Virginia's Birdlife: An Annotated Checklist ("The Gold Book")

The long awaited "Gold Book" is here. To purchase your copy, you may now use our online checkout system using PayPal, by clicking HERE! Additionally, you may purchase by mailing a check for $20.00 made out to "Virginia Society of Ornithology" to this address: Virginia Society of Ornithology, PO Box 5994, Williamsburg, VA 23188 .

OVERVIEW: "This checklist is the fourth edition of Virginia’s Birdlife, an Annotated Checklist. The first comprehensive annotated checklist of Virginia birds was compiled in 1952 by Joseph J. Murray and published by the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO). The second edition, edited by YuLee Larner and published in 1979, updated Murray’s 1952 checklist, describing the occurrence of 400 species in the state and giving contemporary birders a standard by which the significance of their sightings could be measured. Birders began to take note of records that “beat the book,” and soon thereafter, the state’s ornithological record had been augmented to the extent that another update was necessary. Under Teta Kain’s editorship, the third edition of the annotated checklist, covering 411 species, was published in 1987. This fourth edition updates the summary of Virginia’s avifauna, addressing the occurrence of 466 species in the state.

Virginia birding and ornithology have advanced considerably since 1987. The Virginia Avian Records Committee (VARCOM) was formed in 1989 to increase knowledge of Virginia birds, to evaluate and to archive records of vagrants and rare nesting species in the state, and to encourage high standards of observation, recording, and reporting in the birding community. Since then, VARCOM has evaluated more than 650 records of rare species, unseasonal occurrences, and unusual breeding attempts. While several long-standing surveys, such as annual Christmas Bird Counts, local spring and summer counts, annual barrier island surveys, VSO breeding bird forays, and traditional hawkwatches at Rockfish Gap, Harveys Knob, and Kiptopeke have continued to the present, a wealth of additional information has been provided by new hawkwatches at Snickers Gap (since 1990) and Candlers Mountain (since 1997), Northern Saw-whet Owl fall banding stations (since 1994), and additional surveys. Birding activity in the Piedmont still trails behind that in the other two regions but has increased considerably since the late 1980s, particularly in the north and southeast." To continue reading the introduction, and for full access to all the species accounts, please consider purchasing The Gold Book for a fee of $20. As mentioned above, you may purchase through our website HERE!