Volunteer Spotlight: Jane Yocom
Jane enjoys many things in nature – native plants, meadows filled with wildflowers and butterflies, and the green frog living in her barrel of aquatic plants – but admits “there is none I love better than birds.” Jane has volunteered with Loudoun Wildlife for about 12 years by taking part in the Birdathon, Christmas Bird Counts, waterfowl counts, the annual butterfly count, the Loudoun County Bird Atlas, and co-leading bird walks.
Jane’s love of birds began while growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania. Her interest was renewed as an adult when a friend took an ornithology course and started identifying birds on their walks together. Jane says, “Whether it’s watching my feeders and birdbath during the winter months; going out in the spring and fall and finding migrating warblers; or taking a walk along a local trail – I love the hunt!”
Jane joined the Virginia Master Naturalist (VMN) class at Banshee Reeks that requires members to earn volunteer and continuing education hours. She found that, “LWC was an awesome resource for all the requirements [and] started going on the monthly bird walks and signed up to cover a block for the Loudoun Bird Atlas. With a gentle nudge from Joe Coleman and the knowledge I gained from VMN, I started to co-lead the LWC bird walks. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for the outdoors with others. Birders tend to be really nice people!”
Jane happily shares her birding passion with her son in South Carolina and her daughter in California and is glad her kids “have finally seen the light.” She tells how her 2½-year-old granddaughter pretends to see and identify a variety of birds with her mom’s binoculars. Jane also loves traveling to foreign countries on birding tours. She exclaims, “The many species of beautiful birds found in Central America is incredible. The landscapes and the flora and fauna are so different from here. I hope there are many more trips in my future.”