April 4, 2022
An Ipswich sparrow sporting a nano-tag at Assateague National Seashore.

Tracking reveals sexual differences in Ipswich sparrow winter and spring ecology

By: Chance Hines4/4/22 Spring is in the air and many of our wintering birds are preparing for their annual trip north after enduring the bitterness of […]
April 2, 2022
Chuck-will’s-widow on nest in Virginia.

Nightjar Network to Begin Exciting New Chapter

By: Bryan Watts4/1/2022 The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) and the Maine Natural History Observatory (MNHO) have entered into an agreement to transition the operations of […]
January 14, 2022
Cover of the CCB 2021 Annual Report.

Baselines and Benchmarks

By Bryan Watts1/14/2022 Our perception of the natural world around us is shaped by first-hand experience.  But our world is rapidly changing and through generation upon […]
January 13, 2022
Map of the annual cycle for whimbrels from the Mackenzie Delta breeding population.

The annual cycle of whimbrels

By Bryan Watts1/13/2022 When Barry Truitt and I first established and flew aerial transects across the seaside of the lower Delmarva to survey staging whimbrels in […]
January 13, 2022
Adult with young in colony near Hopewell, Virginia

Virginia Cormorants Continue Historic Rise

By Bryan Watts1/13/2022 The double-crested cormorant is a widespread species throughout North America with significant breeding populations in the Northeast, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  […]
January 12, 2022
Peregrine brood looks out over the Luckstone quarry in Ashburn, Virginia

Descended from Royalty

By Bryan Watts1/12/2022 When Alan Williams and I repelled down a quarry wall in Ashburn, Virginia to band a brood of peregrines, neither of us had […]
January 12, 2022

Echoes of the Dough Birds

By: Bryan WattsOriginal Publication Date: 9/29/2014Republished by request: 1/12/2022 Like a summer carnival coming to a Midwestern town, wherever Eskimo Curlew went their arrival was the […]
October 4, 2021
An eastern black rail within an inland wetland.

NEW PAPER: Breeding phenology of the eastern black rail

By Bryan Watts10/2/2021 Eastern black rails were listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act on 8 October 2020 and are listed as endangered in six […]
October 4, 2021
An adult whimbrel forages for fiddler crabs along the edge of a tide gut

CCB surveys whimbrels along the Delmarva Peninsula in fall

By Bryan Watts10/3/2021 Whimbrel populations (Hudson Bay, Mackenzie River) that utilize the Western Atlantic Flyway are believed to be declining by 4% annually since at least […]
October 4, 2021
Adult male peregrine falcon from the Mills Godwin Bridge

2021 Peregrine Season

By Bryan Watts10/4/2021 The 2021 breeding season was mixed for peregrine falcons in Virginia.  The population produced 68 young falcons.  This is the highest number of […]
October 4, 2021
Bryan Watts with an adult female bald eagle ready for release.

Trapping eagles

By Bryan Watts10/1/2021 Like fly fishing, catching free-flying eagles is a mental game of solving puzzles and mastering technique.  You have to learn the seasonality of […]
October 1, 2021
Magnificent Frigatebird was one of dozens of waterbirds surveyed along the Pacific coast of Panama

Flying into the “Bay of the Dead”

By Bryan Watts10/1/2021 After landing on an unmanned airstrip and filling the tanks with three jerry cans of 100 LL, we had the evening to review […]
July 14, 2021
A brood of bald eagles in 2004 on a nest along Chippokes Creek

60 years of bald eagle nesting data for the James River

By: Bryan Watts7/8/2021 On 17 January 1962, Harold Peters and Robert Bain took off from Byrd Field to survey for eagle nests along the James River.  […]
July 13, 2021
A lady hunter emerges from a shooting swamp on Guadeloupe with “bags” of shorebirds

Rogue states and the future of shorebird populations

By: Bryan Watts7/7/2021 One of the greatest challenges in managing migratory birds is that they exist within a legal quandary.  As a recognized principle of international […]
July 13, 2021
Osprey with menhaden

Regulating Bunker – with osprey

By: Bryan Watts7/2/2021 Bunker or Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) have supported the largest commercial fishery by weight along the Atlantic Coast for more than a century.  […]
July 12, 2021
Stylized map of migration pathways for Mackenzie Delta and Hudson Bay whimbrel populations

NEW PAPER: Whimbrel populations differ in trans-Atlantic pathways and cyclone encounters

By: Bryan Watts7/1/2021 For centuries bird people sat along the shoreline during the fall and watched as birds left the coast, flying directly out to the […]
June 23, 2021
A clapper rail pops his head up within the spartina

Coming Home – To the Marshes

By Bryan Watts6/22/2021 It is that time of year when the days come on fast.  But by the time the sun gathers its strength I have […]
April 5, 2021
Whimbrel staging along the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia

Whimbrels Staging along Delmarva Continue Decline

By: Bryan Watts4/5/21 The number of whimbrels staging along the Delmarva Peninsula during spring migration continues to decline.  Back in 1994, Bryan Watts and Barry Truitt […]
April 4, 2021
Laura Duval uses an optical level to shoot elevations within a FL

Surveying for Black Rail Habitat

By: Bryan Watts4/2/2021 The eastern black rail continues its decline along the Atlantic Coast.  Birds are being systematically excluded from their traditional salt marshes by advancing […]
March 31, 2021
70Z young at banding age.

The Devil Bird’s Sister

By: Bryan Watts3/31/2021 Around 24 April, 2008 four peregrine eggs were hatched on the Benjamin Harrison Bridge near Hopewell, Virginia.  The young included three females and […]
March 30, 2021
A golden eagle fitted with a GSM transmitter in Highland County, Virginia.

Recent Literature from CCB

By: Bryan Watts3/30/2021 PEREGRINE VS RED KNOT As part of the peregrine falcon restoration program we introduced peregrines from Virginia north to New Jersey within the […]
March 23, 2021
Bald eagle survey crew -AKA The A-Team

The A-Team Signs Off

By Bryan Watts3/23/2021 We all knew it would happen.  That one morning we would wake up as old men – time having passed over us like […]
January 11, 2021
Barry Truitt, Laura Chamberlin and Alex Wilke talk shorebirds on a trip out to Smith Island

30th anniversary for MD-VA Barrier Islands Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve

By: Bryan Watts1/11/2021 It was a beautiful fall day with glassy water as Alex Wilke (Coastal Scientist, The Nature Conservancy), Laura Chamberlin (Assistant Director for North […]
January 11, 2021
Eastern black rail.

Eastern black rail elevated to Threatened status

By: Bryan Watts1/8/2021 On November 9, 2020 the eastern black rail was formally listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the Department of Interior […]