"Protecting Wildlife Through Field Research, Education and Habitat Conservation For 24 Years"
Featured Photos, L to R, top: Cooper's Hawk by Julia Magill; Hawkwatch Platform by Shirley Devan. Bottom: Sharp-shinned Hawk by Steve Thornhill; Hawkwatcher Anna Stunkel by Steve Thornhill; "white" American Kestrel by Julia Magill .
November 2018
Your CVWO News from the Field

We've bade farewell to our Hawkwatch Intern/Educator, Julia Magill, and Monarch Biologist Michael Ferrara for the season. But their outstanding work is a big part of our 2018 success at the Kiptopeke Hawkwatch and Virginia's Eastern Shore. Read more below about their 2018 work for CVWO.

CVWO continues to pursue the latest technology for monitoring and recording wildlife migration. We purchased a tablet and other hardware to allow Anna Stunkel, our hawkwatcher, to record her tallies in real time at Dunkadoo. Y ou can see updates and daily counts, species composition and season summaries at the Hawkwatch here .

And CVWO completed installation of a MOTUS Wildlife Tracking Station at one of our survey sites – Craney Island in Portsmouth, VA just across the bay from Virginia's Eastern Shore. Read more about that below as well.

We need your support to carry on these efforts. Will you make a donation today? Many thanks.

And please visit us on the Hawkwatch platform at Kiptopeke State Park until November 30! We'd love to share the excitement of fall migration with you.

Brian Taber
CVWO President
Monarch Migration Film Shorts
Film shorts featuring interviews with CVWO biologists are beginning to emerge, with a Monarch Migration one minute short that is featured on CVWO's Instagram and Twitter, as well as a longer interview with Michael Ferrara. See photos from the day of filming here, and the full interview with Michael on CVWO's YouTube channel here.

Subscribe to CVWO's YouTube channel while you're there to receive notifications on future film posts! Raptor Migration is up next!
2018 Monarch Season Ends with 1,090 tagged Monarchs
CVWO's Monarch biologist Michael Ferrara tagged 1,090 Monarchs in six weeks at the tip of the Delmarva peninsula on Virginia's Eastern Shore. That’s a second all-time high (after last year) in 21 years. Four of CVWO's tagged monarchs were found in Mexico last year. Read more on CVWO's Butterfly Research Projects.

Many thanks, Michael!

Michael Ferrara releases tagged Monarch.
Still image from video by Collins Reagan of Reagan Studios.
Tagged Monarch on mistflower.
Photo by Michael Ferrara
Micheal in a sea of goldenrod ready to net Monarchs. Photo by Nancy Barnhart
Thanks to Julia Magill
Julia was our Hawkwatch Intern/Educator. Julia helped visitors learn about hawk migration, what to look for in the skies and explained the geographic phenomenon of the funneling effect of the DelMarVa peninsula. Julia always had her camera and big lens around her neck and provided quite a few stunning photos of migrating raptors.

Julia's photo of the white kestrel (below) "went viral" on CVWO's Facebook page with 470 shares reaching an audience of 53,758 people!

Read posts from Julia on CVWO's blog.
Julia used CVWO's life-size models of raptors to help visitors learn to ID birds in the skies. Photo by Nancy Barnhart
Julia describes why the Eastern Shore is a funnel for raptors and butterflies. Photo by Nancy Barnhart
Julia scanning the skies for raptors. Photo by Steve Thornhill
Raptor Migration Update
Julia Magill described the "white" American Kestrel this way: "Here is the beautiful leucistic American Kestrel that was observed in the area on November 1st and 2nd. It was a rare treat to see such a uniquely colored raptor and the CVWO staff was in awe of it and grateful for the opportunity to see it. The Eastern Shore is great for birds!" Photos on the left were taken by Julia.

As of November 12 CVWO's Hawkwatcher Anna Stunkel had tallied 17,878 raptors since September 1.

Leading the parade: American Kestrels at 3,570 followed closely by Osprey at 3,530.

There are still a couple of weeks left in the season; the kestrels are a bit behind the ten-year average of 3789 but have already exceeded 2017 number of 3353.

The ten-year average for Ospreys is 2647. This year’s total – 3,530 – so far has exceeded that by a good margin as well as exceeding last year’s total of 2,475.

Read more about the White Kestrel and Bald Eagle Record on CVWO's blog!
What's a MOTUS? And what does it do?
The Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory’s Waterbirds Team is excitedly proud to report that as of 8 November 2018 its Motus Wildlife Tracking System is completely installed and fully operational at Craney Island, Portsmouth, Virginia. Motus (Latin for ‘movement’) is a Bird Studies Canada research partnership with Acadia University and collaborating researchers and organizations such as CVWO.

The program uses radio telemetry to study the movement and behavior of birds, bats, and large insects that have been affixed with digitally-encoded radio transmitters that broadcast signals several times per minute. The system’s antennae are capable of detecting these signals up to 20 km away.

The Craney Island Motus station, Virginia’s eighth, becomes part of an international network of more than 350 Motus sites from Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut, Canada to southern Argentina and as far west as Vancouver Island, Canada. The recorded data “hits” will periodically be downloaded from a memory card then transmitted to Bird Studies Canada for researcher access.
CVWO’s participation in this project was enabled, in part, by a $1,000.00 Virginia Society of Ornithology Conservation Fund Grant. That amount supplemented funds from CVWO’s Ruth Beck Research Fund to purchase the system. CVWO is very grateful to the VSO for its financial assistance and, most especially, for the ongoing support of the Norfolk District Office of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Craney Island management and staff. Results from the Craney Island station will be reported as soon as the Waterbirds Team is made aware of them.

This project was brought to its successful fruition by Andy Hawkins and Dave Youker who devoted considerable time, physical effort and technical skill to the installation of the station and to ensuring it was functionally on line.

Photo above left: Andy Hawkins and Dave Youker work on installing the MOTUS antenna. Above right: MOTUS antenna is located on the Chesapeake Bay. All text and photos by Bill Williams.
Giving Tuesday Is November 27!
Giving Tuesday is the biggest day of giving globally. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Thank you for remembering CVWO this holiday season!
CVWO Has A New Website!
Visit and Share CVWO's New Website! You'll find information on raptor, butterfly, songbird and waterbird research as well as beautiful photos and rich stories from the field!

And don't forget to support our nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donation!
CVWO's Blog Is Hopping!
Read CVWO's Blog Stories!
Follow us on social media (links below) for updates and bookmark our blog. The photo above, by CVWO president Brian Taber, is of Julia Magill showing the identifying characteristics of the American Kestrel to a visiting school group on September 29, Outdoor Exploration day at Kiptopeke State Park.