Join us Wednesday evening, April 19, at 7:00 in Andrews Hall, Room 101, at the College of William and Mary. Bird Club research grant winners Ohad Paris and Juan Botero will be presenting their findings. Both are Masters students in the Biology Department at William & Mary, and both are working on the issue of mercury pollution. In an integrated presentation, Ohad will talk about how mercury exposure affects nesting, in particular whether a small amount of mercury at a young age is enough to hurt breeding later in life. Juan examines the effect of mercury on cell aging, also known as oxidative stress. His findings get at the specific ways that mercury is bad for birds...and of course the same likely applies to people.
The twice-monthly birds walks at New Quarter Park, most of the field trips, and all monthly meetings are all free and open to the public!
The purpose of the Bird Club is to promote interest in the study of wild birds; protect birds and their habitat; and share the joy of birding with others. To these ends, we sponsor these events throughout the year:
- Our monthly newsletter, The Flyer, is published nine times per year.
- Monthly programs on 3rd Wednesday nights every month except June, July and December. Our meetings are usually in Andrews Hall, Room 101, on the campus of William & Mary at 7:30. We feature local and visiting experts who share their travels, research, and expertise with the members. Refreshments follow each meeting.
- Monthly field trips to “birdy” spots around Tidewater the 3rd Saturday morning of every month except July and December.
- Twice-a-month bird walks at New Quarter Park near Queens Lake in York County. The 2nd Saturday bird walk begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Park Office. The 4th Saturday bird walk begins at 7:00 a.m.
- Audubon Christmas Bird Count in late December each year.
- Spring Bird Count in May of each year.
- Donation of 10 – 12 books about birding to the Williamsburg Regional Library each year.
- Speakers Bureau of birders to speak to local community groups. Contact us.
- Scholarships to local youth to attend Nature Camp in Vesuvius, VA during the summer.
- Scholarships to William & Mary ornithology graduate students to assist their research into bird behavior, populations, and habitat.
Our leader will be Rob Bielawski of Virginia Beach who says "it's my favorite place in the state to bird."
Per Rob: “[The Refuge] is prime for unusual sightings, being located at the extreme southeast corner of the state, and right on the coast. All the species present right now (late January) will still be out there by mid-March, so a good mix of waterfowl would be expected. What makes March 18 interesting is there is some potential for catching some of the earliest arriving migrants to the state (Barn Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Purple Martin would all be somewhat likely, with perhaps Tricolored/Little Blue Herons as well as some of the early shorebirds like Pectoral or Stilt Sandpipers...maybe even a couple very early warblers like Black-and-white). … Until [April 1], only the trails in the immediate vicinity of the visitor contact station are open (Kuralt Trail, Bay Trail, Dune Trail, Seaside Trail, and the gravel road that heads south towards the East & West Dike gates). Most bird clubs just do a quick seawatch on the north end of the beach near the parking lot.”
Carpooling is recommended. Meet at Colony Square Shopping Center, 1301 Jamestown Road, by 7 am for a prompt departure at 7. The trip is approximately 1.5 hours. We’ll meet Rob in the Parking Lot at the Visitor Center. There are plenty of trails to keep our binoculars and scopes busy all morning. Before leaving we’ll check the beach (adjacent to the parking lot) for a quick look to see what’s flying by.
Bring scopes and cameras plus water and snacks. Dress for the weather forecast. There are restrooms at the Visitor Center. We’ll aim for departure by noon to head back to Williamsburg.