Monday, February 25, 2013

Episode 150 (2-25-13): Winter Birds of the Chesapeake Bay

Click to listen to episode (2:30).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 25, 2013.

This week, we feature a series of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 35 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of animals these six creatures are, and what they have in common.  And here’s a hint: if you think cold, you’re warm!

SOUNDS.


If you guessed all birds, you’re right!  The sounds, in order, were from the Horned Grebe, Dunlin, American Coot, Hooded Merganser, Tundra Swan, and Snow Goose.  And one characteristic they share is that they are winter residents around Chesapeake Bay area waters.  According to Life in the Chesapeake Bay, by Alice and Robert Lippson, some 22 bird species are commonly found in winter around the Bay but are uncommon or not present at all during summer.  And a similar number of Bay-area bird species are just the opposite—rare in winter but common in warmer months.  So as spring arrives, the first of two yearly feathered comings-and-goings will start to fill the skies over Virginia’s coastal waters.  Thanks to the Lang Elliott and NatureSound Studio for permission to use the grebe, dunlin, coot, and merganser sounds, and to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the swan and Snow Goose sounds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 

Here are photos of some of the birds heard in this week’s episode.  Photos were taken from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s “Birds” Web page at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/fieldguide/categories/category/birds, accessed 2/25/13.


American Coot
Hooded Merganser
Tundra Swan






Snow Goose




Acknowledgments: The sounds of Horned Grebe, Dunlin, American Coot, and Hooded Merganser were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at http://www.langelliott.com/ and the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/ (as of 2/25/13).  The sounds of Tundra Swan and Snow Goose were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Sound Clips” Web site (public domain sounds) at http://www.fws.gov/video/sound.htm, accessed 2/25/13.

Sources:
Information on birds inhabiting the Chesapeake Bay was taken from Life in the Chesapeake Bay, by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) (see pp. 307-308 for the seasonal occurrence of bird species around the Bay); and from the Chesapeake Bay Program’s “Birds” Web site, noted above (videos of some Bay birds are also available at that site).

More information about Virginia birds is available from the Virginia Society of Ornithology at www.virginiabirds.net; and from Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “Bird Guide” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search, and “Birds of North America Online” at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (both Cornell sites include photos, distribution maps, recordings of calls, and ecological information on birds throughout the Western Hemisphere; a subscription is required to use the “Birds of North America Online” site).



Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Episode 149 (2-18-13): George Washington, Walter Johnson, and the Rappahannock River

Audio and transcript removed 2-18-16.

This episode was repeated/revised in Episode 304, Week of 2-22-16; please click here for that episode.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Episode 148 (2-11-13): A Frog Medley


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 11, 2013.

This week, we feature a series of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds, and see if you can guess what animals are making this variety of clucks, peeps, trills, and croaks.  And here’s a hint: Once Groundhog Day passes, Virginia’s waters start jumping with these creatures.

SOUND.
If you guessed frogs or toads, you’re right!  Those were the calls of nine frogs and two toads, part of Virginia’s 27 native species of these two groups of amphibians.  As early as February in the Commonwealth, some species—like the Wood Frog and Spring Peeper—move from overwintering habitats to temporary pools or other wet areas, where males use distinctive calls to attract females for breeding.  As spring and summer progress, Virginia’s ponds, rivers, and other aquatic areas resonate with chorus frogs, tree frogs, pickerel frogs, leopard frogs, bullfrogs, green frogs, and several kinds of toads.  Whether the groundhog saw its shadow or not, frog and toad calls are sure signs of seasonal changes in the air, on the land, and in the water.  Thanks to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and to Lang Elliott for permission to use several of this week’s sounds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 

 
This Green Frog was found in an artificial pond at a residence in Blacksburg, Va., April 29, 2007.





























Shallow, temporary ponds, such as this one in Montgomery County, Va., on April 29, 2007, offer breeding habitat for frogs and other amphibians.


This Fowler’s Toad was calling beside the James River near Howardsville (Albemarle County), on July 12, 2009.
Acknowledgments: The calls heard in this week’s audio were the following (in order):

Wood Frog, Spring Peeper, American Toad and Spring Peeper chorus, Mountain Chorus Frog, Pickerel Frog, American Bullfrog, Carpenter Frog, Fowler’s Toad, Northern Cricket Frog, Green Frog, and Gray Treefrog.

