Because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Directors of Patuxent Bird Club, in consultation with the Board of Prince George’s Audubon Society, has decided not to offer group field trips/bird walks or in-person meetings in the immediate future. Instead, online meetings are being offered through the Zoom platform. If you are not familiar with Zoom, please see the article on using Zoom in the September-October Patuxent Bird Club Newsletter. Scroll down for information about upcoming meetings.
If you go out birding:
- Please do not bird with others if you feel unwell or know that you have been exposed to the virus. We are urging birders to take up solo, backyard birding for the duration of the virus crisis, and avoid long-distance travel for birding.
- You may want to read this advice from National Audubon: https://www.audubon.org/news/birding-perfect-activity-while-practicing-social-distancing
- Before you go birding, call or check the website for any place you plan to visit, to make sure they are open and to determine if any restrictions are in place.
Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 pm, sign in to Zoom starting at 6:45 pm
MAGLEV High Speed Train Proposal: Oncoming Destruction of Critical Habitat at Patuxent Research Refuge & Beltsville Agriculture Research Center
Presented by Sam Droege
Plans for the MAGLEV high speed train project (first announced in 2017) have been moving forward. The MAGLEV corporation has recently made unannounced changes to their plans and now intend to put their 200-acre trainyard, train lines, factory, repair facility, and new lines as well as upgrades to the electrical and roads system on lands that are part of the Patuxent Research Refuge and the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center (BARC). The proposal calls for these lands to be transferred from the Refuge and BARC to this private corporation. These building plans will zero out bird populations at the sites and will have a ripple effect with invasive plants and fragmentation of habitat that will multiply the direct impacts. This talk will speak to the history, biology, biodiversity, and research on these sites, point out why they are THE critical wild area in the region, and discuss the openings and avenues for stopping the plans.
For background on the MAGLEV train project, see the Patuxent Bird Club newsletter, Nov-Dec 2017, page 13 (https://testmww.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/pbc-newsletter-nov-dec-2017.pdf).
Sam Droege is a Wildlife Biologist at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, but for this presentation he is speaking as a private citizen and is not representing the views of PWRC or USGS. Known in recent years as the “Bee Guy,” Sam is an all-around naturalist and a formidable birder. Sam has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs, and worked on the design and evaluation of other monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees and online identification guides for North American bees at www.discoverlife.org. His group at PWRC maintains high resolution photographs of insects and other macro natural history objects at https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/.
This program, sponsored by Patuxent Bird Club and PGAS, will be presented via Zoom and is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required and seats are limited. Please register no later than midnight of Sunday, November 8. To register, go to the registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-zTOk3edAOfhvieYIr5OXCsU88NpeOFAwX5luJipDVQ/edit?usp=sharing Your Zoom link will be sent by email on Monday, November 9, but only if you register.
Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 pm, sign in to Zoom starting at 6:45 pm
Annual Holiday Movie Night
Join the Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society for a vicarious trip to the Eastern Shore (BYO popcorn) during our annual movie night. We will share a film series called “View from the Edge.” This series of four short videos features the images of award-winning nature photographer David Harp, exploring the edges where land and water meet in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays. The videos are a montage of beautiful still images and video clips, and illustrate the diversity and abundance found in the edge habitats. The fragility of the habitat and of the traditional Eastern Shore way of life is also explored. The films are narrated by Tom Horton and were produced by Harp and Horton for the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, MD. The films are made available through the Museum.
This program, sponsored by Patuxent Bird Club and PGAS, will be presented via Zoom and is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required and seats are limited. Please register no later than midnight of Sunday, December 6. To register, go to the registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1et1mpJVuXU8Fixl0VQv7QxT9nL2yqe1LzkPh9wcF280/edit?usp=sharing Your Zoom link will be sent by email on Monday, December 7, but only if you register.
Sunday, December 20. Jug Bay Christmas Bird Count
In conformance with National Audubon guidelines for this year’s Christmas Bird Counts, the Jug Bay CBC is tentatively scheduled for Sunday December 20; the date will be confirmed after an assessment of the local virus situation on November 15. The Jug Bay count circle, centered near Dunkirk, spans the Patuxent River and includes parts of Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Calvert Counties. The circle extends from Upper Marlboro on the west to the Chesapeake Bay on the east. Contact compiler Marcia Watson to volunteer and receive an area assignment.
Friday, January 1. Bowie Christmas Bird Count
In conformance with National Audubon guidelines for this year’s Christmas Bird Counts, the Jug Bay CBC is tentatively scheduled for Sunday December 20; the date will be confirmed after an assessment of the local virus situation on November 15. The Bowie count circle includes parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties and is centered in Bowie. The circle extends from inside the Capital Beltway on the west to just east of Crofton. Contact compiler David Mozurkewich to volunteer and to receive an area assignment.