Archive for February, 2016

While yesterday morning’s regular monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship wasn’t very birdy, it was a beautiful, though chilly, morning for a walk outside and there were lots of signs of spring.

The most obvious one was many Eastern Bluebirds, at least 15, singing and pair-bonding & in two or three cases even visiting the bluebird boxes on the two trails that Loudoun Wildlife maintains on the center.  In one case two males appeared to be squabbling over a female and a box.

There were also a couple of Carolina Wrens giving their long rolling calls as well as lots of Cardinals and Tufted Titmice singing (which they have been doing, at least on nice days, for over a month). Many of the birds, esp. the bluebirds and some of the sparrows, very crisp with rather bright colors, probably because they recently molted.

After the walk I paid a brief visit to Arnold Ln on the south side of the center but it wasn’t very productive either.

For a complete list of the birds see the eBird list below.

Information on the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship can be found at  Information on the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and its many free activities can be found at

Joe Coleman


Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship – MFF01, Loudoun, Virginia, US Feb 27, 2016 8:00 AM – 11:10 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.5 mile(s)

Comments:     The group spent 2.5 hours around the Education Center and along the Farmstead Loop. After the main walk I drove down Arnold Lane which was also pretty quiet.

28 species

Canada Goose  X
Wood Duck  6
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  3
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  2
American Crow  X
Fish Crow  1
Carolina Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
Carolina Wren  3
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  15
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  2
Field Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  12
White-throated Sparrow  12
Song Sparrow  5
Swamp Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  7
Red-winged Blackbird  50     a flyover flock
American Goldfinch  3

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (




For our February installment of Volunteer Connection, we’ll be featuring Ed Clark, whose work with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will have you ready to welcome warmer weather, even as the cold of winter continues to nip at our noses. Ed, a self-dubbed good-natured naturalist, is best known to Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy as the beloved leader of many of last year’s “We’re Going Wild” family nature walk programs. As a trained biologist employed by the US Department of Agriculture, Ed studies insects at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. You could call Ed a life-long student as he earned his Masters of Science in Biology at George Mason University in 2001, and continues to teach himself about the natural wonders of the world through research to this day. His most recent homemade curriculum of study? Spiders.

Ed’s obvious excitement for the outdoors manifests itself in a host of ways: as an avid birder, passionate botanist, and as we’ve discovered…a natural teacher with a talent for engaging children. His vast wildlife knowledge and easy manner, coupled with his inner child-like curiosity, makes him a real treasure for our growing Youth and Family Programs efforts. Each month of the year, we invite kids of all ages and their families to join us as we trek through some of Loudoun’s great places, parks, and nature centers with Mr. Clark as our “Ed-u-taining” guide. Whether it’s birds, bugs, or botany, Ed joyfully imparts an appreciation for wildlife, habitat, and stewardship…the responsibility of learning about and being connected to our natural world. Teaching the basics, Ed has these budding naturalists observing with all the senses, noting important finds and modeling the value of field journaling, and even follows up later with pictures and reports of the day’s observations to foster deeper learning at home. He’s planting seeds in these youngsters, sowing inquiry and wonder into their lives.


Wild walk MAy group


We are grateful for volunteers like Ed who seek to share their experience with students of every age. If you think you’d be interested in leading or co-leading, fill out our volunteer form here. We look forward to seeing you out in the field!


Co-authors: Sarah Steadman & Hannah Duffy