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 […]
January 6, 2021
Brown pelicans, northern gannets and various gulls follow a commercial boat

Seabirds and fish along the coast of North Carolina

By: Bryan Watts1/6/2021 The Center for Conservation Biology joined with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to estimate the number of cormorants and other seabirds that […]
January 5, 2021
CCB 2020 Annual Report

Conservation Champions

By: Bryan Watts1/5/21 Conservation is an ethic – the purposeful consideration of the welfare of other species in our daily decisions and actions, a life path […]
January 4, 2021
Ned helping on a winter survey on the Virginia Barrier Islands.

Ned Brinkley

By Bryan Watts1/4/2021 On 22 November 2020, Edward S. “Ned” Brinkley died unexpectedly on a mountainside in southern Ecuador in search of the endangered Jocotoco antpitta […]
October 6, 2020
Don Schwab, Rick Barnett  and Brian VanEerden feed a cricket to a woodpecker

From recipient population to donor population in only 16 years

By Bryan Watts10/06/2020 In only 16 years from 2001 to 2017, the Piney Grove Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy in Sussex County, has shifted from […]
October 6, 2020
Marian Watts during the Covid-19 pandemic holds a peregrine falcon

2020: Another good production year for Virginia peregrines

By Bryan Watts10/05/2020 Despite the difficulties of working the breeding sites during the global pandemic, CCB was able to complete the 2020 spring field season and […]