Prince William Conservation Alliance
Home About Us Calendar Blog Resources Donate
Virginia Bluebird
Prince William Conservation Alliance
Explore, Enjoy & Protect Local Natural Areas

Community Report
January 14, 2010
Newsletter Archive
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
—Aldo Leopold
Act Locally
1st Thursdays Coming Soon (Save the date)

March 4 --
Local Foods and Sustainable Agriculture with
Hui Newcomb

April 1 --Rattlesnakes, Racers and Other Cool Snakes - Who Lives in Northern Virginia?
with Paul Petersen, Naturalist, Prince William Forest Park

May 6 --
Managing Deer in the Suburbs with
Charles Smith, Natural Resource Manager, Fairfax County Park Authority

Favorite Backyard Birds
Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice are quick, clever and adaptable.
They are part of a large family of small, stocky woodland birds, Paridae
They have short, stout bills and eat a variety of seeds and insects.
Many species in this family enjoy the suburban lifestyle, where they frequent birdfeeders looking for seeds and nuts.
Other favorite habitats include forests, woodlands, parks and orchards.
They nest in holes, including tree cavities, nest boxes and sometimes even pipes.
Nests are lined with soft materials, where females lay 4-10 eggs that generally hatch in 14 days.
Wildlife Mapping at Merrimac Farm
Northern CardinalWhen:Saturday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where:Merrimac Farm, Stone House Visitor Center, 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville

Do you enjoy watching wildlife? Would you be interested in contributing that information to a statewide database for wildlife observations?

If so, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' WildlifeMapping Program may be just what you're looking for! WildlifeMapping encourages school children, citizens, community groups, organizations and agencies to collect wildlife data and contribute that data to the statewide database.

Participants will learn map reading skills, search image recognition, and habitat classification skills. "It is a hands-on workshop that provides individuals with the skills necessary to capture their wildlife observations in a format useful to the Department,” said Lou Verner, WildlifeMapping Program Coordinator.

The $25 registration fee includes instruction, program materials and supplies. Pre-registration is required. Bring binoculars, if you have a pair, and wear clothing and footwear appropriate for a short field trip following the classroom portion of the workshop.

  PWC Environment Policies - Committee of 100 Panel Discussion
Tufted Titmouse
When: Thursday, January 21. Dinner at 7:00 p.m. (reservations required); Program begins at 7:45
Where: Four Points by Sheraton, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas
The Committee of 100 is hosting a point counter point presentation on proposed changes to PWCs environmental policies.
Developers claim these are a barrier to new development and economic progress. Others say the changes are a overdue step in the right direction, would create more attractive communities and prevent expensive taxpayer-funded environmental repairs.
Can we enhance our vision for economic growth and still preserve our environment and natural resources?
Charlie Grymes - Chairman of the Board, Prince William Conservation Alliance; Adjunct Professor, New Century College, George Mason University
Michael Kitchen - Director of Design, Christopher Consultants; Northern Virginia Building Industry Association 
Moderator Rob Hartwell - Hartwell Capitol Consulting, Northern Virginia Regional Park Foundation
Reservations are required for dinner. No reservation is needed for individuals attending only the program. Questions & RSVP to or telephone (703)594-2767 no later than noon, Monday, January 18.
  Bird Walk at Merrimac Farm
Carolina Chickadee

When:Sunday, January 31, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Where: North Entrance to Merrimac Farm, 14712 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville

We'll travel through the uplands to the edge of the floodplain, covering a variety of habitats, including open fields and woodland edges.

Everyone is welcome. Dress for the weather, bring binoculars and cameras. More info and RSVP (not required) to PWCA , 703.499.4954 or alliance(at)

1st Thursday - The Gaia Theory  
House FinchWhen:Thursday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas
Speaker: Martin Ogle, Chief Naturalist, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

The Gaia Theory is a scientific way to view the Earth as a single living system. It is taught as Earth System Science in many universities, but sometimes still dismissed as New Age religion by some.

Join Martin Ogle to learn about this tantalizing idea as he explains, in layman's terms, the science, history and societal implications of Gaia Theory.

How do oxygen and methane persist in stable concentrations in the atmosphere of the Earth? How does Gaia Theory speak to global challenges ranging from climate change to energy use? And WHAT does it have to do with Prince William County??  
  Nokesville Christmas Bird Count

Dowy WoodpeckerDespite morning fog, flooded creeks and frozen ponds, it was a beautiful day with temperatures reaching the mid-40's by afternoon. Nearly all ponds were completely frozen all day and waterfowl sightings were few and far between.

Twenty-two people participated and together recorded 84 species and 36,709 individuals.

We saw Red-headed Woodpeckers at four locations - Merrimac Farm WMA, Cedar Run Wetland Bank, Foggy Bottom Wetland Bank and in a narrow tree line along Deepwood Lane.

Fauquier County sectors added three species to the list - Wilson's Snipe, Purple Finch and Loggerhead Shrike.

The Cedar Run Wetland Bank produced the count's only Northern Bobwhite and a lone Coot was spotted among a large flock of Mallards in a pond off Wright Lane in Nokesville.

Despite the many Wild Turkey tracks in the snow at Merrimac Farm, no actual birds were seen and the only one recorded was near Manassas Airport.

Other notable species include a variety of owls - Saw-whet, Screech, Barn, Barred and Great-horned - as well as a Merlin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Horned Larks, and American Pipit.

Click here to read more and view the bird list.