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June 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, June 13, 2024
TIME: 6:00 p.m. Potluck Dinner, Meeting and program will begin at 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

POTLUCK DINNER: Please bring a dish to share. It will be helpful to have your name on all serving utensils and dishes. Iced Tea, Lemonade and water will be provided. Important Note: Park View Mennonite Church is a Nut-free Facility. Please be certain that your food does not contain nuts. Compostable plates, cups, napkins and utensils will also be provided, but if you want to be even more green, bring your own reusable plates, cups and/or utensils.

PROGRAM:  “Butterfly Journeys, Near & Far” by Mark Adams

The program will feature many of Mark’s photographs from Peru, Colombia, Ghana, Thailand, and Virginia, and will explore and compare the numerous spectacular butterflies that inhabit these varied ecosystems.

Mark Adams is a professional astronomer, recently retired, who led the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Science Communications Office for more than a decade. Mark was born in Baltimore and was raised in Maryland and Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. in astronomy from the Pennsylvania State University, then earned his Ph.D., also in astronomy, at the University of Arizona. He was the Assistant Director for West Texas Operations for the University of Texas–McDonald Observatory for a decade prior to his January 2004 move to Charlottesville.

May 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, May 9, 2024
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  “Birds of England and Scotland” by Dr. Marshall Faintich
In addition to the historical and cultural value of visiting the United Kingdom, many Eurasian bird species can be seen there. Dr. Faintich has made seven trips to England/Scotland between April 2008 and May 2017. This presentation covers bird species that can be seen in suburban London and at the London Wetlands Centre, as well as in the Scottish highlands. His UK bird list includes 101 species.

Dr. Faintich is a past birding activity manager for the Rockfish Valley Trail and the author of “A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Wintergreen.”  His wildlife photos have appeared in newspapers, magazines, websites, government reports and presentations, and on wildlife and birding trail signs in Virginia and Maryland. His own website contains more than 8,000 of his wildlife photos, and gets about 3 million hits per year from visitors in more than 80 countries around the world. 

His work history includes satellite system studies, astrodynamics, remote sensing, digital cartography, and digital information analysis. He was a member of several NASA working groups, and is a past National Director of the American Cartographic Association. He is the author of more than sixty technical papers, several magazine articles, and two books.

April 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, April 11, 2024
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  “Birding and Much More in Panama” by Dave Wendelken

Two Keel-billed Toucans photographed by Dave from the observation deck of the Canopy Tower in Panama.

Drawn by the glowing reviews he had read of two Panamian ecolodges, Dave visited them for two weeks in 2011. He returned for another two weeks the next year and again in 2022, while adding a third week and another lodge that year. In this program he will share the beauty and diversity of the birds and other animals and insects he has photographed there, and explain why a visit to Panama should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already. He will provide tips for travelers and a look at three of the county’s premier birding locations.

Dave has a life-long interest in natural history and conservation photography. He was already birding when he got the two-volume Audubon guide to the birds of Eastern and Central America for his ninth birthday and read it cover to cover. He taught journalism at JMU for 40 years with an emphasis on writing, editing, and design. For the past two decades he has traveled throughout the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America drawn by the region’s amazing biodiversity. He contributes regularly to eBird and iNaturalist. He designed and co-edited the recent Birds of Rockingham County Virginia.

March 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, March 14, 2024
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  “Attracting Birds With Water” by Bob Schamerhorn

Birds, like all other animals, prefer environments that meet ALL their basic survival needs: food, shelter and water. They depend on water for hydration, to maintain body temperature, and to condition their feathers for flight. Having a consistent, reliable, clean running water source in a garden will attract a greater assortment of birds than ever before. Each season throughout the year brings varying species and changed plumages. In one Richmond backyard alone, a single birdbath HAS ATTRACTED OVER 80 DIFFERENT SPECIES! This highly-favored multimedia program presents proof of that diversity. Enjoy the view as the birds drink, bath and splash in the simple water feature.  Includes informative stories from thousands of hours of observation, displayed with award winning photography, supplemented with bird songs, and HD video clips. The program also reveals the bird fountain’s simple design and a parts list, plus demonstrates step-by-step how to install one yourself. Come see how a little water can greatly improve both your garden and your enjoyment of nature, right in your own backyard.

Bob Schamerhorn is a three time National Award Winning Nature Photographer from Richmond, VA. Bob’s photography has recently received three National Awards, along with numerous other recognitions from juried art shows and photography contests. His fine art nature photography is regularly exhibited at art festivals throughout the mid-Atlantic and shared through education programs at various clubs. Bob’s hope is to educate and inspire the conservation of nature, by capturing and sharing its beauty. He considers himself, “An enthusiast, not an expert!”

