Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory


Protecting wildlife through field research, Education and habitat conservation

We are proud to present our 25th Anniversary logo by Megan Massa, 2019 Bird of the Year artist for the American Birding Association, ABA. The stunning artwork celebrates CVWO's 25 years of wildlife research. The Peregrine Falcon, Monarch butterfly, and Prothonotary Warbler represent a few of our research projects.

Read the press release about our new artwork and meet Megan Massa in CVWO's newsroom.

SHOP our Cafe Press store for clothing and wares featuring the artwork here.

Thank you for your continued support of our nonprofit work!

kiptopeke Hawk watch season summary

NEW BOOK Release!

​For the past 21 years, the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory has researched and documented monarch butterflies during fall migration at Kiptopeke State Park and the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. During this same time the North American monarch population plunged 80% due to pesticides and habitat loss. CVWO's research is provided to international science databases and contributes to the monarch's survival.

In this video you will hear from Michael Ferrara, CVWO's monarch biologist, who will share insights into the unique geographic feature of the peninsula of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and how this super highway for monarch and raptor migration provides tremendous opportunities for CVWO, scientists and the public to encounter the butterfly and hawk migration in the fall. Feel free to join CVWO biologists on the Hawk Watch platform to learn more about these research and educational projects. Thanks to Collins Reagan of Reagan Studios for directing this project. Visit Collins at​

CVWO Celebrates 25th Anniversary 

Riding the Wind, by CVWO's president, Brian Taber, is a celebration of birds, birding and conservation. The book - released in honor of CVWO's 25th anniversary this year - features essays, some previously published in magazines. Twenty illustrations by award-winning artist Julie Zickefoose accompany the birding stories inside and the cover art is by CVWO Hawkwatcher, Anna Stunkel. The book is a fundraiser for CVWO.

You can purchase a copy of Riding the Wind with the PayPal link below, or visit local Williamsburg bird stores, Wild Birds Unlimited and Backyard Birder, for signed copies of the book.

Monarch Migration

Thank you, Anna, for all you did this season (and the past two seasons) at Kiptopeke. Here's a photo of Anna Stunkel and Brian Taber, CVWO President, on the final day at the Hawkwatch platform. Thanks to Nancy Barnhart for the photo.​

Read more about the above Raptor Migration video and CVWO's Raptor Research Projects here.

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2018 Hawkwatch season at Kiptopeke State Park is in the books! Over three months, Anna Stunkel, CVWO's hawk watcher counted over 18,000 raptors. American Kestrels edged out Ospreys, 3,582 to 3,538.

The final day, yesterday, November 30, there was an amazing passerine flight, per Anna: "This morning we enjoyed a wonderful flight of passerines, including 3,270 American Robins, 1,330 Red-winged Blackbirds, 710 American Goldfinches, 263 Cedar Waxwings, 120 Dark-eyed Juncos (yes, a flight of juncos!), 60 Chipping Sparrows, 16 American Pipits, seven Horned Larks, three Pine Siskins, and three Purple Finches. Seven Common Loons and one Hooded Merganser also passed. This was a beautifully fitting way to end the season."

Help us share our story!

Join us for our 25th Anniversary Celebration Events! Find out more here.

Cvwo research projects at-a-glance

Kiptopeke Hawkwatch Real Time Data!

CVWO Uses Dunkadoo Technology For Hawkwatch 2018

Dunkadoo. It’s an unusual name. According to technology company's website, the Dunkadoo is an old New England term for the American Bittern and the name of a non-profit that has developed software tools for professional hawkcounters and other research scientists. The aim is to collect data, download, and share it using the global reach of the Internet, while saving valuable time for our hawkcounter at the end of a long day.  Using Dunkadoo our CVWO hawkcounter will enter data on a Galaxy tablet throughout the day which will automatically download to a customized web page on the Dunkadoo site. The data is used to create colorful charts, and graphs, which can be used for education and public outreach. The tool will also auto-submit the CVWO data to With this new tool CVWO can share our hawk watch data with a global community. We are excited to begin the fall hawk migration season with our returning hawkcounter, Anna Stunkel, and this great new tool! Read more about CVWO's Raptor Research and Hawkwatch here.