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A Birder's Guide to Virginia

A Birder's Guide to Virginia

David Johnston (compiler)

Published May 1997 and reprinted in 1999.

Virginia offers birders a wide range of habitats and a large selection of birds, with 390 regularly-occurring species. This new ABA Birdfinding Guide is divided into six major regions: Eastern Shore, Coastal Plain, Northern, Central, Southern Piedmont, and Southern Mountains and Valleys. Over 70 major sites are described, ranging from the city parks of Alexandria and Arlington - which provide convenient birding interludes for visitors to Washington, DC to the remote back roads and reservoirs of Southern Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Special attention is given to the major birding and tourist destinations: the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and popular Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park.

Dozens of members of the Virginia Society of Ornithology were involved in the choice of birding sites and in the preparation of the birding instructions. In all, over 70 major sites are included, with over 47 maps showing access, trails, and other major features. Each site description includes access and birding directions, habitat descriptions, and information about seasonal bird distribution.

Some of the more interesting birds of the state include local winter visitors or residents from the north (Great Cormorant, Eurasian Wigeon, Rough-legged Hawk, and Purple Sandpiper); uncommon but findable summer residents (Mississippi Kite, Black and King Rails, Brown Pelican, and Swainson's Warbler); uncommon but regular transients (Lesser Black-backed Gull and Northern Saw-whet Owl), and common breeding songbirds with a southern character (Acadian Flycatcher, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Yellow-throated and Prothonotary Warblers, and Summer Tanager).

Includes an annotated checklist covering 425 species, which replaces the usual bar-graph section. Other useful features include special sections on pelagic birding opportunities, hawkwatching sites, and a Specialties section. Included also are lists of Virginia's butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, with notes on the status of each species. 288 pages.

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