The sounds of the Wood Frog, Mountain Chorus Frog, American Bullfrog, and Carpenter Frog were excerpted from "The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads" CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Lang Elliott/NatureSoundStudio, used with permission.  For more information, see https://www3.dgif.virginia.gov/estore/proddetail.asp?prod=VW252, or contact VDGIF at 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230; phone: (804) 367-1000 (VTDD); e-mail: dgifweb@dgif.virginia.govLang Elliott’s work is available online at http://www.langelliott.com/ and the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

The other sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio, as follows:

Spring Peeper – Blacksburg, Va., March 13, 2010;
American Toad and Spring Peeper chorus – Blacksburg, Va., March 30, 2010;
Pickerel Frog – Peaks of Otter/Blue Ridge Parkway, April 19, 2011;
Fowler’s Toad – Along James River near Howardsville, Va., July 12, 2009;
Northern Cricket Frog – Along the Potomac River/C&O Canal Towpath near Boyd’s Landing, Md., July 10, 2010;
Green Frog - Leesburg, Va., June 28, 2010;

Gray Treefrog – Blacksburg, Va., June 10, 2011.

Sources:
Information on Virginia frogs was taken from A Guide to the Frogs and Toad of Virginia, by John D. Kloepfer and Chris S. Hobson, Special Publication Number 3, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (2011); and

“Species Information: Amphibians [or Reptiles or other group]” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?t=1.

For more information on Virginia amphibians:

Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, by B.S. Martof et. al., University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill (1980);

Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); and

Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS), online at  www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com.

For an account of Spring Peepers, their connection to ephemeral spring ponds, and the importance of amphibians generally, please see "Vernal ponds spring to life with peepers' serenades," in the April 2013 issue of Bay Journal.

Are you interested in amphibians and particularly in frog calls?  If so, you might want to consider volunteering for the Virginia Frog and Toad Calling Survey, coordinated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  See information online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/frogsurvey/, or contact the department at (804) 367-1000.  The Virginia program is part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.  These programs use the sensitivity of amphibians to water quality as a tool for assessing changes or threats to aquatic systems.



Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Episode 147 (2-4-13): Committees Guide the Flow of Bills in the Virginia General Assembly

Click to listen to episode (3:24).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 4, 2013.

This week, we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess where these people are.  And here’s a hint—they’re part of a Virginia process dating back to 1619.

SOUND

If you guessed the Virginia General Assembly, you’re right!  Those were sounds from the January 31, 2013, meeting of the Senate committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, or ACNR.  With over 2000 bills introduced every year, standing committees—11 in the Senate and 14 in the House of Delegates—are the key points where bills are sorted, debated, and then either advanced or stopped.  Many water-related bills go to the Senate ACNR or to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources committee.  For example, on January 31, the Senate ACNR was considering bills on dams, uranium mining, wetlands, and recreational boating rights on freshwater streams.  Let’s listen to a one-minute sample of that committee’s action on Senate Bill 737, the stream boating bill.

SOUND

The Virginia General Assembly has been in business since the first meeting of the House of Burgesses in 1619, and committees are where much of that business gets done.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
At the Virginia General Assembly building on January 31, 2013, citizens interested in Senate Bill 1353, regarding uranium-mining, wait for the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resource Committee meeting where that bill was on the agenda.

Acknowledgments, sources, and more information: All sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio at the General Assembly Building in Richmond before and during the January 31, 2013, meeting of the Virginia Senate’s Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee (Senate ACNR).

Senate Bill 1280, mentioned in the audio, concerned enclosures for foxes and coyotes used in connection with hunting dogs; between 100 and 200 citizens attended the portion of the committee meeting concerning that bill.

Speakers heard during the committee-debate segment of the audio (in order of being first heard) were Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26th District); Sen. J. Chapman Petersen (D-34th District), the chief patron of SB 737 (that is, the person who introduced the bill); Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-24th District), the chair of the Senate ACNR; and the clerk of the committee.

A 3 minute/43 second recording of the Senate ACNR’s action on January 31 on a bill concerning uranium mining (SB 1353) is posted on the Virginia Water Central News Grouper; please see this link: Water in the 2013 Virginia General Assembly: Senate Uranium Mining Bills Withdrawn in Committee Actions on January 31.

Online information about committees and other aspects of the General Assembly is available at the Legislative Information System Web site, at http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm.  The General Assembly’s Web site is http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

Virginia residents can also contact the offices of their respective General Assembly members for more information.  If you don’t know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform.  You can find members’ contact information at these links: House of Delegates: http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios.nsf/MWebsiteTL?OpenView; Senate: http://apps.lis.virginia.gov/sfb1/Senate/TelephoneList.aspx.  If you know the numbers of your House of Senate legislative district, you can also use the following code to identify your representatives’ Capitol phone numbers: for delegates, (804) 698-10 + district number (for example, 698-1003 for the District 3 delegate); for senators, (804) 698-75 + district number (for example, 698-7510 for the District 10 senator).

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.