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Northern Neck Audubon Society Meeting in NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY

  • Northumberland County Library 7204 Northumberland Hwy Heathsville,VA (map)

*** Note location change for this meeting only ***

The next monthly meeting of the Northern Neck Audubon Society will be held Monday, February 4th, at the Northumberland County Library in Heathsville (7204 Northumberland Hwy, Heathsville). The guest speaker will be Ellison Orcott, the Northern Neck regional coordinator for the second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas (VABBA2). 2019 marks year 3 of the 5-year project aimed at identifying all of the birds that breed in Virginia. For the program, Ellison will give an overview of the project and, for those not already participating, explain how easy it is to join this important effort.

Ellison fell in love with the natural world as a child growing up near the James River in Richmond, and while visiting his granddad’s Potomac home where he crabbed and played in the salt marsh. He came later to birding than most avid birders do. It wasn’t until his freshman year at Virginia Tech when an ornithology class field trip got him hooked on birds. He is now considered one of the best birders in the entire state.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in wildlife science from Virginia Tech in 2006, he traveled the country leading classes and workshops on biodiversity and conservation in such places as Montana, Massachusetts, the Gulf of Mexico, California, West Virginia, and Florida. He then realized that he needed to devote his passion and attention to his own state’s flora and fauna, and headed home to Virginia. He now works in the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program. After working several years as a lab technician for DCR, he got his shot at his dream job, field zoologist. He also leads many of the bird walks for the Richmond Audubon Society.

Ellison is one of only 9 people in the state who have confirmed over 90 species of breeding birds in VA. The project reported 4,597species of breeding birds in Virginia in 2015, 89,148 observations in 2016, and 136,428 observations in 2017. 2018’s totals have not yet been tallied.

Please join NNAS in Heathsville on February 4 to learn more about this exciting program. Refreshments and socializing start at 3:15 p.m., followed by the program at 3:30 p.m..

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