Woolard soars to new heights

Mr. Zachary Woolard partners with Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Photo by: Zinzi Symister

Mr. Zachary Woolard spends his lunch period watching birds outside of the Midlo Library.

Biology teacher Mr. Zachary Woolard is an avid bird lover. He incorporates birds into his lesson plans, teaching, and daily life. Woolard is also a member of the Richmond Audubon Society. The organization, comprised of over 1,400 members, gives bird lovers from across Central Virginia a chance to gather and bird watch. His hobby gives him an educational and interesting outlet to learn more about these feathered creatures.

Through the Audubon Society, Woolard gained information about The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In November, Woolard and Midlothian High School’s Young Birders Club got involved with Project FeederWatch, a subcategory of the Lab of Ornithology. This project gives people all around the United States one common place to report their bird sightings. Located outside of the Midlo Library is a bird feeder. Woolard refills this feeder at the start of every school day. He uses his binoculars to locate birds, from the library windows to the student parking lot and tracks his findings through eBird, an electronic bird tracking site.

Woolard states, “I have been impressed at the consistent appearance of certain species. Carolina Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches, and Tufted Titmouse have been observed during each count. I have also been impressed with the overall abundance of birds in such a populated area; I have seen as many as 68 birds in a single counting session. I have been surprised by the presence of Eastern Bluebirds, sometimes observing as many as 8 individuals. I am interested in potentially installing bluebird boxes next year to monitor their nesting and egg laying patterns throughout the summer.”

To become an active member of Project FeederWatch, students can report their bird sightings to bit.ly/midlobirds.

Species Observed Since November:

American Goldfinch

 American Robin

Blue Jay

Carolina Chickadee

 Carolina Wren

Dark-eyed Junco

Downy Woodpecker

 Eastern Bluebird

European Starling

House Finch

House Sparrow

Mourning Dove

Northern Cardinal

Northern Mockingbird

Pine Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-shouldered Hawk

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Song Sparrow

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-throated Sparrow

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-rumped Warbler