This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in the Important Bird Areas program, to learn some new skills, and make some field time really worthwhile. We have several members of Richmond Audubon signed up already and would like to have a few more. Reimbursement for some of your expenses is available. Since we have problems with listservs and attachments, the announcement follows here. Ellen Ackerman, President, Richmond Audubon Society LEARN HOW TO CONDUCT STANDARDIZED BIRD SURVEYS FOR THE VIRGINIA IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS PROGRAM The Virginia Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is offering two spring training workshops for volunteers to learn how to conduct point counts (a standardized bird survey technique) on potential or recognized IBAs in Virginia. This simple survey technique allows us to estimate abundance of bird populations as well as species diversity. Understanding changes in bird abundance over time is very important as it allows us to track the health of bird populations and then target conservation efforts where they will have the greatest impact. There is currently a great need to acquire abundance information in many areas that are, or have the potential to become, IBAs. You can help with this important effort by becoming Point Count Certified for the Virginia IBA Program. After just one certification workshop, you can continue to contribute valuable information to the IBA Program for a lifetime. The data you provide will be used to assess which areas should become IBAs, determine which populations are in the most trouble, pinpoint where we should direct our conservation efforts, and track the impact (positive or negative) of our conservation activities on bird populations. At each workshop participants will learn: The value of point counts and how we use the information to track bird population trends How to use GPS units to determine and then locate survey points How to conduct point counts and then practice these new skills in the field The workshops will be held in two beautiful locations in eastern and western Virginia: April 22 (Earth Day!), 10am â 2pm: Manassas National Battlefield Park, a recognized IBA May 5 (1st day of VSO annual meeting), 11am â 3pm: Breaks Interstate Park, a potential IBA We already have, and will continue to have, many opportunities for certified volunteers to contribute to the IBA Program with their new skills. Registration is limited to 20 so sign up now to ensure yourself a spot! Lunch will be provided at each workshop for a small fee of $12/person. The workshop will supply GPS units and compasses during the training, but if participants have them, they are encouraged to bring their own to the workhop. Contact either Ellen Ackerman, your Chapter Workshop Coordinator at eackerma@xxxxxxx or 804-262-7040, or Aimee Weldon â aweldon@xxxxxxxxxxx or 804-752-5850, the IBA coordinator â to register or for more information.