Audubon celebrates the Lower James River Important Bird Area
On Saturday, Oct. 21, at a ceremony at the Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center was recognized and awarded a plaque distinguishing the center as an important entity within the newly designated "Lower James River Important Bird Area." The Lower James is part of a global network of places recognized for their Outstanding Value to Bird Conservation and this particular designation culminates many years of dedication by hundreds of concerned citizens to preserve the legacy and beauty of this area of Virginia. Two scientists were specifically recognized for their scientific contributions and leadership in this area effort. One was Dr. Mitchell Byrd, from the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary, centering on his work with eagles and the other was Dr. Charles Blem from VCU, whose long-term work on the migratory patterns and breeding habits of the Prothonotary Warbler is a major on-going research focus for the VCU Rice Center.