Monday, May 19, 2014

Stream monitoring training offered

Trout Unlimited and Wild Virginia are teaming to offer a training course for citizen volunteers  sought to help with water quality monitoring in the Marcellus Shale regions of Virginia's and West Virginia's national forests.  Participants will learn about shale gas development's potential impact on fish and wildlife populations, and will be taught to monitor water quality in priority watersheds.  Volunteers will then monitor at least one site monthly.
The one-day session will be from 9am - 3pm, June 21, at the Ivy Creek Education Building, 1780 Earlysville Road, Charlottesville, Va.  The training is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required.  Info, or to register: or 434-971-1553.
Wild Virginia is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving wild forest ecosystems in Virginia's national forests.  Wild Virginia works to accomplish its mission through a Forest Watch program and by organizing people who care about forest protection.
Trout Unlimited is the nation's oldest and largest cold-water fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and their watersheds.  Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and at

Volunteer Opportunity: Become a stream monitor

Southern West Virginia: WVRC and Trout Unlimited will host a volunteer water-quality monitoring workshop in Beaver on Saturday May 31st. The program trains volunteers to monitor coldwater streams in West Virginia and Virginia that could be impacted by shale gas development. Contact Jaimie Holmes at or 3046146699 to RSVP or to learn more about this program.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Help hummingbirds with Audubon app

The National Audubon Society is recruiting citizen-scientists.  Using Audubon's Hummingbirds at Home app (available on IOS and Android), birders and nature lovers will be able to help track and get a clearer picture of the US hummingbird population.  Participants can monitor a patch of territory - their garden/yard, park, porch, whatever - and record hummingbird sightings as well as their food source.  You can also report random sightings.  Participation can be a frequent or limited as a person wants.  The data will then be available to researchers and others in the volunteer network.  (One purpose is to determine if the birds and their natural food source are out of sync.)  The app is free.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

MLA workday scheduled Sunday, May 18

Reminder that there is a workday scheduled for Sunday, May 18, starting at noon, at the Morgantown Learning Academy.  We will be working as needed on their outdoor wildlife habitat.  Bring gloves and water.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Two volunteer workdays at WVBG

Greetings WVBG Volunteers!
We have a few volunteer work days coming up I would like to share with you. 
This Saturday, May 17, beginning at 9:00 a.m., will be spent preparing beds, 
weeding, rototilling and also removing some invasives.  Bring work gloves and 
weeding tools if you have them.
Wednesday, May 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m. will be the annual planting day.  Bring 
gardening gloves and a hand trowel.  Most work days last 2-3 hours.  Remember to 
wear proper clothing and footwear and bring drinking water.
This is the work that sets the stage for the rest of the growing season at the Garden. 
We hope you can come out and lend a hand!

Erin & George

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Monday, May 12, 2014

Canaan Valley Birding Festival June 5-8

The Canaan Valley Birding Festival welcomes all levels of birders and nature lovers. The theme for this year’s key note presentations will be Wetland and Grassland Birds. Canaan Valley, WV (only 2.5 hours from Washington, DC with the upgrades to Hwy 48), because of its diverse high elevation boreal habitats, is fortunate to be the breeding ground for many neo-tropical birds, but it also has beautiful grasslands and boggy wetlands. Come join us; see and hear birds while enjoying our cool summers, memorable mountains, grasslands and wetlands and enjoy the newly renovated Canaan Valley Resort and its amenities.

The schedule will have 3 all-day walks on Friday and Saturday (leaving around 5:30 AM) which will bring you back to the lodge in time to relax or explore the area before the evening key note and evening sounds walk. We will also have half-day walks, starting Thursday afternoon, including some afternoon nature walks, if you prefer. Half-day beginner walks will meet at 8AM. A birding photography strand will be a new addition this year. We highly suggest carpooling with each other to the birding sites. Our volunteer leaders would love to share their passion for our birds with you. Hope you will join us and bring a friend.

Please check the following link to their webpage.  From here you can access the registration form, walk leaders/keynote bios and the festival event schedule.

DNR seeks help locating whip-poor-wills

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) needs help in locating whip-poor-wills, according to Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Section. 
"If you see or hear whip-poor-wills in West Virginia between the dates of May 10 and July 31, 2014, please email DNR Wildlife Resources Section biologist Rich Bailey at," Taylor said.  "Include the date and location, being very specific: Where you saw or heard the bird; your name and phone number; and whether you saw or heard the bird."
The whip-poor-will is a gray, black and brown bird with a black throat.  It is well-camouflaged and is easier to hear than to see.  Its namesake song is a loud, rhythmic "whip-poor-ill," which it sings repeatedly at night.
"Recent Breeding Bird Survey data indicate significant population declines of this bird in nearby states, and your observations will enable us to get a better sense of their population status in West Virginia," Bailey said.
The Wildlife Resources Section is also interested in discovering locations of barn owls and bald eagle nests.  Anyone who sees or hears either of these species is asked to email Bailey with the same information as for the whip-poor-will.
Barn owls have a distinctive white, heart-shaped face and a variety of unique calls, including clicks, hisses, grunts and screams.