about what management techniques are needed to restore American Woodcock to their preferred landscape.

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March 16th Program: My Big Year 2016

Presented by: Kim Harrell

A local artist and naturalist, Kim birded from the mountains, to the coast, to pelagic off-shore trips to see a total of 326 species! She completed 700 checklists on eBird and managed to take incredible snapshots of a variety of bird species in all habitat types during her journeys. This is sure to be a great storytelling event with lots of great photography. Come to our March member meeting to learn about Kim’s adventures and extraordinary work documenting Virginia’s bird species in 2016.

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