Calendar

Update as of January 1, 2022

The Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society host monthly meetings with guest speakers from September through June. Meetings are on the second Tuesday evening of the month. Scroll down to see the meeting schedule.

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 to continue with online meetings for the immediate future. Online meetings are being offered through the Zoom platform. Meetings are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Please complete the registration form at the link provided for each meeting as listed below, no later than midnight of the Sunday preceding the meeting. 

If you are not familiar with Zoom, please see the article on using Zoom in the September-October 2020 Patuxent Bird Club Newsletter. Scroll down for information about upcoming meetings.

As of July 2021, Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society have resumed monthly bird walks at Lake Artemesia, Fran Uhler Natural Area, and Governor Bridge Natural Area, and some additional field trips are being held. Scroll down for details. Check back later for more updates.

A COVID tip: 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 COVID restrictions are in place.

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Upcoming Meetings with Guest Speakers

Tuesday, April 12, 2022; start time 7:30 pm
Sign in to Zoom at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker

 The Natural Lands Project at Washington College
Presented by Dan Small

Washington College’s River and Field Campus (RAFC, formerly Chino Farms) exemplifies the balance between productive agriculture and diverse wildlife habitat on working lands on Maryland’s upper shore. The dedication to maintaining this balance, particularly managing early successional habitat, has resulted in the largest Northern Bobwhite population in Maryland, proving that bobwhite can thrive alongside modern agriculture. Using our efforts on RAFC as a model, we launched the Natural Lands Project (NLP) in 2015 to work with landowners on Maryland’s Eastern shore interested in creating a similar balance on their properties that support diverse wildlife populations and improve water quality while maintaining productive agricultural land. Northern Bobwhite are the motivating factor for many landowners willing to make these changes to their land, but countless other less charismatic species benefit as a result of planting diverse native wildflower meadows and restoring wetlands. Learn about current and historical factors affecting bobwhite populations and other grassland/shrubland birds, what is being done on RAFC and NLP project sites to help these declining species, and what you may be able to do to help as well.

About the presenter: Dan Small works at Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society coordinating the Natural Lands Project and managing early successional habitat on the River and Field Campus (formerly Chino Farms). Whether at work or on the weekends, Dan enjoys all aspects of the natural world, especially avian, and particularly in Queen Anne’s County. Photos courtesy Washington College.

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, April 10. To register, go to the registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14JKDVQBKd_8yTGFh-m-KR3ulwtn4ArxovEgcdlAZWa4/edit?usp=sharing.

Your Zoom link will be sent by email on Monday, April 11, but only if you register before then.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022; start time 7:30 pm
Sign in to Zoom at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Access Matters
Presented by Paul Baicich

Is access to birding locations important?  Well, only if you want to see birds! Increasingly, we birders are finding ourselves shut out of locations or restricted from locations where we once had open access. Many of these are semi-public or private places where we once could bird without interruption – wastewater treatment plants, landfills/dumps, dams, power plants, sod farms, golf courses, and cemeteries, for starters. Much of this is understandable, but much of this can also be counteracted. In this talk, Paul Baicich will review some access we birders have had, some accommodation, when it comes to private property and what we might call semi-public property when we pursue birds. This also covers some access issues on public property such as National Wildlife Refuges, BLM land, and Bureau of Reclamation property. Multiple experiences – positive and negative – from coast to coast will serve as lessons on how to address our growing problem and how to try to make birding more accessible for everyone. 

About the presenter: Paul J. Baicich (pronounced base-itch) has been an active birder since his early teens in New York City. A former employee of the American Birding Association, he edited 14 of their “ABA Birdfinding Guides,” edited Birding, ABA’s bi-monthly magazine, and served as ABA’s Director of Conservation and Public Policy. His concerns include an abiding interest in bird conservation and studies in the breeding biology of North American birds. In this last regard, he co-authored (with the late Colin Harrison) A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds (1997). Paul also has co-led a number of birding tours and workshops in Alaska. These Alaska destinations include the Aleutians, the Pribilofs, the Seward Peninsula, and St. Lawrence Island. He has also led tours to Cuba. Among his many other activities, he has worked for the National Wildlife Refuge System on a consultant basis on issues of popular birding and parallel refuge receptiveness. In addition, Paul co-edits (with Wayne Petersen) the popular monthly Birding Community E-bulletin. Paul wrote a regular column, “Quick Takes,” for Bird Watcher’s Digest. In 2014, Paul received the Ducks Unlimited “Wetland Conservation Achievement Award” in the category of Communications.

Paul is also one of the co-authors (with Margaret Barker and Carrol Henderson) of a book on the historic development of backyard bird feeding, Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and Conservation(Texas A&M University Press, 2015) and co-authored The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl with lead author Richard Crossley and Jessie Barry (Crossley Books, 2017).

