April 2, 2020
Black Rail on marsh grass.

Rapid Assessment of Black Rails in South Florida

By Bryan Watts4/2/2020 In late February of this year, CCB dispatched a team of five biologists including Marie Pitts, Laura Duval, Chance Hines, Bart Paxton and […]
April 2, 2020
Christian Torres uses a dial caliper to measure the tarsus of a western sandpiper

Building Local Capacity in Panama

By Bryan Watts4/1/2020 For the fifth time in as many years, CCB biologists have traveled to Panama to train local biologists and volunteers on shorebird field […]
April 1, 2020
Social distancing is common within seabird colonies such as those of northern gannets

Social distancing in birds

By Bryan Watts 3/31/2020 One of many things that the Covid-19 pandemic will be remembered for is the introduction of the term “social distancing” to the […]
January 27, 2020
A sleepy, young male woodpecker ready to be placed in an artificial cavity after being translocated

Moving Woodpeckers 5

By Bryan Watts1/26/2020 Chance Hines and I arrived in cluster 13 of Piney Grove Preserve more than an hour before sunset.  We knew the roost cavity […]
January 23, 2020
Double-crested cormorant in the hand.

Counting Cormorants

By Bryan Watts 1/23/2020 The Center for Conservation Biology has joined forces with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission to estimate the number of cormorants that spend […]
January 23, 2020
Whimbrels and scores of other shorebirds that depend on mudflats along the northern coast of Brazil

Oil spill threatens shorebird Mecca

By Bryan Watts 1/22/2020 Since late August 2019 when the first large, black globs of crude oil began washing ashore along the coast of Brazil, the […]
January 21, 2020
Adult female peeks under a beam

Virginia peregrines produce big in 2019

By Bryan Watts 1/21/2020 By any standard 2019 was a good year for peregrine falcons in Virginia.  The breeding season was the most productive in the […]
September 30, 2019
Whimbrel AJK foraging near Santa Anna, Aruba.

Whimbrel AJK returns to Aruba

By Bryan Watts 9/30/19 Many North American residents flee their homes during the cold winter months to spend time in Aruba.  Due to its dry climate […]
September 30, 2019
David Whelan bands a young barn owl

Barn owl blues

By Bryan Watts 9/30/19 Few experiences take us back to the Halloweens of childhood like climbing up into a silo or hayloft at night and hearing […]
September 23, 2019
Group of red knots interspersed with spawning horseshoe crabs

CCB team spends fifth spring with red knots along South Atlantic Coast

By Bryan Watts 9/15/19 For the fifth spring season, Fletcher Smith led a field team working with red knots along the South Atlantic Coast.  The rufa […]
September 13, 2019

Hatching rates in Virginia red-cockaded woodpeckers

By Bryan Watts9/13/19 Woodpecker clutches are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.  Some years are all hat […]
September 13, 2019

There are Still Wizards: A film

By Bryan Watts 9/11/19 Dolphin ecologist turned film maker Jennifer Lewis is making a new film titled “There are Still Wizards” (visit the film’s IFP site […]
July 11, 2019
Ipswich sparrow with color bands

Assateague and Sable Islands – Bookends to Ipswich conservation

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247July 11, 2019 Sable Island, lying some 180 kilometers off the northeast coast of Nova Scotia, and Assateague Island, […]
July 9, 2019
Chance Hines uses a Pesola spring scale to weigh a nestling during the banding process.

Virginia woodpeckers have record year

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247July 6, 2019 Red-cockaded woodpeckers in Virginia had a record-breaking breeding season in 2019, taking another step along their […]
July 9, 2019
The double-crested cormorant is one of the great winners over the past 25 years in Virginia

Waterbird winners and losers – results of the 2018 survey

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247July 5, 2019 The Center for Conservation Biology has compiled the results of the 2018 colonial waterbird survey that […]
July 9, 2019
Civil War scene at Petersburg Battlefield showing scattered survivor trees.

Last of the survivor trees

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247July 4, 2019 They were what remained following the devastating land clearing that ran up to and through the […]
July 3, 2019

James River bald eagles reach symbolic milestone of 300 pairs

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247July 3, 2019 The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University […]
April 3, 2019
Hope on 26 August 2017 after arriving at Great Pond.

Farewell to Hope

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247April 3, 2019 Hope, the whimbrel that was tracked with a satellite transmitter and became a living representation of […]
April 2, 2019
Whimbrel in flight with transmitter antennae extending beyond the tail.

Seasonal variation in whimbrel mortality

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247April 2, 2019 An alarming percentage of the world’s shorebird species are declining.  Whimbrel populations using the Western Atlantic […]
April 2, 2019
Christmas Bird Count crew pose with a new eagle nest on the north end of Smith island

Beach-nesting eagles

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247April 2, 2019 Sometimes no matter how long you have worked with a species and no matter how wild […]
March 30, 2019
Marian Watts holds a recently-banded chick hatched on the Cobb Island Tower.

Virginia peregrines set record high in 2018

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247March 30, 2019 With 32 occupied territories, Virginia supported the largest breeding population of peregrine falcons ever known to […]
March 30, 2019
Mitchell Byrd with birthday cake in the CCB conference room in August of 2018.

Still flying at 90

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247March 29, 2019 Mitchell Byrd turned 90 in August of 2018, but in early March of 2019 he toed […]
January 17, 2019
Adult white ibis with a brood in Virginia.

White ibis population explodes in Virginia

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247January 17, 2019 Some species creep forward across the landscape.  They fortify their troops and slowly take ground with […]
January 15, 2019

Have you seen me?

By Bryan Watts | bdwatt@wm.edu | (757) 221-2247& Chance Hines | chhines@wm.edu | (757) 221-1696January 15, 2019 The Center for Conservation Biology is asking bird watchers […]