Newsletter Archive




April 2009

April Meeting

 The Handlan Chapter of the Brooks Bird Club will meet this coming Monday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the South Charleston Public Library.  There will be an executive committee meeting at 6:00.  Jay Martin, a biologist with the Monongahela National Forest, will present a program about Northern Goshawks.  WV is on the southern end of the nesting range of this fierce raptor.  Jay will talk about the natural history of goshawks, and he will explain how individuals can help with a volunteer effort to discover nesting goshawks in WV. 


Clay Center Bird Talk

Master Naturalist Ron McLaughlin, and Ron and Wendy Perrone of Three Rivers Avian Center, will combine forces to present a program about Peregrine Falcons.  This is part of the Clay Center's free noon lecture series.  It will begin at 12:15 on Wed., May 13, in the art gallery.  Ron M. will discuss the natural history of peregrines; Ron P. will show off and talk about a live peregrine; and then Wendy will bring people up to date about what is happening with the peregrine hacking program in the New River Gorge (there have been some exciting recent developments).


Upcoming Spring Outings

Spring is moving quickly towards its peak display, and there are several outings scheduled to take full advantage of this.  On Sat., April 25, the Kanawha State Forest Nature Walks will take place.  There are 13 different guided walks available.  Several feature wildflowers, but there will also be beginning birds and advanced birds, nature photography, medicinal plants and mushrooms, a road tour of the park for those not able to walk well, and a history-themed walk about mining coal in WV.  There will be three walks featuring hands-on opportunities that are for all ages, and kids will find them especially attractive:  aquatics (catching things in Davis Creek), insects, and general ecology and herpetology (including looking for salamanders).  Meet at 9:00 a.m. for registration at the swimming pool parking lot.  The $5 charge for adults supports the KSF Foundation, and the walks will begin about 9:30.

Russ Young will lead a bird walk at the Spring Hill Cemetary in Charleston on Sunday, May 3.  This will be getting into the prime window of songbird migration.  Meet Russ at daybreak at the cemetary office, and then he will also meet later risers at 8:00 a.m. at the same spot.  For further information, contact Russ at 925-5668.

We will have our annual Handlan Century Count on Sat., May 9.  The goal is to collectively find over 100 species on that day.  Unlike the Christmas Bird Count, where we work within a relatively small, defined circle, you are welcome to observe and count birds anywhere in the greater Kanawha Valley area, and along the Ohio River from Greenbottom WMA to McClintic WMA.  You can count at feeders and you can go out into the forests and fields and wetlands.  This is great birding practice, because it is the peak of the migratory window.  Many of you have regular territories that you cover each year.  If anyone would like to be part of one of the birding groups, contact me (Jim Waggy) by e-mail, or at 925-6379.  And please send me your species list as soon as possible after the day, so that we can see how many species we have collectively found. 


Author of Last Child in the Woods coming to Charleston

Richard Louv, the author of the acclaimed book, Last Child in the Woods, will be speaking in Charleston on Sunday, April 26th, at 2:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the Kanawha Blvd.  Louv has coined the phrase "nature deficit disorder," to describe how modern children have increasingly limited interactions with the natural world.  He argues persuasively that this is bad for children, bad for society, and bad for nature.


Check out Handlan Website

Webmaster Jim Smith continues to add new information, links, and photos to our Handlan website:  One recent addition is a copy of a short but informative article originally published in the birding jounal The Auk that tells about the life of eminent WV birder Geoge Hall, who authored WV Birds and coedited the WV Breeding Bird Atlas.


Garden Festival

There is a free garden festival at the Cultural Center this Saturday morning, April 18, with speakers and displays.  For details, go to

See you Monday!




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