New River Valley Bird Club to Host 2019 VSO Annual Meeting

The New River Valley Bird Club is excited to invite you to the 2019 annual meeting, May 3-5, 2019, at Mountain Lake, Virginia. Mountain Lake has been recognized for many years as a unique ecosystem for birds. With the Mountain Lake Conservancy, an adjacent wilderness area and the Mountain Biological Station nearby, birds have a protected mountain top refuge. With elevations reaching 4,200 feet, there are breeding species of birds not found in nearby Blacksburg, Virginia. Our host will be the Mountain Lake Lodge, formerly Mountain Lake Hotel. The hotel has been under new management for 5 years, and if you have not visited the hotel recently you will be amazed at the improvements. It was voted the 2018 Virginia Hotel of the Year and the manager Heidi Stone was voted the 2018 Best Hotelier in Virginia.  Check out their website

Mountain Lake Lodge Logo.jpg

What Makes Mountain Lake special?
Because of the elevation, the cooler temperatures nurture plant communities which are much like those of Northern Pennsylvania and Southern New York. As a result, several unique breeding species are found here. These include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Least Flycatcher, Veery, Brown Creeper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a breeding population of Dark-eyed Junco which has been studied for over 30 years, and many species of warblers. There are many other species of migrants and breeding birds on the mountain and surrounding areas. Birding for this weekend should be excellent, because of the elevation, the migrants will be passing through, but most of the leaves will not have emerged. Our field trips will include areas on top of the mountain as well as trips in surrounding areas including Glen Alton which is one of the most interesting birding areas around. Some of the trips will require hiking and there will also be trails for easy walking. We have an excellent group of experienced field trip leaders. More information on the planned field trips will be on this website by April 1, 2019. A complete description of field trips will also be in the registration packet and guests can sign up for field trips when they arrive at the hotel. Weather permitting there will be a rafting trip on the New River for Saturday morning for anyone who might be interested.  

Lodging Package

Mountain Lake Lodge is now a travel destination and we have worked closely with the lodge to provide an excellent package rate for you. Lodging and package price includes two nights lodging, two breakfasts and the Saturday Buffet Banquet.  
Single Rate                               $414.00 + Tax
Double rate per person   $255.00  +Tax
Triple rate per person      $202.00  + Tax
Lunch is available at the hotel in either the Harvest Restaurant or the Stony Creek Tavern (ala carte).
Guests arriving on Thursday night or staying additional nights through Tuesday night are eligible to receive a discounted lodging rate per room of $139 + tax per night. Meals are ala carte.                                         
Make your lodging reservations by April 10th to ensure that you receive the VSO package rate.
Mountain Lake Lodge directly by telephone (800-346-3334 or 540-626-7121) to make hotel reservations. Be sure to mention the name VSO Conference.

Schedule of Annual Meeting Activities

Friday May 3rd

For guests arriving early there will be several optional field trips in the morning and in the afternoon. Sign up when you arrive at the VSO registration table. Meals for Friday (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are on your own with many choices on the menu of the Harvest Restaurant and Stony Creek Tavern. Mixed drinks, beer and wine can be ordered at the Stony Creek Tavern. Exhibit areas and vendors will be in the Giles Cascade room adjacent to the ballroom. The Friday evening session will be held in the Ballroom and will include the VSO Business meeting, and an introduction to Mountain Lake birding and the field trips.   

Saturday May 4th

Buffet Breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the Harvest Restaurant. Field trips will leave shortly after breakfast. Carpooling is requested for trips off of the mountain. For trips off of the mountain, several options for lunch will be available before returning to Mountain Lake. Paper sessions will be in the afternoon in the Ballroom. Exhibits will continue in the Giles Cascade room adjacent to the ballroom. There will be a silent auction in the display area for your participation. So bring cash or your checkbook. Because we are expecting a large turnout for the meeting, the banquet buffet will be served in two seatings in the Harvest Restaurant. There will also be a cash bar on the first floor patio for you to visit with friends as you await your seating. Our hummingbirds will be there to entertain as well.  

Saturday evening Speaker

Dr. Rebecca Keller, American Bird Conservancy Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture Science Coordinator will speak on From Appalachia to the Tropics-Bridging Gaps for the Birds. The focus will be on conservation efforts for several declining species, including the Golden winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler and Wood Thrush. American Bird Conservancy has been working with international partners, particularly in Colombia and Venezuela to locate wintering areas for these Appalachian species. Many of these birds now carry geolocators and biologists are working to identify critical areas for protection within the tropics.  

Sunday Morning May 5th

Breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in the Harvest Restaurant. Some of the field trips will be repeated from Saturday and others will be new offerings so that you can visit many of the wonderful areas of the Mountain Lake area. For those of you staying over for an additional night, there will be field trip opportunities in the afternoon.  

Registration Information

Anyone interested in attending should make sure to fill out the registration form by April 15th. Click here to view the registration form. For more information or if you have any questions, reach out to Jerry Via at

Call For Presentations

The Virginia Society of Ornithology invites scientific presentations for its 2019 Annual Meeting to be held May 3rd to 5th at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, VA. Oral presentations should be 15 minutes long, including time for questions. Static displays (such as posters) will also be accepted space permitting. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee and added to the program until the schedule or display space is full. Presentations will be given between 2 and 4PM on Saturday, May 4. Please submit the following information about your poster or presentation no later than March 22, 2019. Participants will be notified of their acceptance (and time slot) by April 5, 2019.

Title of oral presentation or poster
Presenter’s name
Email address
Phone number
Institutional affiliation (college or organization), if applicable
Names of co-authors, if applicable
Brief abstract (250 word limit)
Audio-visual needs (e.g. laptop, projector, screen, etc.)
 Priority will be given to scientific presentations from persons affiliated with colleges or environmental organizations.  However, the selection committee will also consider presentations on any ornithological topic that might be of interest to VSO members, such as interesting birding adventures, bird club projects, rare sightings, etc. All presentations are limited to 15 minutes each.
Send information (email preferred) to: 
Dan Bieker
Phone: 434-971-9618
Postal Address:
Dan Bieker
4174 Laird Lane
North Garden, VA 22959