October 3, 2023

The resilient eagles of Jamestown

By: Bryan Watts10/1/23 We sat together in silence as if in a Quaker meeting.  He perched on a limb next to a large nest and me […]
October 3, 2023

Yellow-crowned night-herons thrive along the Lafayette River

By: Bryan Watts9/29/23 The yellow-crowned night-heron has found its sweet spot along the Lafayette River in Norfolk, VA.  The species expanded its breeding range north along […]
October 3, 2023

Laughing gulls continue to lose ground

By: Bryan Watts9/29/23 Along the Atlantic coast there are few sounds that mark the coming of spring as much as the raucous calls of laughing gulls.  […]
September 29, 2023

Woodpecker recovery within Piney Grove Preserve: A retrospective

By: Bryan Watts9/29/2023 By the early 1990s, the conservation community had reached a critical point of decision about the future of the red-cockaded woodpecker in Virginia.  […]
July 8, 2023
Marian with twin parula warblers

Marian Watts receives Distinguished Service Award

By: Bryan Watts7/6/2023 There was a time when The Center was new and Marian was there.  Marian was there when The Center was just an idea, […]
July 8, 2023
Mitchell Byrd holds a captive-reared peregrine falcon in the early 1990s

Peregrine Hacking Program Stands Down within Shenandoah National Park

By: Bryan Watts7/4/2023 Shenandoah National Park has championed the reintroduction of peregrine falcons back into their historic breeding range in the mountains of Virginia.  Since 1989, […]
July 8, 2023
Osprey brood on the upper James River near Hopewell, Virginia.

A tale of two bays: Osprey fortunes diverge

By: Bryan Watts7/5/2023 Over the past few years, I have received questions from homeowners, watermen and keen observers around the lower Chesapeake Bay about osprey.  Waterfront […]
July 8, 2023
Menhaden added to an osprey nest on Mobjack Bay.

Recent literature published by CCB

By: Bryan Watts6/28/2023 In recent months CCB biologists have published several papers in academic journals.  These articles report on recent findings and are intended to spread […]
June 1, 2023
CCB field technician, Riley Strasbaugh, trudges through a black needlerush marsh

CCB and Saltmarsh Bird Surveys

By: Chance Hines5/30/2023 Center for Conservation Biology researchers have a long history of trudging through coastal marshes studying a variety of bird taxa including shorebirds, wading […]
March 29, 2023
A frozen marsh on the eastern shore of Virginia.

Saltmarsh Sparrows Surviving Virginia’s Winter Weather

By: Chance Hines3/29/23 For the sparrows of the marsh, the worst of winter has passed. In Virginia, the 2022-2023 winter was relatively warm, but temperatures did […]
March 29, 2023
Female peregrine falcon turns eggs on bridge.

Divergence in Virginia Peregrines

By: Bryan Watts3/27/23 Following the complete extirpation of peregrine falcons in eastern North America during the DDT era, the eastern peregrine recovery team made the bold […]
March 29, 2023
Cover art for Eastern Black Rail Management Guidance

Management Guidance for Eastern Black Rail

By: Bryan Watts3/27/23 The eastern black rail has experienced a dramatic decline including both a 450-kilometer contraction of the northern range limit and a hollowing out […]
March 29, 2023
Mitchell Byrd conducting surveys in 1948 as an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech.

The Gathering

By: Bryan Watts3/27/23 As Covid-19 began to wane during the summer of 2022 and as Dr. Byrd (Chancellor Professor Emeritus) celebrated his 94th birthday we felt […]
March 21, 2023
A tray of salt marsh Henslow’s sparrow specimens.

Henslow’s Lament

By: Bryan Watts3/20/23 A Carolina wren sings from the edge of myrtle with a heart as big as a day moon.  The wind has dropped out […]
January 11, 2023
CCB staff inspecting an RCW cavity with a telescoping pole

RCW Cavity Creation Benefits the Surrounding Piney Grove Animal Community

By: Chance Hines1/9/23 During late autumn, a biologist from The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) approaches a cavity created by a red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) at Piney […]
January 11, 2023
A bald eagle nest just off the Poropotank River in Virginia in 2003.

Chesapeake Eagles Shift Behavior

By: Bryan Watts1/11/23 We often think of animal behaviors as static species traits.  While some behaviors such as courtship rituals may be stylized and relatively robust […]
January 11, 2023
Breeding female on the Eltham Bridge.

Virginia peregrine population continues to climb

By: Bryan Watts1/10/23 The Virginia breeding population of peregrine falcons continued its climb in 2022 with a modern record of 34 known breeding pairs.  The record […]
January 10, 2023
The song sparrow is one of the most polytypic bird species in North America

Atlantic song sparrow declines

By: Bryan Watts1/10/23 The song sparrow is likely the most polytypic species in North America if not the world.  More than 50 subspecies have been proposed […]
January 9, 2023
Argentina mixed crew

Working Together

By: Bryan Watts1/6/2023 Our nation stands as a house divided against itself.  Somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of common purpose.  We increasingly […]
October 6, 2022
Whimbrel fitted with transmitter.

Tracking Whimbrel

By: Bryan Watts10/5/22 CCB has formed a collaborative with Dominion Energy and The Nature Conservancy to better understand the risks posed by offshore wind facilities to […]
October 6, 2022
A trail camera photograph of a female American black duck with three ducklings

Trail Cameras Capture Bayside Birdlife

By: Chance Hines10/4/2022 The bayside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore supports some of the most extensive saltmarsh habitat in the state and has been designated as an […]
October 6, 2022
A gray catbird gleans a ripe fruit from a viburnum bush

Ripening Fruits Fuel Migrating Songbirds

By: Chance Hines10/4/2022 Autumn approaches and, sensing this seasonal shift, migratory songbirds throughout our region begin making their way towards wintering destinations as far away as […]
October 6, 2022
Eastern black rail in marsh.

Chasing Black Rails

By: Bryan Watts10/4/22 It is 2:30 on an April night in 1993 and I am standing on the edge of the Guinea marshes along the western […]
September 30, 2022

Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers at Peak Population Size in Virginia

By Chance Hines9/30/2022 The red-cockaded woodpecker has been classified as endangered since 1970 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Virginia supports the northern-most […]