Date: 6/21/17 5:31 pm
From: Stephen Johnson via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] summer updates on breeding birds, Loudoun County

Happy Solstice, Virginia birders!!

Today I was able to upgrade a few breeding statuses in Loudoun County, in the Arcola SE block, one of the priority blocks for the second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas. Here are the upgrades.

Wild Turkey - at least one adult and 5+ small poults together in a field - "recently fledged young" fully confirms this as a breeder in the block.
Eastern Phoebe - a pair foraging together near Elklick Run (stream). "Pair in suitable habitat" counts as "Probable" breeding status.
White-eyed Vireo - male singing in the same location for more than 7 days, which ranks this species as "Probable".
American Goldfinch - male-female pair, female was "carrying nesting material" - confirmed breeding

The W-E Vireos here appear to be a repeat of my effort last year, in another priority block, Herndon SE. I went back at least 5-6 times during breeding season last year, and almost always found the bird singing. But nothing more - no carrying nesting material, no carrying food, no nest, no feeding young, etc.

We all have our frustration birds that we can never seem to find - I guess for Atlas surveying, we also have our bugaboo breeding birds. But it was rewarding to confirm the Turkeys!!

To submit reports for the Atlas, go to this web site:
http://ebird.org/ebird/atlasva/submit
When you enter a species there, click where it says "Add Breeding Code or Details". Look at the options, and pick the highest one on the list that applies. If the bird was simply in a reasonable habitat and nothing else, that would be "In Appropriate Habitat". It's not hard, give it a try.

For more information about the Atlas, and guidance for the breeding codes and surveying methods in general:
http://amjv.org/index.php/vabba2/about
http://ebird.org/content/atlasva/

Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia

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