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Spring Has Finally Hit Powhatan State Park

Spring is a Great Time for Birding

Dogwood

Dogwoods blooming are usually the first sign that spring has arrived in Virginia

Powhatan State Park is showing signs of spring. Dogwoods, wildflowers, song birds, frogs, salamanders, wild turkey, and bunnies are just a few of the flora and fauna that are appearing. There are some beautiful spring wildflowers in bloom on Gold Dust Trail including spring beauty, bloodroot, violets, and bluebells.

Red-tail Hawk

Spring is the perfect time to get outside to bird watch and hopefully see birds like
this Red-tailed Hawk

This is also a great time of year to get out birding. Here is a list of birds that were heard and seen recently: Red-tailed Hawk (including the rare leucistic one), Field Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Northern Cardinal, Common Yellowthroat, White-throated Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, Song Sparrow, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Bluebird, Pileated Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Carolina Chickadee, Eastern Phoebe, Louisiana Waterthrush, Common Grackle, Red-eyed Vireo, Turkey Vulture, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Kingbird, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Parula, and Downy Woodpecker. With spring migration, there will be more birds to view! Bring your binoculars and enjoy birding in the park.

Assembling bluebird boxes

Riverside School students assemble bluebird boxes to be housed
on a trail at Powhatan State Park

With the coming of spring comes love in the air. This is a great time to get involved in a citizen science project like bluebird nest box monitoring. Recently, a class of 18 students at Riverside School helped Powhatan State Park staff assemble 10 bluebird houses to create a trail at Powhatan State Park. The students did a great job constructing the boxes using the Virginia Bluebird Society nest box plans from their website. The students not only helped assemble them, but they also helped to fund the project. Other funding was given from the Virginia Bluebird Society and Powhatan State Park.

Bluebird

A bluebird sits on his bluebird box located on a new trail at Powhatan State Park

A stipulation in receiving the Virginia Bluebird Society funding is that the bluebird boxes will be monitored during the summer. Hanne Kallman, a James River Master Naturalist, has agreed to take charge of the monitoring project this summer, but Powhatan State Park and the Master Naturalists would like to invite anyone ages 16 and up to assist in the monitoring of the bluebird boxes at Powhatan State Park.

The experience gained through this activity will allow participants to monitor the 10 nest boxes this summer and additional boxes installed in the future at the Park, but also they will be able to properly install and monitor boxes in their own neighborhoods. Also, monitors will be able to accrue hours toward State Park amenities such as park passes, camping and cabin stays.

Volunteer monitoring a bluebird box

Volunteers are needed to help monitor bluebird boxes at the park

How to get involved in Bluebird Monitoring at Powhatan State Park:

We would love to have anyone ages 16 and up assist with bluebird monitoring. If you would like to volunteer, please email or call the park office at 804-598-7148.

The park is located in northern Powhatan County, 4616 Powhatan State Park Road, Powhatan, VA 23139 (click here for a Google map).

Drive Time: Drive Time: Northern Virginia, two hours; Richmond, 45 minutes; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, two and a half hours; Roanoke, three hours.


Published: 04/18/2014


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