Bob will bring some of his notecards and bird bath instruction booklets which will be available for purchase with cash or credit card. Feel free to preview some of Bob’s amazing work at his website; iphotobirds.com

February 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, February 8, 2024
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  “Butterfly Journeys, Near & Far” presented by Mark Adams

Mark Adams will present “Butterfly Journeys, Near & Far.”  His presentation will explore and compare the numerous spectacular butterflies that inhabit these varied ecosystems and feature many of Mark’s photographs from Peru, Colombia, Ghana, Thailand, and Virginia. This presentation is a nice follow-up to our January program that focused on improving our backyard habitats for birds and pollinators. Come join us and get ready for spring!

Mark Adams is a professional astronomer, recently retired, who led the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Science Communications Office for more than a decade. He was the Assistant Director for West Texas Operations for the University of Texas–McDonald Observatory for a decade prior to his January 2004 move to Charlottesville.

January 2024 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, January 11, 2024
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  “Gardening for Birds and Wildlife” presented by Robyn Puffenbarger

By making our yards more bird, pollinator, and wildlife friendly, we encourage other creatures to linger in our spaces.  Just a few additions can make your backyard into an interesting, welcoming environment for birds.  Dr Puffenbarger will talk about the ecosystem and building your plant community, whether you have sun or shade, a patio or acres to enjoy. Following some of Robyn’s suggestions just might help you add some new birds to your personal Backyard List!

Dr Robyn Puffenbarger is professor and chair of the Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences at Bridgewater College. She and her husband, Bill Benish birdwatch in the yard and all over the world. Robyn has been a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener since 2011 and is contributor to the VPM PBS program VA Home Grown. 

December 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, December 14, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fireplace Room, Park View Mennonite Church (Note change in location)

PROGRAM:  “Feathers and Plumage” presented by John Spahr

This program will explore the structure and function of feathers with images and illustrations. It will also highlight some amazing plumage adornments of birds (e.g. hummingbirds, birds of paradise), some of which are truly “eye candy.”

John is a retired physician (pathologist) with a life-long interest in birds and conservation. For the last 10 years he’s been doing field research on Eastern Screech-Owls in Highland County, where he and Patti Reum are also monitoring 60+ American Kestrel nest boxes. Since receiving his banding permit a few years ago, John has banded more than 350 kestrels (mostly nestlings) and over 40 screech owls.”  John is the regional eBird reviewer for Rockingham, Rockbridge, Augusta, Bath and Highland counties.

November 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, November 9, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  Creating a Bird Friendly Environment at Home

Scott Karr’s presentation, “Creating a Bird Friendly Environment at Home”, focuses on how we can support birds through offering food, water, and shelter. He will talk about the different kinds of food and how to look for quality, the variety of feeders and their respective advantages, and the kinds of boxes that can attract nesting pairs of birds to your yard.  He will also provide guidance on how to tackle the most common frustrations associated with feeding the birds. Scott is the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Charlottesville and serves on the Board of Ivy Creek Natural Area and River View Farm, an important natural, historical, and cultural site near his store.

October 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, October 12, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  The Second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas: a bird conservation tool for the 21st century

Sergio Harding has worked as a Nongame Bird Conservation Biologist with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) since 2005.  He oversees various avian projects and coordinates with other agencies on bird conservation issues. The 2nd Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is among the largest volunteer-based avian survey projects to take place in Virginia, with close to 1,500 people having contributed data between 2016 and 2020.  Those data are currently being analyzed and will be published as a publicly-accessible website in the fall of 2025.  This presentation will introduce you to the Atlas, share some preliminary results, provide a peek at some of the forthcoming Atlas products, and discuss how the Atlas will contribute to bird conservation in Virginia by DWR and our partners.

September 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, September 14, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  Trip to the Galapagos Islands, presented by club member Linda Miller. She will share photos of birds and other wildlife they observed.

June 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, June 8, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM:  Birding Rockingham County and Beyond, June 2019-May 2023, with Diane Lepkowski and Greg Moyers

Join birders/ photographers Diane Lepkowski and Greg Moyers as they share photos, adventures, and experiences of June 2019 through May 2023.  The presentation will feature local area birding and include a few adventures outside the Valley.  Diane and Greg will share not just photos but also their birding enthusiasm, along with site-specific highlights to help new birders and/or birders new to the locale enjoy and appreciate the birds that grace our area.

Diane is RBC’s Vice President of Field Trips, Vice President (and President-elect) of The Virginia Society of Ornithology and teaches birding classes for James Madison University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.   She has offered birding presentations to organizations including the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Massanutten Regional Library.

Greg is an avid birder, a long-time RBC member, and a regular field trip leader.   Greg keeps especially detailed records and was instrumental in editing “Birds of Rockingham County, 2nd Edition.”   His extensive work on the species accounts included mining all historical Goldfinch Gazettes for sighting reports that were unavailable elsewhere. 

May 2023 Meeting

DATE: THURSDAY, May 11, 2023
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Fellowship Hall, Park View Mennonite Church

PROGRAM: “Eagles in Virginia” presented by Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper will present information on Bald and Golden Eagle populations in Virginia, including status, identification, ecology, and recent research.

Jeff is a Wildlife Biologist for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and coordinates avian research, management, and conservation programs for the Department focusing on eagles and raptors.