Margaret Watson Bird Club meeting

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Join the Margaret Watson Bird Club for an exciting presentation focusing on the research and conservation of loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus), a declining species of open, shrubby habitats.

Sergio Harding, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) biologist, will present the program Thursday, March 5 at the Barbara Rose Johns Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library meeting room. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m.

Those who are extremely lucky may have observed a loggerhead shrike sitting on a fence line, most likely along a mowed roadside and abutting agricultural fields. This bird hunts for insects, amphibians, small mammals, birds and reptiles and often impales them on sharp objects such as barbed wire or thorns, thus the nickname of “butcher bird.”

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Harding has worked as a Nongame Bird Conservation Biologist with the DGIF since 2005. He oversees various avian projects and coordinates with other agencies on bird conservation issues. He is also the Virginia coordinator of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and regularly participates in avian surveys. These have included breeding land bird surveys of Wildlife Management Areas, as well as surveys of bald eagles, peregrine falcons, golden-winged warblers, loggerhead shrikes and breeding marsh birds.

As Virginia’s state wildlife agency, DGIF is responsible for the management of all wildlife. As such, DGIF has an active and vibrant nongame bird conservation program.