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, May 8. To register, go to the registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BxgYhQ4aAxTj67hBlesglA9Nuxjv_Pn_ilYxyNSb36g/edit?usp=sharing 

Your Zoom link will be sent by email on Monday, May 9, but only if you register before then.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022; start time 7:30 pm
Sign in to Zoom at 7:00 pm for informal social time before meeting starts
Members’ Night
Last Meeting Until September

Join the Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society for our traditional
Members’ Night, as our members share their best bird and birding photos. Members
who wish to share their photos must personally participate in the meeting and show
their photos themselves. Plan to share up to ten photos, saying a few words about
each photo. If you wish to share your photos, please send an email to Ken Cohen (kvulture@aol.com) no later than Monday, June 6th so that he can arrange the agenda.

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, June 12. To register, go to the registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1NzTayd3Hkvu_f06oascWyl6YJ6uFbsBZW-fLA_-XvP4/edit?usp=sharing  

Your Zoom link will be sent by email on Monday, June 13, but only if you register before then.

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Upcoming Bird Walks, Field Trips, and Other Activities

  • Fran Uhler Natural Area – first Saturday of each month: April 2; May 7; June 4; July 2; August 6. Leader: Bill Sefton. Meet at the parking area off Lemons Bridge Road north of Bowie State University at 7:30 am. Click link for directions and maps. 
  • Governor Bridge Natural Area – third Saturday of each month: April 16; May 21; June 18; July 16; August 20. Leader: Bill Sefton. Meet at the parking area off Governor Bridge Road, south and east of the Route 301/Route 3/Route 50 interchange at 7:30 am. Click link for directions and maps.
  • Lake Artemesia Natural Area – first and third Thursdays of each month: April 7, April 21; May 5; May 19; June 2; June 16; July 7; July 21; August 4; August 18. Leader: rotates as schedules permit. Meet at the parking lot at the corner of Ballew Avenue and Berwyn Road in Berwyn Heights. The start time is 3 pm from September through March but changes to 6 pm from April through August.
  • Saturday, April 30 – Fort Smallwood Park for spring migrants, half-day, start time 5:30 am or any time up until noon. Dave Mozurkewich will lead this field trip to Fort Smallwood park in Anne Arundel County for hawks and other spring migrants. The park is a great place to watch spring migration on days with winds from the southwest. The fun begins around sunrise. For the first few hours, thousands of songbirds can be seen flying north along the east side of the park. By about 9 AM, hawks begin to replace the songbirds and can continue throughout the day. We will take time off from the flight to search the park for warblers and flycatchers that decided to rest in the park before heading north across the Patapsco River. Meet Dave anytime after the park opens at 5:30 AM, up until noon. Be prepared to pay the $6 admission fee. Bring water and dress appropriately for the weather. For park map and directions, see https://birdersguidemddc.org/site/fort-smallwood-park/. Reservations required; email Dave at mozurk@bellatlantic.net.

  • Wednesday, May 4 – A Morning on the Patuxent: Pontoon Boat Trip with Bird Walk and Driving Tour.

    Matt Felperin has made arrangements with PG County Parks/Patuxent River Park for a morning outing on the Patuxent River, just when the migrants will be moving through and breeding birds settling in. There will be three components to this outing, and it’s possible to do all three or only one or two.

1. Pontoon Boat Trip:  A roughly two-hour trip on the Patuxent River, starting at dawn, when birds are at peak singing time. The trip will include the Jug Bay section of the river as well as Western Branch and the mouth of Railroad Creek. Target birds include Least Bittern, Marsh Wren, Prothonotary Warbler. Meet at Jackson Landing at 5:30 am.
 
2. Bird Walk in the Black Walnut Nature Study Area: Matt will lead us on a short walk along the trails and boardwalks of the Black Walnut Study Area adjacent to the boat dock at Jackson Landing. Prothonotary Warbler breeds here and it’s a good spot for migrant warblers. Meet at parking lot for the Jackson Landing Boat Dock at 8 am.
 
3. Critical Area Driving Tour: Either by carpool or by park bus, we will take the Critical Area Driving Tour from Selby’s Landing to the Mattaponi Creek bridge, and then continue into Merkle Natural Resources Management Area. The Driving Tour provides good habitat for both orioles, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Wood Thrush, Summer Tanager, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat, maybe Bobolink, and assorted warblers. We’ll try for rails along the way. Meet at Jackson Landing at 9 am to join for this portion, which will conclude about 11:30 am.

 

Reservations are required. Click here for the online reservation form

Deadline for reservations: Saturday, April 30. Seats are limited; preference will be given to Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society members on a first come, first served basis.

Participant fee: $6 per person; the fee covers the whole morning or any part of it. The fee is payable in cash at the meeting location; give your cash to the leader, Matt Felperin. Please bring the exact amount as Matt will not be able to make change.

Bring a hat, sunscreen, a water bottle, and snacks. Also a camera if so inclined; Matt, who is an expert photographer, will be happy to give photography tips on request. Bring cash in the exact amount of $6 per person as we will not be able to make change.

Masks may be needed depending on county regulations at the time.

Jackson Landing is located in the Jug Bay Natural Area of Patuxent River Park, on the Prince George’s County side of the river, at 16000 Croom Airport Road. For directions and maps to Jackson Landing, see https://birdersguidemddc.org/site/patuxent-river-park-jug-bay-natural-area/.  Also see the description for Merkle NRMA at https://birdersguidemddc.org/site/merkle-nrma/.

