Our Kestrel Logo Has A New Look
Thanks again to Megan Massa for refreshing our American Kestrel logo. Marian Watts, who designed our original kestrel logo, gave her permission to update her design. Many thanks to both Marian and Megan for keeping our kestrel logo looking great!
February 2021
Letter from the President
by Brian Taber

First of all, I want to congratulate Forrest Gladden, recently retired manager of Kiptopeke State Park. Forrest has been a strong supporter of CVWO’s efforts, projects, and research at the Park for many years. As Park Manager, Forrest established the "Monarch Meadow" adjacent to the hawkwatch platform, relocated the butterfly garden, refurbished the platform, provided housing for our seasonal staff, and supported our Educators’ efforts, among many other things.  And of course, congratulations to Forrest are in order for the establishment of the new Kiptopeke Visitor Center near the park entrance. Opening has been delayed by the covid virus, we're looking forward to its opening soon.

Thank you, Forrest, for your support and guidance over the years for our seasonal staff, volunteers, and visitors. We could not have done it without you. Best wishes in the next chapter of your life.

One of our partners, VA Department of Wildlife Resources, has just released the new Virginia Wildlife Viewing Plan, over three years in the making. And they want your comments by March 3, 2021.

Per DWR, “this Wildlife Viewing Plan is the first comprehensive plan for engaging with and supporting wildlife viewers (people who intentionally observe, photograph, feed, or collect data about wildlife or visit parks and natural areas because of wildlife) developed for the DWR.”
Forrest Gladden, recently retired manager of Kiptopeke State Park. Photo by Brian Taber
As you read the Plan, you’ll see CVWO mentioned on page 15: “The best places to see migrating raptors in the fall is at Virginia’s designated fall Hawkwatch sites, the majority of which are located in the mountains. In addition, a fall Hawkwatch, operated by Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory in Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore, provides one of the best vantage points in the U.S. to view the raptor migration.”

Visit DWR's web site to view the draft plan and to share your comments through a research survey, which will take approximately five minutes to complete.

Let DWR’s managers and biologists know how important “wildlife watching” is to you! They want to hear from you.

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support.

Brian Taber

PS: Winter weather has been cold and wet lately, so sit back in the warmth of your home and enjoy these upcoming February webinars described below…and dream of spring!
Free Webinars
Sign up for a free webinar with
Kenn Kaufman, author of
"Season on the Wind"
February 25 @ 12 noon
Kenn Kaufman, author of A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration, has observed bird migration on all seven continents. He’s editor and coauthor of seven titles in the Kaufman Field Guide series, and his memoir, Kingbird Highway, was designated a “Classic” by the National Outdoor Book Awards.

Register here for this free webinar sponsored by the Virginia Festival of the Book.

CVWO is a sponsor of this event.
Bird Migration 2020 Brings Welcome Surprises!
Evening Grosbeak. Photo by Diane Lepkowski
by Dr. Jerry Via

This has been an interesting year with the migration of so many winter finches. What are influences which result in the irruptions of finches and other species? 

Some species such as Rufous Hummingbirds seem to be off course, but are they lost? What does new monitoring technology teach us about some of the mysteries of migration, such as trans-oceanic migrants? What factors might influence the migration of seabirds and waterfowl along the Atlantic coast?

The input of birders with Ebird and Christmas Bird counts provides a wonderful look at what our birds are telling us about migration and climate change.
CVWO's parter, Virginia Society of Ornithology, is sponsoring this event featuring Dr. Jerry Via, one of CVWO's longtime friends and popular VSO field trip leader.

If you're already a VSO member, this webinar is FREE for you. If not, the fee is only $10.00.

Please consider joining the VSO! Memberships run January - December, and dues are just $20. Then VSO publications, webinars, and field trips will be free to you as a member all year.

Register here and the log-in information will be emailed to you.
Virtual Lunch & Learn
HMANA Raptorthon & Spring Birding Challenge:
Lunch and Learn – Feb 24, 12 noon
HMANA's February 24 Lunch & Learn series program will explore HMANA's annual Spring birding event, Raptorthon!

Learn what this event is all about, how to participate, and how it supports HMANA’s programs and the network of raptor monitoring sites. We'll hear from past and current Raptorthoners, talking about how easy and fun it is to take part by counting as many raptors/birds as you can, while raising funds to support HMANA and for your favorite local hawkwatch!

Julie Brown spent many years migrating around the country, working as a field biologist mainly focused on behavioral studies and contamination research with raptors. She also spent many years hawkwatching and working for several migration sites. She joined HMANA in 2009 and has been supporting migration sites among numerous other programs ever since.

This online Zoom program is FREE but limited to 100 participants. You can register HERE
Monarch Joint Venture Webinars
Prairie photo from Monarch Joint Venture web site
Monarch Conservation Webinar - The Beauty and Resilience of Prairie

Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2 PM ET
Presenter: Chris Helzer - The Nature Conservancy

Register now for the February 23, 2021 Monarch Conservation Webinar! You will receive additional details about participating in the webinar in a follow up email one day prior to the webinar.

From their web site: "Prairies contain incredible beauty and diversity, though neither is widely recognized by the public. Along with the size and connectivity of habitats, the biological diversity in prairies creates the ecological resilience needed to help ensure their continued survival. This photo-heavy presentation will delve into the diversity of prairies, especially within plants and invertebrates, sharing incredible stories about species and their interactions with each other. Chris will also talk about how we can help prairies build and maintain their ecological resilience, even in the face of increasing threats. Finally, he will share some of the results of his year-long project to photograph as much beauty and diversity as he could within a single square meter of Nebraska prairie."

This is a collaborative effort between the Monarch Joint Venture and the National Conservation Training Center. We look forward to your participation!
Monarch laying eggs on milkweed. Photo by Shirley Devan
Monarch Conservation Webinar - Monarchs, milkweed and grassland disturbance

Date: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2 PM ET
Presenter: Nathan Haan, Doug Landis - Michigan State University

Register now for the March 23, 2021 Monarch Conservation Webinar! You will receive additional details about participating in the webinar in a follow up email one day prior to the webinar.

From their web site: "When common milkweed is cut back during the growing season it produces new growth over the next few weeks. Research suggests these regenerating stems are very attractive to ovipositing monarchs, contain fewer monarch predators, and may be safer environments for first-instar caterpillars. This presentation will review research on this topic, including results from the ReGrow Milkweed for Monarchs community science project, and discuss prospects and uncertainties around using disturbance as a conservation tool for monarch recovery."

This is a collaborative effort between the Monarch Joint Venture and the National Conservation Training Center. We look forward to your participation!
You can see the full lineup of webinars from Monarch Joint venture here.
Monarch News from Journey North
Welcome 2021
Overwintering News From The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve: Letters From the Field 

Monarch on Goldenrod. Photo by Michael Ferrara
CVWO Cafe Press
New Logo Merch Coming!
We'll have merchandise with our new refreshed kestrel logo soon.

Check next month's newsletter!

CVWO's Website and Blog
Visit and Share CVWO's Website! 

You'll find information on raptor, butterfly, songbird and waterbird research as well as beautiful photos and rich stories from the field!

And remember to support our nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donation!

Read CVWO's Blog Posts!

Check out CVWO's Blog Posts to learn about some of the rare birds seen so far. You'll see stunning photos of the Green-tailed Towhee and Buff-bellied Hummingbird. And be sure to check the December 2020 Blog Post to learn about the first ever Western Meadowlark recorded in Virginia – found by our own Brian Taber. His photo from December 18, 2020 is above.