Questions? Please contact Matt Felperin (mfelperin@nvrpa.org).

  • Saturday, May 14 – Spring Migration Count.  Our aim for the Annual Spring Bird Count (aka May Count) is to census birds throughout Prince George’s County, at the height of spring migration. We hope you’ll volunteer to participate. You can choose your own start and stop times, as well as the location where you count. You can stay home and do a backyard or feeder count, or you can select your favorite park or wildlife area. Some folks like to stay out all day, moving from spot to spot to see how many bird species they can tally within the day. Some coordination is necessary to make sure we reduce overlap and spread birders out across the county. The coordinator will provide you with a checklist for the count as well as instructions for submitting your numbers, or you can download the checklist here. Results of the statewide count are published in Maryland Birdlife. If you wish to participate, please contact Kevin Bennett, our county Spring Count coordinator, no later than Saturday, May 7th. 
  • MOS Annual Convention, Solomons Island, Friday May 20-Sunday May 22. We are excited to be able to gather again with our birding friends from across the state. This will be the first in-person convention since 2019, since the event has been on hiatus because of COVID. A full slate of field trips and seminars is being planned. Keynote speakers will be two of Prince George’s own: Greg Kearns, biologist with Patuxent River Park, who is known for his research on Sora and his conservation efforts in the wold rice marshes at Jug Bay; and Fred Tutman, the Patuxent Riverkeeper, who has long been a voice for environmental justice along the river. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination (including boosters). Read more about the Convention on the MOS website
  • Sunday, May 29 – Delaware Bay Shorebirds, full day, start time 9 AM at Bombay Hook. By popular demand, Fred and Jane Fallon have agreed to reprise their renowned field trip to view Red Knots and other migrating shorebirds of Delaware Bay. Fred and Jane will lead you to several  areas along the Bay to see migrating shorebirds that mass to feed on Horseshoe Crab eggs. Be prepared for an all-day outing. Bring scope, lunch, snacks, water, insect repellent, and appropriate weather-related gear. (There is no place to purchase food once we start birding.) Reservations required; email Fred at fwfallon@ymail.comThe group will meet at the Bombay Hook Visitor Center; plan to arrive there no later than 9 AM. (Note that the driving time from Bowie is 1 ½ – 2 hrs. and can be longer if the Bay Bridge is backed up.) When Fred responds to your email RSVP, he will provide opportunities for people who need a ride to arrange for car-pooling. Further information will be supplied before trip day. For directions to Bombay Hook, see https://www.friendsofbombayhook.org/visitorinfo.html. Be aware of the toll at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; the bridge no longer has cash toll lanes and all tolls are collected through EZPass or Video Tolling.

  • Saturday, June 11 – North Tract, Patuxent Research Refuge, half-day, start time 8 am. Sue and Alan Young will lead this trip to the North Tract of Patuxent Research Refuge for breeding birds such as Prairie Warbler, Northern Parula, Summer Tanager, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Red-headed Woodpecker. Meet Sue and Alan at the entry gate at 7:55 am to be ready to roll when the gates open at 8 am. Bring hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and a snack. Reservations required; email Alan at alanmyoung@gmail.com. See https://birdersguidemddc.org/site/patuxent-research-refuge-north-tract/ for maps and directions.
  • Saturday, June 25 – South Tract, Patuxent Research Refuge, half-day, start time 7:30 AM. Easy walk on trails around Cash Lake for breeding season songbirds. Be prepared to walk up to 2 miles; wear sturdy shoes. Meet in the parking lot of the National Wildlife Visitor Center off Powder Mill Road; bear left on entering the parking area and go all the way to the last section of the lot past the covered solar recharging station for electric vehicles. Leader Ken Cohen. Reservations not needed. Click on title for directions and maps.
  • Saturday August 6 – Bombay Hook and other nearby locations, full day, start time 9 AM. Gene Scarpulla and Marcia Watson will lead a trip to Bombay Hook and nearby sites at the height of the fall shorebird migration; this is also a good time to pick up interesting rare waders such as Tricolored Heron or White Ibis. This will mostly be a drive-and-park type trip with very little walking, but will require standing. Feel free to bring a small folding stool or lawn chair if you prefer to sit instead of stand. In addition to binoculars, bring spotting scope, sunscreen, hat, long-sleeved shirt & pants, as well as lunch, drinks, and snacks (there is no place to stop for food once we start birding). Also bring cash for Bombay Hook entrance fee ($4/vehicle), or use a current Duck Stamp or Federal permit. Meet at Bombay Hook Visitor Center parking area at 9 AM. Full day. Reservations required; please RSVP to Marcia Watson (marshwren50@comcast.net) no later than Monday August 1. May be cancelled or postponed in the event of heavy rain but will proceed as scheduled if there is light rain. For directions, see https://www.friendsofbombayhook.org/visitorinfo.html. Be aware of the toll at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; the bridge no longer has cash toll lanes and all tolls are collected through EZPass or Video Tolling. 

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